The Culture of a Campaign

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Political campaigns, especially those for high office, are messy, unruly things. The hours are long; the tasks are menial; and the glamour represents about one percent of what actually happens behind the scenes.

Perhaps, as a result, most of the staff are inexperienced, though highly intelligent workers. No one else would sign up for a temporary position guaranteed to require long hours at low wages with minimal feedback and a grade of 100 percent success or failure on Election Day.

National campaigns are even more amorphous, with little-to-no contact with the candidate. Each state, and each campaign office, develops its own dynamic based on the personalities running it and any local camaraderie. It’s definitely impossible to speak about an overall culture of a campaign based on the candidates at the head of the national ticket.

That’s why any attempt to link Donald Trump with his campaign manager’s actions at a crowded rally are doomed to fail. I think the managers’ actions were reprehensible and deserve to be condemned more dramatically. But his poor decision making and failure of the moment were not the result of some amorphous culture. He had become separated from his boss — I would think a pretty demanding one at that — and this reporter was blocking him out. His solution to this dilemma involved pushing the reporter aside in a rather emphatic, and unforgivable, manner.

It does not reflect in any way on Donald Trump who strikes me as a rather chivalrous, though old fashioned, individual. The establishment is banding together to brand him as unacceptable, but this represents a bridge too far in their efforts to do so.