Billionaire investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn't holding back his opinion about his frenemy, Donald Trump.Cuban has been saying this for a while (e.g., last December on Larry Wilmore's show), but, yeah, it's true. The thing is, Trump's approach works -- not just with angry blue-collar Republican voters, but with members of the political establishment.
"There's that guy who'll walk into the bar and say anything to get laid. That's Donald Trump right now to a T. But it's all of us who are going to get f-----," Cuban said during an interview at the SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference in Las Vegas on Thursday night.
David Gergen, for instance. Judging from his latest column at CNN.com, Gergen's almost ready for some hot Trump action. Emphasis added below:
... [Trump] is now moving into a phase where he will be judged less on his ability to campaign than to govern. And governing is about getting other stakeholders to go along with you and your ideas -- not whether you can run them over....(That last bit isn't true, but never mind. It's nearly closing time, and Trump may not be Mr. Right, but he could be Mr. Right Now.)
Thursday was a beginning, and from all reports, Trump handled himself well. In taking a more conciliatory approach and in paying respect to Republican leaders by coming to them -- rather than insisting they come to him -- he appeared genuinely interested in mending fences....
The far more important tests of whether Trump has the right stuff to be presidential will come in the weeks ahead. [Paul] Ryan and other Republicans quite reasonably want to see a change in Trump's tone as well as substance. Trump is obliging so far. He didn't take any shots at Republicans after their meetings, and he has softened his vow to ban all Muslims -- it was a mere "suggestion," he now says.
... In his landmark book "Presidential Power," scholar Richard Neustadt argued that the most important power a president has is the power to persuade. So far, Trump has persuaded some 10 million voters in Republican primaries to support him.(Ooooh, he's so ... persuasive.)
But now, to win, he must persuade another 50 million or more Americans of all stripes to stand with him. He cannot win if two-thirds of all women, 80% of all Latinos and more than 85% of African-Americans continue to disapprove of him.So ... if his negatives with those groups drop from abysmal to merely awful, he's worth a tumble? Is that how I should read this?
Voters know he is an effective brawler, but that's not what will matter to them in November. They must now be persuaded he will be a president who will be a constructive force for change. He has six months, starting with Thursday's meetings on Capitol Hill.If you haven't been in a coma since last summer, you know there is no possible way Trump as president could "be a constructive force for change." What's more, he's not even going to try to prove that he can be "constructive." He's going to continue demonstrating that he's in it for the self-aggrandizement and in order to be be destructive, except that he wants us to believe he'll destroy things we want destroyed.
Gergen desperately wants to believe otherwise -- and any day now he'll tell us that Trump has passed this test. He's definitely going to go to bed with Trump, as will much of the rest of the mainstream punditocracy. By fall, we'll be told there's one unf---able candidate left in the bar -- and it won't be Trump.