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WINNING: How President Trump’s ‘Cheese In The Maze’ Strategy Worked

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About a year ago I noticed Donald Trump had developed an amazing strategy to keep the fake news media totally engrossed on meaningless stories while he did “real work” assembling his administration, getting the economy roaring, and feeling out his enemies. I called this “cheese in the maze.” It included everything from stories about feuds between various members of the administration to odd tweets from Trump himself that seemed to have nothing to do with his agenda.

It dawned on me this was all by design. Newt Gingrich had said of the media, “they are going to chase a rabbit, so you might as well give them a rabbit to chase.” And he did.

For month after month, the fake newsies pursued the most astonishing array of stories that all seemingly had one endpoint—showing that Trump’s team was in “chaos” or “collapsing” or “fighting among themselves.” Trump loved it. Even if there was genuine chaos, he is a master of navigating through waters where only he knows where he’s going. But for the most part, Trump’s “cheese” kept the fake news media rats chasing a plethora of leads from “sources” that came from the White House itself, most often deliberately.

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That was not to say everything was perfectly smooth or harmonious in Trump’s White House. After all, he brought in fairly high level (and high-ego) people, including H. R. McMaster, Steve Bannon, and Rex Tillerson. It was inevitable that after a while, some, or all, of these personalities would be gone. And so they were.

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But by late 2017, a different pattern began developing. As Trump stabilized his administration, purged the leakers and GOPe loyalists, and remade the government in his own image, the stories more or less stopped. Instead what took over was . . .

WINNING.

Trump’s policies took on a life of their own—almost all as he had predicted—and suddenly the economy was booming, judges were getting confirmed, enemies were coming to the negotiating table, and taxes were being cut. Although the fake news media often tried to avoid covering these stories, the fact was Trump no longer needed to generate anything for the rabbits to chase. Instead, the news cycle began to be filled with Trump news (in reality, Trump friendly news, even though the fake news media attempted to spin it differently).

So take the past week. Trump did two rallies, the Supreme Court handed him four victories, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement . . . and it’s only Wednesday! Trump’s activities and his constant stream of winning have replaced the “cheese,” feeding off their own momentum. During the campaign, Trump promised “You’ll get tired of winning.” it seems as though the Trump news that his supporters would see as positive is now falling like rain. On a single day, the Supreme Court gave him a major victory in the Janus labor union case, Justice Kennedy announced his retirement—whereupon Mitch McConnell announced that he would ensure Trump’s nominee to replace Kennedy would be confirmed—and Trump held a rally in North Dakota.

In. One. Day!

But there is something else largely hidden at work. Trump has gone from making seemingly disconnected tweets to making short announcements that, once again, the fake news media pays little attention to. These announcements are viewed as off the cuff remarks, such as when Trump announced he was planning to reform and reorganize government, or rebuild the nation’s space capability. Then, virtually nothing is said about the subject of that announcement for weeks, even months. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, Mick Mulvaney emerges with a full-blown plan to . . . reorganize government. This has now become an almost reverse “cheese in the maze.” Trump is quite openly telling everyone what he plans to do, but the fake news media ignores him until it appears months later as a fully developed policy.

This was largely the story of the tax cut bill. Be honest: How many had heard most of the details of the tax bill even one week out from it being voted on? Trump has said in a comment largely ignored that we would send a manned mission to Mars. You can bet someone in NASA is working that plan right now. “Cheese in the maze” is a thing of the past. Today’s news is winning. And more winning.

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White House

President Trump’s Approval Rating Soars as the Public Increasingly Supports His Coronavirus Response

The public supports Trump’s crisis response.

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A Gallup poll has shown that President Trump’s approval rating has jumped to 49 percent as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

His approval rating has jumped five points in the past month. This matches his all-time high, which was previously achieved in late January and early February. Ninety-two percent of Republicans support the President, while 43 percent of independents and 13 percent of Democrats approve of Trump.

Americans also approve of the way President Trump has handled the coronavirus pandemic. Sixty percent of Americans support Trump’s disaster response while 38 percent of Americans disapprove. Ninety-four percent of Republicans support his response, while 60 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats support how Trump has handled coronavirus.

“The Trump administration has received some criticism for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic — including that the president downplayed the threat, at least up until his nationally televised address on March 11,” Gallup noted in their report.

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“On March 16, Trump acknowledged the seriousness of the situation by urging people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and to have workers and students stay home if possible. The administration has had daily press conferences since then to update the nation on what the federal government is doing to address the situation,” they added.

It is not uncommon for an incumbent president to gain in popularity during a crisis, as every commander-in-chief in office during a serious threat has gained support from the public as a result.

“Historically, presidential job approval has increased when the nation is under threat. Every president from Franklin Roosevelt through George W. Bush saw their approval rating surge at least 10 points after a significant national event of this kind. Bush’s 35-point increase after 9/11 is the most notable rally effect on record,” Gallup noted.

Although he is peaking right now, President Trump has consistently shown strength in various polls for many months as the public realizes the fake news is lying about his administration:

New polling from Quinnipiac released Thursday shows President Donald Trump handily defeating every major Democratic presidential candidate in hypothetical general election matchups…

Well-known Democrats Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are the most competitive candidates against Trump in the Wisconsin general election, and even they lose by a considerable seven points to the incumbent Republican president.

Even Pete Buttigieg, an Indiana mayor who claims to have a credible path to victory in midwestern states the President grabbed from the Democratic Party in 2016, appears nowhere near seriously competing in the state.

The polling suggests Democrats will have a serious uphill battle in order to contend for the electoral votes of midwestern states such as Wisconsin, in 2020 or other future Presidential elections.

President Trump’s polling in statewide and national surveys has consistently improved as the Democratic Primary erupts in contention, suggesting that the divisions within the Democratic Party may bode well for his re-election.

The state was formerly assumed to be a safe blue state, before Trump won its electoral votes in a shocking upset in 2016. Pennsylvania and Michigan also went Republican for the first time in decades in Trump’s victory, and will prove essential to the election in 2020. Polling of the latter two states shows closer general election contests than in Wisconsin.

President Trump is showing his leadership bona fides during the crisis, and the public is thrilled with the way he is handling the coronavirus pandemic.

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