Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Emulate Trump at your peril
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Emulate Trump at your peril

Monday, Feb 27, 2017

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

If you’re running for office anytime soon, or if you currently hold office or are a “public figure,” please try to keep one thing in mind: So far, the only person to prove he can thrive by talking like President Donald Trump is . . . President Donald Trump.

Trump, and only Trump, can insult a war hero because the man was captured by the enemy, joke about grabbing women by the unmentionables, accuse an opponent’s father of participating in a plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy and still be elected to the highest office in the land.

Heck, Trump may have even been right when he joked during the campaign: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

But don’t even think of trying this at home. The president’s election was not a permission slip allowing everybody to now say the most outrageous things that come to mind. Trump changed the rules last year for himself, not anybody else—or, at least, not yet.

Say something stupid and the media—both news and social—will whack you but good, and it won’t turn out nearly as well as it did for candidate Trump. Indeed, if anything, the climate right now seems more antithetical than ever to saying silly things in public.

Earlier this month, an unopposed candidate for an Arlington Heights village board spot named Joe Favia had to drop out of his race after posting something truly stupid about women on Facebook. After the national women’s marches in January, he posted a meme which read “In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking than Michelle Obama did in 8 years.”

Again, he was an unopposed candidate. You don’t usually get a more sure thing in politics than an unopposed campaign. Not for that dude. He gone.

Danville Township Assessor Rick Rohrer, a Democrat, posted the very same meme to his Facebook page, and the chairwoman and treasurer of the Vermillion County Democratic Party were so furious that they both resigned in disgust.

Just last week, the sports anchor for the most-watched television station in Chicagoland, Mark Giangreco, was slapped with a weeks-long suspension for tweeting something stupid about the president and his supporters: “America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be ‘elected.’ “

Also, have you seen Gov. Bruce Rauner lately? The formerly elbow-throwing, defiant Republican frat jock is now talking like the dearly departed host of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

I seriously doubt that Rauner just naturally morphed from a tough guy, who has called just about everybody from the judges to the two state legislative leaders to most of the General Assembly “corrupt,” into a soft-spoken yogi who gently speaks of compromise, peace and harmony.

Rauner’s campaign team has the cash to poll-test and focus-group just about everything, and the governor is infamous for relentlessly staying on script. He and his people obviously know things have changed.

So, when probable Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker woke up early one morning last week and, according to an aide, decided to mock the far right’s incendiary rhetoric by tweeting, “As a protest against Trump’s rescinding protections for trans kids, everyone should use the other gender’s bathroom today! #protecttranskids,” he should’ve first taken a deep breath, had another cup of coffee, maybe called a friend or two and then realized he was about to make himself look like just another billionaire who can’t control himself on Twitter. Please leave the jokes to the professionals (who, by the way, are regularly put through the public meat grinder for their misfired attempts at humor).

I’m not arguing here for an utterly bland, completely “politically correct” public discourse. I’m just arguing for a little common sense and a bit of self-awareness. Just because calling some women fat worked for Trump doesn’t mean it’s gonna work for low-level candidates and elected officials. Insulting millions of Americans and questioning the nation’s electoral system also worked for Trump, but it is a no-go for a TV talking head.

And appearing to urge men to enter women’s restrooms as some sort of protest shows exactly zero common sense, no matter what the climate may be right now and no matter how well-intentioned the act may have been.

If you can’t do that, then delete your account.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - A guy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:13 am:

    So True. I really can’t remember a time where you need to be so careful about what you say; trying to be humorous or serious. Lots of frayed nerves out there. Being boring or cheesy never had more cachet than right now.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    To the Post,

    Rich gives great insight where people are missing the obvious that they just aren’t Trump, and rules apply to them. I’m always amazed at two things when reading Pols twitters…

    A lack of self-awareness.

    Thinking that words don’t matter, especially their order too.

    Here are my Twitter rules for Pols or Campaigns.

    1) Get off Twitter.

    2) Never tweet in real time. No one cares about your real time assessment about… anything. Get to a million followers, then the answer is maybe people care.

    3) Never retweet without any explanation. You read these retweets without context and they’re head scratchers. Are they agreeing, mocking, disagreeing? Why is this so important?

    4) Don’t tweet during “work”. On the Chamber floors, city council, county board, during any meeting you are allegedly attending, pay attention. Show professionalism.

    5) Don’t respond to an “@”, ever. Good, bad, whatever, do NOT respond to anyone on Twitter, ever. Tweet something, then let it be.

    6) Use Twitter only for information. Meetings/events, thank yous, congratulations, sympathy, and go those well after and check out all the information for accuracy. Nothing is worse than congratulating John Smith when Jim Smits gets auto-corrected.

    7) Have at least 2 people approve your pictures. Crowd sizes and explanations are the biggest culprits. No need to describe a picture of a crowd that a picture wholly refutes. In fact, no crowd pictures unless 4 people approve and a day after the event.

    8) You are NOT funny. Snark on Twitter cuts in ways many cant see or read. If you want to be edgy, go to an open mic and embarrass yourself publicly. Tweeting silliness isn’t a grew way to seem thoughtful ever.

    9) Twitter is FOREVER. “I’m frustrated 2 but taking steps to reform Illinois is more important than a short term budget stalemate”. That’s not even remotely awful, but it’s forever. Your tweets follow you. Why encourage your Twitter mistakes that haunt you for always? Think. Tweets stay.

    10) Get off of Twitter. Dear Pols, more careers and campaigns have been ended or ruined by Twitter than advanced. Read this. learn this. Understand this.

    Twitter. The best worst idea for Politics.


  3. - tobor - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    Joking?


  4. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    OWs post needs to printed, framed and placed at the desks of all politicians and should be page 1 of handouts they are given when assuming office.

    And the rest of use need to apply the simple concepts of common sense and civilty in our social media postings.


  5. - jim - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    “decided to mock the far right’s incendiary rhetoric by tweeting”

    surely you don’t believe that lame explanation for Pritzker’s stupid tweet.


  6. - Curl of the Burl - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:42 am:

    Willy - you are spot on. Twitter and Facebook cross-posts from Twitter are great for guys like Adam Shefter or Ken Rosenthal or Jon Heyman or the quirky athlete who has a good wit and sense about himself. Twitter is not an ideal avenue for political discourse and, in fact, it might make things worse given that 140 characters can change the tone and cause confusion with the press of “send” or “post”.


  7. - SAP - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    My social media rule is to watch Goodfellas and treat all social media like Paulie Cicero treated the telephone: Don’t use it for anything that you don’t want the whole world to know about.


  8. - oneholeoff - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    A shout out to Rich for using Twitter for good this weekend with a link to a compelling article on thought process and truth. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds


  9. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    There’s some wisdom here; don’t assume Trump’s schtick will work for you unless you’re really sure the FBI director is going to slam your opponent twice in the last two weeks of the election.

    But I also think there are some positive things you can learn from Trump: speak directly to what people want/need, don’t worry so much about political convention, press on even if you have potential scandals in your past…I mean, Trump takes all of these well past the extreme, but there’s something to all of them.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    (Tips cap to - FormerParatrooper - and - Curl of the Burl -)

    I’ll add this, very respectfully.

    There are some really great twitters by members of the GA that have their own tone and tenor and self-policing rules, rules that even break most of and/or all of my rules geared towards campaign twitters and un-policed pol Twitter accounts.

    I stand by this… “The best worst idea for Politics.”

    I stand by my rules too.

    But… if campaigns, especially, learn about the limitations of social media first, then they can try to build around the limitations to make their social media work.

    That might be the biggest lesson.


  11. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:18 am:


    - jim - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    “decided to mock the far right’s incendiary rhetoric by tweeting”

    surely you don’t believe that lame explanation for Pritzker’s stupid tweet.”

    Jim, what’s your alternative explanation?


  12. - In 630 - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    Authenticity is high on the list of winning pol qualities. Unless they’re an authentic lunkhead.


  13. - walker - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    Great catches and analysis, Rich.

    The Arl Hts situation was surfaced and pounded home not by the press, but by at least three new Women’s March participant groups that formed immediately after that event. It was triggered and flowed on FB, which can be as dangerous as Twitter.

    There are over twenty new grassroots groups that formed around the Women’s March in just this NW suburban area, and there are probably many I don’t know about. Is it a “new” women’s movement with some staying power? Don’t pretend it’s not grassroots, and don’t bet against it.


  14. - VanillaMan - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    Twitter harmed Trump.
    He would have won even bigger without it.


  15. - CapnCrunch - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 3:44 pm:

    Way too many rules Will, only need two.

    Rule number 1: Don’t tweet
    Rule number 2: Never disobey rule number 1.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 4:07 pm:

    - CapnCrunch -

    I hear ya.

    It’s kinda like laying out all the pitfalls and hope when they get to “10″ they refer back to
    “1″…


  17. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 8:11 am:

    Tweetin’ ain’t easy.

    – MrJM


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Janus apparently no longer loves his state job, hires on with Illinois Policy Institute
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Pritzker meets with moms who've lost their kids to street violence, police shootings
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign stuff: Morrison; Ives; Skillicorn; Nybo; Rooney; Curran; Breen; Frese
* "And admit that the waters/Around you have grown"
* A tiny bit of good news from Moody's
* Proft files suit so his independent expenditure committee can coordinate with campaigns after caps busted
* Cook shifts governor's race from "Toss Up" to "Lean Democrat" - Third-party candidates "the tipping point"
* Unsolicited advice
* The impasse and the damage done
* Entire IPHCA executive committee resigns, lawyer let go after racism controversy
* Chicago to get its first public law school, but is it a wise move?
* Doom and gloom abounds, but a new pension idea emerges
* Another lawsuit filed in Quincy veterans' home deaths: "For a year and a half, he loved that place. And it killed him"
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* SVM EDITORIAL: Term limits: Beware of unintende.....
* McDaniel-Hale: The decision to smoke is a perso.....
* In Bellwood, Fritz Kaegi Blasts 'Machine Po.....
* Barickman Cautious About Trump Impact on IL Ele.....
* Democrats try to rebuild the state party from t.....
* New law better protects DCFS workers..
* Bloomington Business Helps State Retirement Sav.....
* Illinois Makes Its IT Department a Permanent Fi.....
* Dyslexia guidebook bill signed into law..
* Naperville Now 07-20-18..


* The Latest: Cousin recalls family at birthday party
* Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking
* Legislation signed requiring protection for state workers
* The Latest: NTSB says boat investigation could a take year
* The Latest: Inspector warned of flaws in Missouri boats
* The Latest: Missouri couple killed in boat accident
* The Latest: Indiana woman: Boat met with ‘big, huge waves’
* Indiana family, Missouri couple among duck boat victims
* The Latest: Coupled opted for duck boat ride at last minute
* Illinois officials consider options to save mural

* Marginal amounts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Moody's gives Illinois finances a 'stable' outlook
* Illinois Army National Guard soldiers return home
* Marginal amouts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Under the Dome Podcast: Gun bills, Quincy, Trump-Putin reaction
* Incumbents hold big fundraising leads in central Illinois legislative races
* Springfield man wins Illinois State Police logo contest
* Rauner 'deeply troubled' by Trump's Helsinki comments
* Rauner signs bill to ease physician assistant hiring
* Bill taking Illinois out of voter registration system vetoed

* Home Run Pizza CEO dies
* Home Run Inn Pizza CEO dies
* Your neighbor isn't a business
* The future of the U.S. looks a lot like Chicago
* Cook County board moves to prevent repeat of pop tax fiasco


* Two men shot while standing on sidewalk in South Austin
* Bears won’t ‘harp’ on WR Kevin White in camp: ‘We just want him to be him’
* Intoxicated man wounded in shooting treated in Wicker Park
* Its early but … Bears rookie CB Kevin Toliver off to a fast start
* Man shot in stomach during Humboldt Park altercation
* White Sox’ Reynaldo Lopez has the stuff, and stuff to work on in second half
* Man, 23, shot in the back in Gage Park
* Bears training camp report: Rookie receiver Anthony Miller stars on Day 2
* Family of Harith Augustus on shooting video: ‘It seems so unnecessary’
* Illinois woman among those killed in Missouri boat accident


* Four-run 7th vaults Cubs to 7-2 win over Cardinals
* Live blog: Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 - day 2
* Fiat Chrysler picks Jeep executive to replace ailing CEO
* Following teen’s drowning, city takes steps that include posting red flag when lifeguards not on duty
* Anthony Anderson under criminal investigation, disputes woman's claims of assault
* Aaron Lynch sits out, Kevin Toliver shines again in Bears’ first public practice
* Family of Harith Augustus releases statement: 'We are hurting deeply'
* Cubs decide extra rest is best for 'fatiguing' Jose Quintana
* Hamas accepts cease-fire after massive Israeli Gaza strikes
* At least 3 wounded in Saturday shootings


» The Week in Review: Public Outcry Over Police-Involved Shooting
» ‘Ali: A Life’; Sexual Harassment In Bars; NPR’s Sam Sanders
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: July 20, 2018
» UIC To Acquire John Marshall Law School, Creating The City’s First Public Law School
» State Week: Russia Reactions, Gun Laws, Campaign Cash
» #660 PJ Morton & Opinions on Drake
» July 19, 2018 - Full Show
» Berwyn Homeowners Squeezed By School District Miscalculation
» How Conservatism Won In Wisconsin; Illinois Election Security; Special Olympics 50th Anniversary
» Illinois Prison Officials Accused of Abusing Transgender Inmate


* Scott Reeder: Understanding is what journalism should be about
* Counterpoint: His pick is bad news indeed for health care, women, consumers and unions
* Point: Kavanaugh is truly a 'judge's judge' and precisely what our nation needs
* Eugene Robinson: The 'deep state' stands between us and the abyss
* Marginal amounts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Moody's gives Illinois finances a 'stable' outlook
* Illinois Army National Guard soldiers return home
* Marginal amouts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Under the Dome Podcast: Gun bills, Quincy, Trump-Putin reaction
* Bernard Schoenburg: Bourne, Clark clash over missed votes


* Boil order issued in Murphysboro
* Curious messages on O’Fallon house worry neighbors and draw onlookers
* Sherrard woman identified as one of 17 killed in Missouri boat accident
* Street closures listing
* Road closure: Interstate 74
* De Soto chef to appear on CBS show 'The Talk' Monday
* SIU Carbondale faculty reviewing program changes for restructuring
* Southern Illinois legislators sound off on latest gun laws signed by Rauner
* 5 Questions with ... Lara Grobosky, event leader for Macon County's Relay for Life
* What you may have missed: Gun violence data, firearms bill, ospreys, National Guard, America in Bloom and ethanol


* NASCAR stars push for 'new' to improve state of racing
* Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings, Jays beat Orioles 4-1
* Michael Stich, Helena Sukova inducted into tennis hall
* Legislation signed requiring protection for state workers
* Kane County corrections officer accused of sexual misconduct

* Cook County board moves to prevent repeat ...
* Want to be Chicago's next mayor? Make ...
* UIC, John Marshall Law School join forces ...
* How area members of Congress voted on voti...
* July 20th 2018, TIAM Overtime
* Rauner embrace of Trump means more questio...
* GOP Missions in Eastern Europe Were Paid f...
* QUICK TAKE: OCC Likes Passage of HR 5749
* RUSSIA REVERSALS FALL FLAT ON THE HILL -- ...
* The Districts Are Mostly White. The Candid...

* How area members of Congress voted on voti......
* Family reunifications: 450 down, roughly 1......
* Ballot security battle heats up already ho......
* In IL-6, Roskam and Casten clash over elec......
* GOP accuses Dems of stalling Kavanaugh aft......

* Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez B......
* How area members of Congress voted on voti......
* Will Route 66 become a National Historic T......
* Tammy Duckworth Wishes She Wasn'......
* Alton Fire Department awarded $227273 grant...

* The sad state of the sandwich at Logan Square deli Rosie’s Sidekick
* Saba confronted grief and found joy in his Pitchfork set
* A police killing and a school firing. Some Monday morning questions.
* Chance the rapper.
* An efiling nightmare -- but with a happy ending
* Snoop, the barber.
* Keeping retirement real. Regressive taxation and living in the city.
* A guaranteed basic income in Chicago...
* Prager U: War on boys
* Jeff Bezos Just Became The Richest Person Ever. Amazon Workers Just Marked #PrimeDay With Strikes Against Low Pay And Brutal Conditions.


* IDPH Investigation Continues As Foodborne Illnesses Increase
* Gov. Rauner signs HB 5611
* Summit for Success: IDOT providing tools, opportunity for disadvantaged businesses
* Illinois Payrolls Jump +18,100
* Liquor Control Commission Underage Compliance Report for Cook County

  
* All the updates, trailers, and commentary for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
* The first trailer for DC’s Aquaman shows off a war between the surface and the sea
* The first trailer for DC’s Shazam is like Big, but with superheroes
* Facebook is developing an internet satellite after shutting down drone project
* Weekly poll results: battery life and waterproofing make a good wearable
* Watch the first trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters
* Galaxy Note9's 4,000 mAh battery confirmed by Brazil's National Telecommunications Agency

* Value Survey: Game 95
* Under the Radar: Kyle Kubat
* Mariners Vs White Sox Preview: Starting Pitchers, Odds, Pred...
* LeBlanc, relievers shut down White Sox
* Shields outdueled in stellar night on mound
* Mariners beat White Sox, get back on winning track
* Mariners 3, White Sox 1: New half, same loss


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller