The Amazing Story of How Trolling by Obama Gave Us Trump

Early in the 2016 campaign, every sentient being could see that Donald Trump was Hillary Clinton’s preferred opponent. There was some real fear of both Scott Walker and Jeb Bush (on the latter point, one wonders just how out of touch any political campaign or donor had to be to think GOP voters were going to fall in line behind yet another Bush candidacy regardless of how many bazillion dollars he raised from people who thought that was possible) and so the Clinton campaign came up with the “pied piper” strategy. This is from Politico on the last day that Clinton would ever think she was the next president of the United States:


So to take Bush down, Clinton’s team drew up a plan to pump Trump up. Shortly after her kickoff, top aides organized a strategy call, whose agenda included a memo to the Democratic National Committee: “This memo is intended to outline the strategy and goals a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have regarding the 2016 Republican presidential field,” it read.

“The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right. In this scenario, we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party,” read the memo.

“Pied Piper candidates include, but aren’t limited to:
• Ted Cruz
• Donald Trump
• Ben Carson
We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to [take] them seriously.”

Eleven days after those comments about McCain, Clinton aides sought to push the plan even further: An agenda item for top aides’ message planning meeting read, “How do we prevent Bush from bettering himself/how do we maximize Trump and others?”

They wouldn’t have to work very hard at it though; the debates were the beginning of the end for the candidate Clinton’s team always thought she would face on Election Day. The day after the first debate in August, Clinton confidante Neera Tanden emailed Podesta her analysis: “Bush sucked. I’m glad Hillary is obsessed with the one candidate who would be easiest to beat 🙂 Besides Trump, of course.”

“Just like everybody, I thought this was a Bush against a Clinton, that’s all it was going to be,” said former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. “When I saw the first set of debates, I would turn them on in an entertainment mode to see what Donald’s going to say today. It was funny.”


In fact, when one looks back on the unfettered access that Joe Scarborough gave Trump to Morning Joe, it could cause one to wonder to what extent this was part of a larger strategy.

The elevation of Trump, however, does not seem to be a strategy that had its genesis in the Brooklyn crackhouse that served as the Clinton campaign headquarters. To the contrary, the Dr. Frankenstein behind this idea was a well-practiced master of disaster:

More discussion from the guy who posted the image from the book:


I don’t see how being held up to public ridicule by Obama can possibly be discounted as something that convinced Trump to run for president. In fact, it is very much in sync with what we know about Trump.

Now, did he expect to win when he launched his campaign? I don’t think so. There was an interview by an early member of Team Trump that gave the distinct impression that he wanted a credible showing as a springboard to more reality television. And a book that appeared shortly after the election alleged that he had a deal with Christie to drop out and endorse the former New Jersey governor.

But it is not difficult at all to see the razzing he took over the Obama birth certificate really irking him. And, conversely, Obama gave Trump a visibility and credibility he didn’t previously have. And it is easy to see how the Clinton campaign adopted an “elevate Trump” strategy because it came from the White House.


Like what you see? Then visit my story archive.

I’m on Facebook. Drop by and join the fun there.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos