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The Melania And Rudy Show Built The Trump Brand

Day One of Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention – and make no mistake about it this is Donald Trump’s convention – was notable in many ways large and small, but the most important was its minimal airtime for politicians, especially establishment Republican politicians. 

And this is exactly how Trump’s people wanted it. 

Donald and Melania TrumpHaving a bevy of establishment Republican politicians like the Senate’s Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush would have stepped on Donald Trump’s message that he’s the anti-establishment candidate. 

So instead of establishment Republican politicians that millions of Americans hate, Trump got his message out – verbally and non-verbally – through a host of decidedly non-establishment speakers and advocates. 

And it worked. 

Can you imagine the buttoned-down uptight Romney crowd putting the hirsuite Willie Robertson, star of the hit TV series “Duck Dynasty,” on stage? 

Or Calvin Klein male fashion model and actor – and legal immigrant – Antonio Sabato Jr. on national TV to sell their candidate? 

Never happen. 

But the Trump people and Donald Trump understand marketing and communications on a completely different level than your typical establishment Republican politician, and so they understand that not only is “the medium is the message,” as media genius Marshall McLuhan insightfully put it, but that sometimes “the messenger is the message.” 

And so Trump’s message of “I’m not one of them” came through loud and clear last night, even as the establishment media talking heads keep wanting to make a big deal out of the fact that certain politicians weren’t on the stage. 

That doesn’t mean there were absolutely no politicians; freshman Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Joni Ernst of Iowa spoke, Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee was perhaps the most notable Capitol Hill establishment figure to speak and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, revered among populists and believers in American exceptionalism, also spoke. 

But the strongest messages – indeed the core messages of the Trump campaign – were delivered for the most part by non-politicians, such as Benghazi heroes Mark Geist (OZ) and John Tiegen (TIG), Milwaukee Country Sheriff David A. Clarke and Patricia Smith, whose son Foreign Service computer specialist Sean Smith was also killed in Benghazi. 

Law and order, the truth that Hillary Clinton is a liar and directly responsible for the deaths of brave Americans, and the dangers of her policies on Islam and the Middle East were delivered not by Henry Kissinger or some other striped pants diplomat or scholar.

Those powerful messages were delivered by a mother, a county sheriff and two brave Americans who fought an epic stand worthy of the Chosin Reservoir, The Lost Battalion or Landing Zone X-Ray, and became through their book and movie “13 hours” heroes that to this day remain unacknowledged by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. 

In an evening program of strong messages and unconventional messengers two stood out to me; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump’s wife Melania. 

There is probably no one at the national level of Republican politics who has known Donald Trump longer, and knows him better than Rudy Giuliani. 

And there’s probably no Republican politician who does not share the conservative social agenda and yet retains tremendous respect and credibility with the conservative grassroots than Rudy Giuliani. 

Until Donald Trump came along, for conservatives west of the Henry Hudson Parkway Rudy Giuliani was the only New Yorker who actually resonated – and especially after 911 – came to represent the spirit, the pride, the greatness, the vast economic success of New York. 

So when Giuliani said:

I have known Donald Trump for almost 30 years. And he has created and accomplished great things.   But beyond that this is a man with a big heart. 

Every time New York City suffered a tragedy, Donald Trump was there to help. 

And he did it anonymously. (I bet that's a surprise) 

You deserve to know this personal side about our next President.  He has been a great father, father-in-law, grandfather and friend to me and my family. 

He will keep us safe and help us achieve and embrace our greatness

Even conservatives who most assuredly disagree with Giuliani's position on many items on the conservative agenda found his message about Trump pursuasive and credible.

That's because when Rudy Giuliani took the stage Donald Trump wasn’t being endorsed by a politician – a former Mayor and unsuccessful presidential candidate – he was being endorsed by the Empire State Building, the New World Trade Center and the muscular power that Americans use to associate with New York, before it was abandoned (once again) to the Democrats and to squeegee men, Occupy Wall Street, street thugs and Far Left liberal corruption and craziness about regulating soft drinks and gender pronouns. 

Likewise, the key to Mrs. Trump’s effectiveness was not so much what she said, it was how she said it and how she presented herself. 

And once again we look to Marshall McLuhan to understand that Mrs. Trump’s role was one of refined and highly targeted communications, which to my mind she executed with precision as America’s first political spokesmodel. 

This is not meant as criticism of Mrs. Trump, quite the opposite. 

In the world of commercial and retail mass marketing no one would hire Bill Clinton to sell anything, especially his wife. 

It is no different in politics – unless you are a Kool aide-drinking liberal – no one wants to buy anything from the crude, grasping, horndog-in-chief Bill Clinton. 

And just by showing up he’s a one-man reminder of the scandals, the avarice, the lies and the two Americas – the lawless elite and the rest of us – that Obama and Clinton have created. 

Mrs. Trump, on the other hand, communicated a sophisticated grace, humor and glamour – the essence of the Trump brand for his hotels and office buildings – which is simply another side of Trump’s “Make America Great” political message. 

Unlike the other speakers, Mrs. Trump wasn’t on the stage to sell policy or any other ideas, she was there as the embodiment of the Trump brand, a role she played exceedingly well. 

In the early days of TV one of the ways consumer products built their brand was to sponsor television variety shows and dramas, such as the General Electric Theatre hosted by Ronald Reagan.

Had Reagan hosted the Children’s Hour or the Howdy Doody Show he would have never been President because there was a symbiotic relationship in those shows; the quality of the content reinforced the brand of the host, just as the host’s polished delivery and informed commentary reinforced the sponsoring brand and its products. 

And that really summarizes Day One of Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention. Trump’s goal, as we see it, was to build and reinforce his brand, as much through non-verbal as through verbal communications. 

By keeping establishment Republicans like Paul Ryan, that millions of Americans hate, off the stage, and by putting Mrs. Trump, the very embodiment of the Trump brand, plus a highly targeted group of political outsiders on the stage, Trump went far in accomplish that goal.

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Good Analysis on Trump 2016 Convention

I agree with you in your perspective. Trump knows about building brand from his many years as the Star of Celebrity Apprentice.
I bet many do not know that Eric Trump sponsors his own Charity for The St. Jude Children's Hospital by raising money for the hospital every year, as much as over $6,000,000.00 from this Trump Foundation which isn't a hedge fund as the Clinton Foundation. The St. Jude Children's Hospital is a non-profit and Eric has been a huge contributor to keep it State of the Art for Technology advanced Cancer treatment for children, and has been named #1 Children's Hospital in the world (That's a big deal and should be noted when comparing candidates).
Melania gave a stellar speech, and did a perfect delivery. She's also a good brand for Legal Immigration. Trump knows about class and elegance and has made it apparent on the first Rocky Day of the Convention.