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Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!

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by Jack Beatty

“If this doesn’t work out, I’ll still be on Pennsylvania Avenue.” — Donald Trump

One loss and Donald Trump is thinking about life after losing! Two days after finishing second in Iowa, he voiced the “look on the bright side” sentiment above to a good-natured crowd in Exeter, NH on Thursday, February 4. (“This” refers to his quest for the White House; “still” to the hotel he is building on Pennsylvania Avenue.)

It will be “one of the Great Hotels of the World,” Trump told the cheering crowd, and I think I heard him say that its upper floors look down on the White House. I’m not suggesting Trump is seeking advance consolation for losing the GOP primary. He is.

This revealing moment escaped the headlines because it was buried in the avalanche of free association that is a Trump speech. Also scattered across the debris field were applause-winning lines about self-financing his campaign: “I’m getting money from nobody.” And lines about the wall on the border with Mexico: “We’re talking about a Trump Wall!”

A line about “anchor babies” drew a knowing laugh from the crowd. “Nobody else has anchor babies. Not Europe. Not Canada. Well…Canada has one…”

Various, unspecified plans lay thick upon the ground. “My plans are so good!” Trump said. He had a plan to save Social Security, but did not describe it. He had a tax plan, and “Larry Kudlow” liked it. He had a “very strong plan” to defeat ISIS, but would not detail it: “We need to be unpredictable,” he advised his supporters. And there were a lot of “bring backs” — as in, under a President Trump, we’ll bring back the $2.5 trillion that U.S. corporations have parked abroad, the jobs lost to China and Mexico, and “Merry Christmas!”

The “news” of the speech (“Is Trump Getting Ready to Lose?”) was interred with these shards of the Trump mind and others, including China, Japan, Generals Patton and McArthur, the Iran nukes deal, fraud in the V.A., the time it would take him to work out with Congress the bring back of those trillions abroad (“Twenty minutes’), and the professionalism of the General Services Agency, which accepted his bid for the old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue. So no one noticed.

“I’m outta here!”

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On Point news analyst Jack Beatty is sending us dispatches from his home state of New Hampshire, as the 2016 candidates for President make their final pitch to voters in the Granite State. Sign up for Jack’s Notes from New Hampshire Newsletter here!

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