Much has been made of the “change in tone” of the Republican front-runner’s victory speech last night in New York. He actually got a ton of credit from media personalities for not calling Cruz “Lyin Ted” for a change. And suddenly the nationally unpopular GOP leader has been getting a lot of credit from journalists for being “more disciplined” as a candidate. Well, as Antonin Scalia might say if he weren’t permanently visiting that great hunting ground in the sky, what a load of jiggery-pokery. Once a Drumpf always a Drumpf.
I don’t give a damn if he tidies up his act for the cameras, now that some real professionals are taking over his campaign, replacing the creepy groupies who have helped him get this far in a creepy Republican primary. He can’t un-birth his birtherism. He can’t un-bigot himself. He can’t take back all those nasty things he said about Mexicans and Muslims. He can’t suddenly cast away the David Duke-ish nature of his quasi-racist campaign or slither away from his slimy, misogynistic meanderings. He can put on a Mr. Rogers mask, but underneath there will always be a Drumpf peeking out.
Just last night, while trying to sound “presidential,” there stood behind the GOP buffoon one of the most buffoonish characters in New York Republican politics, second only to Drumpf himself. His name is Carl Paladino, a prominent Drumpf surrogate who ran for governor in 2010 and promptly got crushed by Andrew Cuomo because, well, the guy is a weirdo. Oh, and he likes to promote racism, too.
And what I found amazing about all the cable TV coverage of Drumpf’s decisive victory last night, coverage in which he was given too much credit for changing his manners, no one on TV, at least that I saw, mentioned that Carl Paladino was standing right behind him on the stage. Why is that? In all the rush to anoint an allegedly new and improved GOP presidential candidate, why wouldn’t it be relevant to mention that the “more disciplined” Drumpf was sharing the stage with someone who was caught forwarding racist emails, one of which depicted President Obama as a pimp and his wife as a hooker, and another—once all the rage on white supremacist websites—that was titled “Obama Inauguration Rehearsal” and featured a video of African tribesmen dancing? Is this the way the straight media are going to cover a slicker Drumpf from now on? Just ignore shit?
I doubt it. After journalists get over the shock of Drumpf’s slight change in campaign etiquette, Hillary Clinton will be around to remind them all of just how bad even a lipsticked Drumpf really is.