Donald Trump is the owner of this shiny new car, the Republican nomination. But he’s going to drive it like all the others would have. He’s hiring pollsters. He’s taking bundled money. He’s buying red meat by the truckload. He’s driving the car as a Republican.
Meanwhile, he’s got the right-wing talk radio blaring from the speakers. He’s left the emergency brake on with regard to his tax returns. He’s got a Palin-wing Tea Party bumper sticker on the rear bumper. He’s disabled the clean burn program and ripped off the particulate filter so he can spew dark gray clouds out behind him. But he’s driving like a Republican: safe, following the GPS voice of the mega-donors.
Trump bought the damn thing with the dream of wind in his hair with the top down, but now he’s saying to himself, “I could drive this thing into the White House. Better slow down a bit.” The Republican Party is divided, but so is the candidate himself. He’s trying to figure out if he sticks to his script or if he goes mainstream. Even the struggles within his own campaign reflect that.
His surrogates and he himself try to backtrack on things a bit. “Just a suggestion” one day, then slamming Clinton for her opposition to unconstitutionally banning Muslim immigration (refugee or otherwise!). A surrogate says they won’t build any wall, most likely, but has to add that Trump will contradict him. Putting one guy in charge of the campaign, then that guy saying Trump’s in charge.
Maybe they should throw a Student Driver topper over top the Make America Great Again roof-paint. Let people know he’s still trying to figure out who he wants to be as a candidate. He’s stopping every five miles to top-off the tank and wipe the windshield.
In 2008 Senator John McCain made it official by slapping the Palin sticker on the bumper, and now Trump’s got his own bobblehead stuck on the dashboard. But while the GOP is largely embracing Trump, Trump may not be capable of reciprocating. He’s far too unsure as a person. He’ll go along as long as he gets his way (whatever it is, minute to minute), but as soon as he feels slighted, he will lash out at so-called allies and party-members. And then he’ll make doe-eyes at the reconciliation interview, just as with that Megyn Kelly interview.
So, yes, Trump will drive mostly like a Republican, but that ride is a minute-to-minute rollercoaster where you’re not sure if you’ll crash, take flight, or arrive safely. Or maybe you’re still parked in the driveway, and he’s just making vroom-vroom noises, pretending like he’s tooling down the strip.