Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for September 2015


  • Bimbo
  • September 8, 2015
  • by Spaeth Communications

September 2015

This month’s Memo is a little different. The official “winner” is presidential candidate Donald Trump, but not for the reason you might think; it’s because of what he could have accomplished. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign contributed a number of BIMBOs and examples of what not to say. Additional BIMBOs and the Wrong Thing to Say come from a variety of political leaders. A scathing article in The New York Times about Amazon illustrates the risks of ignoring the press, but CEO Jeff Bezos’ response and letter to his employees is worth reading. And we end with a very funny quote from an Alabama State Senator.

THE WINNING BIMBO

“Bully isn’t a word I would use for him because I know him. Trump is trying to brand himself with the principle of authenticity…that allows him to be a little bit of a bad boy,” said Kate Bohner, co-author of Donald Trump’s 1997 book, “Trump: the Art of the Comeback.” (Of course, Trump is the very definition of a bully, an authentic bully. And he’s not “a little bit of a bad boy;” he’s causing significant damage to the Republican Party. He’s this month’s BIMBO for demonstrating the power of words, how they get repeated – endlessly. He’s also the “winner” this month because he could have been in a position to do so much good. The political class, including the establishment Republicans, have failed and betrayed the American people and Trump has the celebrity, the appeal and the ability to communicate the problems facing the country and the solutions. Instead, he has retreated to the cheap thrill of insulting people just to see his name in the media. He famously began by saying that Latino immigrants coming across the border illegally were “rapists and murderers.” Then he turned on the people who should be his allies. In addition to insulting Sen. John McCain and Fox anchor Megyn Kelly, he described Jeb Bush as “low energy,” said Carly Fiorina gives him a “headache” and taunted Sen. Lindsay Graham on polling. When Erick Erickson rescinded Trump’s invitation to the RedState conference, Trump sneered, “This guy’s a loser. He’s backed so many candidates who have lost.” He says whatever pops into his mind without any thought, claiming that Ferguson is overrun with gangs of immigrants “here illegally. And they’re rough dudes.” This prompted Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, a Republican, to observe, “He’s just looking for a headline, and we gave him one.” Back to this concept of what he could have accomplished if he used every opportunity to say something positive. Imagine if Trump had carved out this role for himself, elected a conservative president and helped the country achieve tax reform, a balanced budget, a government-efficiency program, school choice, regulatory reforms….You think the Lincoln Memorial looks nice? The Trump Tower erected in his honor and memory on the National Mall would make Trump Tower on 5th Avenue look impish. Is it too late for Trump? Well, “The Art of the Comeback” could prove prescient. He could fire the bad boy Donald and take on the role of learning something about all the existing candidates and shepherding a new “government of the people, for the people, by the people” into existence. What do you call someone who does that? Oh yes, an “apprentice.”)

Multiple press reports, including:

The Washington Post, “Ferguson’s GOP mayor to Trump: You’re wrong – there are no ‘roving bands of illegal immigrants here,” Aug. 26, 2015
The Wall Street Journal, “Donald Trump Insults Rattle Republican Rivals, Please Fans,” Aug. 27, 2015
CNN, “Donald Trump: No apology on ‘blood’ remark and GOP backlash,” Aug. 10, 2015

THE RUNNERS-UP

“Of course, there’s not a full-scale Democratic freak-out,” said James Carville, trying to tamp down stories that Hillary Clinton’s problems with the escalating scandal over her State Department emails were causing prominent Democrats to rethink their support of her nomination. (This is a nice example of the power of words and how they get repeated. It started with a column in the Washington Post reporting that there was a “full scale Democratic freak-out” about the viability of the Clinton campaign. That story was actually one of a spate of stories depicting Democrats in “panic mode.” Simultaneously, a poll came out showing the majority of the American people do not find her “trustworthy.” And the Clinton campaign issued a mass email with the phrase, “No information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them,” which provided lots of fodder for experts to point out that whether an email was officially marked “classified,” the Secretary of State knew or should have known that lots of innocent-sounding emails or information can be damaging because of how the information was collected. The email also contained the BIMBO line, “To be clear, there is absolutely no criminal inquiry into Hillary’s email or email server,” which was also immediately proven false when the FBI got involved at the request of the State Department’s Inspector General and the IG for the intelligence community. Remember last month when the attorney for Subway spokesman Jared Fogle tried the same tactic initially saying, “There’s no criminal charge.” Carville’s lengthy and passionate defense of Mrs. Clinton also called the scandal “garbage,” which ended up in the headline and had the unfortunately double entendre of just what was garbage. We don’t really have anything to add to this because of the extensive comment about Crisis 101 and the need to get everything out as quickly as possible and not let it drip, drip, drip. There was an embarrassment of material on this topic this month, with former Attorney General Michael Mukasey weighing in about whether Mrs. Clinton was being investigated by saying “The FBI doesn’t investigate machines, it investigates people.” It was a nice, strong quote that he then undercut by saying, “This is not a political witch hunt.” This is going into the PR history books as a case study.)

Washington Examiner, “Carville: Clinton scandal ‘garbage,’ doesn’t add up to a ‘hill of beans,’” Aug. 19, 2015

“This is not anti-Hillary Clinton,” said presidential hopeful and socialist Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., adding “Democratic leaders are not dumb” in discussing his rise in the polls alongside former Secretary of State Clinton’s decrease. (Note that the denial made it into the headline, as so frequently happens.)

The Huffington Post, “Bernie Sanders: My Supporters Are 'Not Anti-Hillary Clinton,'” Aug. 30, 2015

Don’t “paint us as ignorant hillbillies,” said a rifle-toting man identified as Eagle One outside a gun range in Oklahoma, which posted a sign saying it was “Muslim-free.” During the protest, he dropped the gun and shot himself in the foot, prompting the sheriff to observe that the men “have no idea of weapons safety. It’s like the Clampetts have come to town.” The sheriff’s remarks were promptly picked up by the local press, drew the “hillbilly” quote above and went viral. (Sigh. What’s the slogan? If the shoe–boot?–fits, wear it. And the negative words made it into the headline.)

Salon, “’Don’t paint us as hillbillies’: Man guarding ‘Muslim-free’ gun range bends over, drops weapon, accidentally shoots self,” Aug. 19, 2015

“I’m not a racist,” said a tearful Hulk Hogan on Good Morning America. (The superstar wrestler was fired from the WWE over a July rant in which he used the ‘n’ word as well as obscenities. In the GMA interview, Hogan claimed, “There’s not a racist bone in my body,” and blamed his growing up in a poor environment. The verbal explosion, caught on video, was triggered in a conversation about his daughter’s boyfriend. Our view: he may not have a racist bone in his body, but he sure has a foul mouth. He should have been smart enough to know the history of racial slurs as well as the swift retribution for anyone using them, even the rich and famous.)

The Wrap, “Hulk Hogan Breaks Silence After N-Word Scandal: ‘I’m Not a Racist, Please Forgive Me,’” Aug. 31, 2015

“I’m not pointing fingers,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, about a letter to President Obama advising that he planned to oppose the Iran agreement. Since the senator had not yet advised his own senatorial colleagues, speculation was that the President or the White House leaked the letter to pressure the senator. (Of course, the White House leaked the letter. The White House has been sniping at the senator since he began voicing misgivings about the Iran disaster to his Jewish constituents. What’s surprising is the nastiness of the criticism from Obama supporters. David Plouffe, a former Senior White House Advisor, noted that Senate Majority Leader “Mitch McConnell will have a field day with this kind of naiveté.” We’re not big Schumer fans, especially since he’s a world class leaker himself and caused IndyMac bank to fail by sending a letter to the FDIC wondering whether the bank was at risk of “failure.” He leaked the letter to the press; there was a run on the bank, and it failed. But we don’t think anyone can accuse Schumer of being “naïve.”)

CNN, “Schumer points to White House in leak of Iran vote position,” Aug. 11, 2015

WRONG THING TO SAY (AND DO)

“Thomas Jefferson owned slaves,” is the reason a long list of local and state Democratic Parties are renaming their traditional Jefferson-Jackson annual dinners. They’re dumping Founding Father Jefferson in order to pander to low-information citizens who hear the word “slave” and make no effort to learn more about this remarkable man. Rutgers Professor Ross Baker identified this misguided approach as “presentism,” an academic term meaning to apply the standard of today to the past. Historian and activist David Barton noted that Jefferson had strong views against slavery, wrote extensively condemning it and tried to write a prohibition into the Declaration of Independence. Why didn’t Jefferson free his slaves? Emancipation would have been prohibitively expensive for Jefferson and even against state law. Our view? If the Democrats are dumping Jefferson–author of the Declaration of Independence, advocate for limited government and citizen service and so much else—the Republicans should step up and claim him.

USA Today, “Democrats foolishly purge heroes,” Aug. 10, 2015

“They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus,” President Obama pandered to his base criticizing Republicans who were speaking out about the Iran agreement. The president compared them to Iranian hardliners who also oppose the deal. (Our view: a thoroughly unpresidential outlook. His statement rings similar to Hillary Clinton’s claim that terrorist extremists who rape and kidnap women are in the same category as conservatives criticizing Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal tissue. It’s become almost impossible to have a discussion comparing ideas.)

White House Press office, “Remarks by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal,” Aug. 5, 2015

BAD STORY/ GOOD RESPONSE

The New York Times ran a long, scathing piece depicting Amazon as a place where employees were pitted against each other, long hours demanded, personal lives and needs not just diminished but ridiculed and on and on. The article had the appearance of truth because the Times interviewed dozens of people. Of course, those of us who know how investigative pieces are compiled know that we could write an article about Mother Theresa’s operation as a cover for gun runners if you give us enough time. It looks like Amazon ignored the article – which was a mistake, but CEO Jeff Bezos’ response gets an A+. He wrote a thoughtful letter to all employees, first encouraging them to read the article and saying, “I don’t recognize this Amazon, and I very much hope you don’t either.”

GeekWire, “Full memo:  Jeff Bezos responds to brutal NYT story, says it doesn’t represent the Amazon he leads,” Aug. 16, 2015

GREAT QUOTE

“We’re like kudzu. All over the place and not worth a darn,” said Alabama State Senator Dick Brewbaker, R-Pike Road, after the legislature started a special session to handle the state’s budget shortfall. As lawmakers squabbled, Sen. Brewbaker came up with a highly quotable description. (Great quote: Alabama’s Republican governor wants to raise $300 million in taxes; some senators are dead set against that. The House has come up with a cigarette tax increase. Others have floated allowing gambling and casinos in the state. We’ll see if Sen. Brewbaker’s words have an impact. Aren’t they experimenting with letting goats loose to control kudzu?)

The Associated Press, “As Alabama Legislature special session resumes, still no agreement on budget,” Aug. 4, 2015



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