Rick's List — 'Fessin' Up Edition
It's time to come clean. I can no longer sit by and allow President Trump to take credit for his successful, popular, blustery, clumsy and often buffoonish "ad-libbed" remarks designed to irritate left-leaning reporters and, at the same time, delight and satiate his core following.
Y'see, his remarks aren't ad-libbed. In fact, they're not even Trump's own words.
What happened is, I was called fairly early in Trump's presidential campaign by some of his fixers who realized his target demographic — those citizens in the hinterlands who feel ignored or trod upon by career bureaucrats — might respond to raw, cocky, street corner rhetoric as opposed to a wispy candidate "acting Presidential."
"Can you give Donald some snotty edges?" I was asked.
"It would be an honor to serve my country," I said.
When I met Trump, he was nothing like his public persona which, thanks mostly to me, has exponentially grown more boorish, sausage-handed and obscene. I walked in his office in 2015 and he was standing and looking out a floor-to-ceiling window at Manhattan. And I realized he was softly reciting Pablo Neruda and weeping.
"This stops NOW!" I said, cuffing him smartly in the back of his shellacked head.
"But poetry is so beautiful," Trump said softly. From overhead I heard what I thought was someone striking a snare drum, once, followed by giggling.
"What the hell?" I said.
Trump shook his head, annoyed. "My sons are on the roof. They stand 15 feet apart, then charge and smash each other, skull-to-skull, like maddened elk. How I hate them!"
Hmm. This guy was too sensitive to be president. Still, I had to try. I gathered a team that included the scriptwriter from the original "Batman" TV show with Adam West; a blustery pro wrestler; and an expert on annoyingly dumb and awkward cliches. Excerpts from our strategy confabs:
1. "Donald, you may not always be able to say POW! or BAM! or SOCKO! like we projected onscreen during 'Batman' fist fights," said the TV writer. "But try imagine yourself as a forceful, mule-like dolt."
2. Wrestler Barn-Door Huggins offered, "If someone suggests you're lacking in popularity, trot THIS gem out with a sneer: 'I could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and no one would care!' But remember, it's a one-time H-bomb of a quote."
3. And the cliche expert advised, "Imagine a Special Forces team kills a major terrorist. First, say the terrorist died like a dog — suggesting cowardness — and then turn immediately around and praise the nobilty of the dog used by Special Forces to flush out the villain. The rest of America will scratch their heads over your contradictory dog imagery, but your supporters will grin and nod happily like you somehow made sense."
4. And I added, "Trump, you're a romantic simp, but ALWAYS insult war vets and refer to yourself as 'a very stable genius.'" Then he and I rammed heads.