Donald Trump has been stealing the spotlight in American Politics. It may or may not come as a surprise to you, but Donald Trump is the current frontrunner of the Republican’s Party 2016 Presidential Candidates. His success in the presidential race comes from being the mere opposite of everything you expect from your typical presidential candidate.
American politics is known for being just plain old boring. Donald Trump isn’t afraid to break every PR rule and speak as he chooses. He’s not running your traditional presidential campaign; he’s presenting the real Donald. The real Donald speaks about controversial topics and stands by his controversial remarks. He doesn’t feel the need to speak in politically correct terms and beat around the bushes like other politicians. He’s honest. He’s fun. He has flair and as outrageous as he may be, he attracts attention. His PR strategy is that he is Donald Trump.
Unlike other politicians, Donald Trump is able to create a story and give the press something to talk about. He knows how to make the headlines and what better way to do so than by creating and causing conflict. It’s a great tactic to draw attention to his personal brand and it gives the press something to write about.
Donald Trump takes criticism and welcomes mockery. However, that mockery comes at a cost. He isn’t afraid to play on the offensive and attack. He doesn’t believe in taking the higher road. It doesn’t matter if you are Jeb Bush, Hilary Clinton, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly or even if you’re one of the largest minority group in the United States. Call it distasteful or what you will, but his comments set him apart from other candidates.
Furthermore, Donald Trump spent years cultivating his “I’m rich” brand. Sure, he’s running for president, but that doesn’t mean he’s changing his image. Instead, he’s using his brand to his advantage. He’s already rich, which means he has nothing, at least financially, to gain from winning the presidency. Even if you’re not a Donald Trump fan, you’ve got to admit he’s been consistent with his brand even in the midst of running a presidential campaign.
Hillary Clinton has been in the spotlight for a long time now, first as first lady of the United States and also as Secretary of State. She has been in the public eye for so long, voters have a hard time seeing her as a human being and connecting with her. She hasn’t driven a car since 1996 and she is often cited as being very “robotic” like.
Hillary’s PR team is trying to rebrand her as a “champion for everyday Americans,” with a series of small-scale events for Clinton to meet everyday Americans and address their concerns. Earlier this month, she went on Saturday Night Live (SNL) and played the role of a bartender in a skit where Hillary Clinton (played by Kate McKinnon) enters a bar and talks to the bartender about how she’s a grandmother first, and secondly a citizen of this planet. Hillary mocks herself and addresses some criticism made against her in this SNL skit. She has made more efforts to make herself more relatable. Now, Clinton is working on providing more specific policy proposals to address everyday American problems (paying for college, saving for retirement, working families) to let her voters know she understands their struggles.
Unlike her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, who is playing on the offense; Hillary is playing defense. Being in the spotlight has given Hillary an advantage, as the mass public knows who she is, but it also brings a lot of problems for her. A few months back, a scandal broke where Hillary Clinton had used her personal email address to conduct state business. The media has extensively criticized Clinton’s use of her personal email, cast doubts and harmed her public image severely. Clinton has been sliding in the polls, and even now her favorability ratings have been in decline.
Another problem poses as many see Hillary’s victory to the presidency as “inevitable.” This “inevitability” deters voters from heading to the polls, which will harm Clinton’s poll results. Hillary will need to find a way to beat this “inevitability” and get voters to vote if she wants to win the presidency.
Jeb Bush’s PR team has quite a bit of work to do to get over the Bush family’s public image and getting out of his brother’s shadow. Jeb has been criticized that he lacks the energy needed for the presidency and he has been criticized for not fighting back against Donald Trump’s attacks on Bush and his campaign.
Jeb Bush and his team have decided to finally fight back against Trump. Bush released an online video that was very critical against Trump’s immigration reform and even called his plan to deport undocumented immigrants as “un-American.” This was a sudden change in strategy as Bush stayed silent and even went as far as saying he was “done” with Trump and “didn’t want to get into a food fight.” By taking on Donald Trump, Bush has been able to show his strengths and his capabilities in tackling America’s problems.
Jeb Bush’s latest tactic is showing himself as genuine and honest. In last month’s Republican presidential debate, Jeb Bush remained honest and charismatic when he was asked if he had ever tried marijuana. Many viewers felt that his answer was surprisingly refreshing from the usual Washington political-talk. This was beneficial to his public image and it was a bold move on his part.
What lies ahead for Jeb Bush and many of the other GOP candidates is distinguishing themselves from their opponents. Earlier last week in Iowa, Bush was asked about his promise to “defeat the Washington machine,” which was said by Rand Paul. Bush will need to work hard to create a unique and memorable platform for voters to separate Bush from the other GOP candidates.