If Donald Trump is mad about how people are reacting to him coming in second place in Iowa, then Donald Trump doesn’t understand business as well as he’d have us believe.
Because in business, it’s all about expectation, not production.
Many of us learned this lesson when we decided we were going to launch into a career day trading stocks. We pull up the earnings report of a company we like, we watch it grow, we know it’s growing, we invest, and then when the report comes in the stock crashes and we lose our profit.
In America, it’s not about the reality, it’s about the perception.
Here’s an example for Mr. Trump from the world of business he knows so well:
Company A is expected to lose $5 million, their financial report comes out and they end up losing only $1 million. The stock prices go up.
Company B expects to earn $5 million, misses that figure but still earns a $1 million profit, the stock is likely to crash.
Because the market, the investors, have built in expectations. And after three months of Trump setting our expectations so high that he could literally stand in the middle of the street and go on a murder spree and win by 40 points, his 2nd place showing is catastrophic.
Back in the old days there was a football league called the XFL, headed by the professional wrestling crowd and NBC. They promised ratings as high as the NFL, pushed and promoted the game, and then when ratings came back below the NFL, the league folded. The XFL beat baseball and basketball in the ratings, but advertisers were expecting NFL numbers so that didn’t matter.
So why am I telling you this?
Because Trump knows this. He has to know this.
Trump’s baffled demeanor says more about the man than any old soundbites could.
Donald Trump is an actor. He’s a better actor than Ronald Reagan and he’s well into Act 1 of a play that most of us haven’t seen or heard of. The man who attacks Ted Cruz “from the right” with the support of a cast and crew with the best conservative credentials in America is possibly the only man who could defeat him.
And with Speaker Paul Ryan’s appearance at a Heritage event on Wednesday, lecturing us “from the left” (as Republicans) for throwing a temper tantrum and supporting Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa, there’s a funny feeling that many of us conservatives are starting to get.
We’re being set up.
Would Ryan be lecturing us if Trump came in first? We may never know, but I’m guessing he would not.
Trump can be brushed aside, humiliated, not taken seriously. Or, can he be bought? Can a man so consumed with money and power really not be bought? Can’t you buy someone with power?
We know that Trump can consume the energies of many Tea Party activists by attacking and poking fun at their favorite target, the political establishment.
But the establishment just found out that consuming energy and taking away votes appear to be different things.
If money really is power than the wealthiest people in America are sitting in Washington.
And Trump, the dealmaker, may be making the ultimate deal to sink the ultimate anti-establishment candidate: Ted Cruz.
With Trump failing, the deal might be falling apart before our very eyes.