Why you cannot write off Donald Trump

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Why you cannot write off Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

Is this the real Trump? Or is it a campaign gimmick? It's both in our assessment.

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Published: Sat 16 Jan 2016, 7:43 PM

For those who think Donald Trump will fall foul of his own rhetoric and won't last the long haul, think again. The Republican frontrunner for the White House is getting better with every debate. What's interesting is that he's showing a softer side to what is often perceived as an abrasive personality. He appears to be a candidate keen on gaining wider acceptance after shocking people with his tirade against Muslims, women and refugees in the early phase of his campaign. Trump wants to be taken seriously on issues and the ploy is working. Thursday night's debate brought forth his trademark combative style and a sensitive side largely hidden from public view. 'Here is a man with heart,' was the subtle message.
Trump can afford to be both at this stage because he knows he has a decent lead over his closest opponent Ted Cruz. You may hate the property moghul, but you cannot ignore his ability to win in a divided America; forgetful of her past glories, cautious of the present and unsure of her future in a world that is in a midst of another churning. So, as the shock of his early vitriol wears off, he is unabashedly spreading the net wider to lure a larger voter base beyond his conservative friends shaken by the uncertainty of these times.
Is this the real Trump? Or is it a campaign gimmick? It's both in our assessment. He may not be the favourite of some powerful party colleagues like Nikki Haley.
When confronted with her views on him, he reached out and disarmed her with his wit. ''Wherever you are sitting Nikki, I'm a friend. We're friends. That's good.''
He then said what is expected of him as his suporters launched into applause. ''I'm very angry because our country is being run horribly and I will gladly accept the mantle of anger. Our military is a disaster. Our health care is horror show. Obamacare, we're going to repeal it and replace it....'' We'll spare you the rest of the rant.
Trump's campaign to Make America Great Again is now about controlled aggression. This was evident when he said, ''..and I won't be angry when we fix it but until we fix it, I'm very, very angry. I say that to Nikki. So when Nikki said that, I wasn't offended. She said the truth.''
Amidst the barbs, fiery exchanges and the breaking of truce with Cruz, his best lines were reserved in defence of New Yorkers. "...and the people in New York fought and fought and fought, and we saw more death and even the smell of death. Nobody understood it. And it was with us for months. The smell. The air. And we rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched, and everybody in the world loved New York and loved New Yorkers, and I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made.''
Those words from the man we love to hate struck a chord with the audience. It could be a game-changer for Trump. His opponents, Cruz in particular, could find the game slipping away.

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