Say what you will about Donald Trump — like he’s evil and morally bankrupt, possibly a traitor and maybe now impeachable — he has been a brilliant marketer of his own brand. Up to now, anyway.
That’s not just me saying that. That’s what Donny Deutsch, the MSNBC correspondent and former CEO of the Deutsch ad agency told an Advertising Week crowd at a late Wednesday afternoon session in New York.
Deutsch and New Yorker writer and author Ken Auletta talked politics and branding at the session. “He projects strength,” said Deutsch of Trump and his brand.
At least that’s been the case up to now.
But the latest revelations about his trying to get the Ukrainian president to meddle in American politics basically to help get himself reelected, and this week’s subsequent impeachment inquiry, may just be Trump’s undoing, Deutsch told Auletta.
The reason: The Democrats now have a much easier story to sell to the American public, versus the complex obstruction of justice “process” story the Mueller investigation took years to research. In the end, special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress left a lot of people scratching their heads wondering what to make of it all.
“You have to sell impeachment to the public,” Deutsch said. “The average person gets it,” he added, referring to the Ukrainian story. Now it’s much harder for Trump to play the victim/witch-hunt card.
As for the Democrats, Deutsch said Joe Biden is likely the party’s best shot at winning the 2020 presidential campaign. He’s the voice of stability at an unstable time. The family “uncle” with the gravitas and experience to come in to make things right again.
Biden may stumble now and then and stick his foot in his mouth, but he doesn’t “scare” people, said Deutsch. Unlike Elizabeth Warren, who Deutsch said is “impressive,” but, unfairly or not, many people see as a socialist versus a populist given some of her stands, such as universal healthcare coverage.
“If they stay in the middle, the Democrats win,” said Deutsch. The Democratic strategy shouldn’t be “he’s a racist.” Instead, the strategy should focus on Trump’s plan not working and on issues that voters respond to, like the economy, which appears headed for a downturn.
And who knows, maybe a year from now, we’re looking at a Biden-Pence presidential contest. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.