If you are to win the Republican nomination and then remain viable, you must do three things. First, get a top notch tech team up and running, the sooner the better. Second, build bridges to Southern Republicans, who have yet to cotton to you. Third, lessen your tropism toward Wall Street.
Before I forget, there are also things of substance. After the failures of Iraq and Obamacare, the country needs a president who can just “do it,” who is not swept up into believing that he hears God’s call or is enamored with his own Messianic pretensions.
Kicking demon rum and delivering a message of personal redemption are not qualifications for the office. Speaking in front of Greek columns while accepting a nomination, stressing your own transformational capacities, should only make one a motivational speaker—and nothing more.
America is tired of avatars and ideologues. Reality calls.
Over the last dozen years, we have been sadly reminded that basic competence matters and that grandiosity is not what is needed first and foremost. Élan helps, a common touch is useful, and a narrative can be compelling. But they are not ends in themselves.
If we are looking at you going toe-to-toe with Hillary on Election Day 2016, it may not necessarily feel ennobling, and it will likely be devoid of the Vision Thing, thankfully. But it will be normal, and these days that’s plenty.