Republicans Learned the Wrong Lessons From 2014

Con­sider: Des­pite be­ing the front-run­ner, Trump has al­most en­tirely avoided at­tack ads against him, from both rival cam­paigns and out­side groups. Out­side GOP or­gan­iz­a­tions have shown little in­terest in or­gan­iz­ing against a can­did­ate they all view as un­elect­able against Hil­lary Clin­ton. Can­did­ates are so fo­cused on their short-term in­terests that they’re neg­lect­ing the big­ger pic­ture for the party. If Trump wins Iowa and New Hamp­shire—blow­ing up the the­ory that his sup­port will dis­sip­ate as vot­ing nears—any ef­forts to blunt his ap­peal will be too little, too late.

“Run­ning Co­chran’s cam­paign gave me a dif­fer­ent per­spect­ive than some—and helped me un­der­stand Trump as soon as it was ap­par­ent he was con­nect­ing with voters,” said Bar­bour. “I’ve seen this movie be­fore.” Ex­cept this time, no one is play­ing Bar­bour’s role as the cap­tain steer­ing the party ship away from danger.

National Journal
1/5/16