Michael Barone - Trump pivoting away from tabloid campaigning

Donald Trump is the latest proof that the campaign always reflects the candidate and that the candidate is a product of his experience over the years. So, as Trump, after clinching the Republican nomination, reshuffles and rejiggers a campaign that has fallen behind Hillary Clinton, it's instructive to look at his political ground zero.

That would be New York and its tabloid politics. I first encountered this in summer 1961, on a family vacation to New York City. As a teenager I was allowed to travel on the subway (15 cent fare, a dollar gets you six tokens and a dime change) and arrange my own meals (a pizza slice — exotic food back home — for a quarter).

That was the summer of the primary between two-term Mayor Robert Wagner and a challenger supported by bosses who had backed Wagner twice before. You could watch the campaign in the headlines of the tabloid newspapers on the kiosks outside subway stations.

In those days, circulation of the easy-to-read-on-the-subway tabloids was "yuuuge": over 1 million for the Daily News and Daily Mirror, about 800,000 for the then-liberal New York Post. This was the media environment in which Donald Trump grew up.

Politics was part of the family business. His father, Fred Trump, was well-connected with machine Democrats in Brooklyn and Queens, which helped him get favorable zoning, land assembly and Mitchell-Lama subsidies for the giant apartment towers he built there.

The young Donald Trump was drawn to politics early on. At 19, he wangled a spot among the bigwigs at the ceremonies opening the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. In his 20s he capitalized on Trump contributions to the mayor and governor to make his first real estate deals in Manhattan.

In the years that followed he was an interested observer of New York's tabloid war campaigns. John Lindsay versus Nelson Rockefeller, Pat Moynihan versus Bella Abzug, Ed Koch versus Mario Cuomo, Al D'Amato versus Chuck Schumer: conflicts fought out in the morning and afternoon editions of the tabloids every day.

I remember watching David Garth, media consultant to Mayors John Lindsay, Edward Koch, Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, phoning tabloid reporters like Deborah Orin and TV anchormen like Gabe Pressman to feed them storylines and suggest headlines for their next edition or broadcast.

Sensational headlines were especially effective, dominating the front pages visible on kiosk stands. The Daily News' "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD!" helped Jimmy Carter carry New York in 1976. The New York Post's 1983 classic "HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR" epitomized the feeling that the city was being overwhelmed by violent crime.

It is commonly said that today's political campaigning, with blogs and Twitter feeds, with never-ending news cycles over every 24-hour period, is something entirely new. Well, up to a point.

Compressing your thoughts into 140-character tweets is not unlike attracting news kiosk browsers with a couple dozen ENORMOUS CAPITAL LETTERS on a tabloid front page. Sitting in your office giving phone interviews to selected media outlets is not all that different from what David Garth used to do.

Derogatory epithets — "Lyin' Ted," "Little Marco," "Crooked Hillary" — were the argot of tabloid headline writers, and insults got you on the front page. D'Amato's characterization of Schumer as a "putz" had lamentable echoes in the primary campaign.

There are limits to the effectiveness of tabloid-style campaigning. The tabloid wars were unique to New York for the obvious reason that no other city has anywhere close to as many subway riders and therefore as many tabloid buyers. And even there the tabloid wars seem a thing of the past. In New York's subways today you see more people reading their phones than staining their fingers with tabloid ink.

Moreover, even in the years of tabloid wars, New York candidates did other things — such as raising money, running television ads and drawing on experts and their own in-depth knowledge of government to come up with serious public policy proposals.

Until this week, Donald Trump has done very little along these lines. And having won the Republican nomination, he seems to have taken the view of many election winners: If his critics are so smart, how come their candidates lost and he won?

Now, firing his campaign manager and speaking with some seriousness about policy, he seems to have decided that updated-for-the-internet tabloid war politics, sufficient in the primaries, aren't enough for the general election. Let's see if he sticks to it.

(Syndicated columnist Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.)

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DJ's First U.S. Open win


When there is a major title on the line, there is bound to be some excitement over the four rounds of U.S. Open. This past weekend's U.S. Open was no walk in the park for the players or spectators. The U.S. Open returned to famed Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania for a record ninth time, making it the first course to host more U.S. Opens than any other course in history.

With 156 players set to tee off during the first round of the tournament on Thursday, inclement weather suspended play three times, creating a long weekend of golf for everyone involved. Over half of the field never had the opportunity to begin round one of play due to the weather. With the rest of the weekend forecasting zero participation, the tournament was going to have to be played from sunrise to sundown each day in order to complete the tournament by Sunday night.
It was a great weekend of golf to watch, with different names atop the leader board each round.

Shane Lowry had the lead going into the final round Sunday afternoon, with Dustin Johnson trailing behind. On the fifth hole of the fourth round, Johnson's ball moved backwards on the putting green. He had not addressed the ball, or grounded his putter. The United States Golf Association (USGA) believed he had caused the ball to move. However, Johnson and his playing partner, Lee Westwood, both confirmed that he did not cause the ball to move. This should have been the end of this discussion because under the rules of golf, this would not count as a penalty since he did not cause the ball to move.

Unfortunately, the USGA said it was more certain than not that Johnson had caused the ball to move. The game of golf is built upon integrity, and the USGA was basically calling Johnson a liar. Thankfully, Johnson prevailed after being penalized one-stroke, and won his first major championship. The USGA is now trying to save their reputation for the way the ruling against Johnson was handled, but it will be hard to do when the golf community feels that the USGA was wrong.

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Making practice count

By Ben Stone


Everyone that plays the game of golf wants to lower their score, and are never happy until they do. The easiest and quickest way to do this is by practicing, mainly by focusing on practicing your short game and putting. Two-thirds of all golf shots are hit from within 100 yards, and 43 percent of shots are taken on the putting green. Those numbers do not correlate with how most people spend their time practicing.
When most people go the range to hit a bucket of balls, they usually pull out the driver first and sometimes that is the only club they hit. Not only is this a bad idea, it also will do minimal to help improve your game. Hitting balls can be good for you, especially if you are trying to work on mechanics or swing changes, but it should not be the only thing you do when you practice. You should spend equal amounts of time, if not more time, practicing your short game and putting. Have you ever watched a PGA Tour event and wondered how a pro can get up and down from almost anywhere? It is because they spend seventy percent of their time working on putting and wedges.
You always hear golfers saying, "I hate bunker shots," or, "I hate pitch shots from around the green." This is a clear sign of something that can be worked on. Instead of turning a blind eye to these problems and hoping you never have theses shots, practice them so they are no longer a problem. When you go to practice, drop a few balls in the bunker, or around the green, and practice these different shots until you start to get a feel and are more comfortable hitting them.

Next time you go to the range, don't go right to the driver. Make sure you practice your short game and, most importantly, practice your putting, this will go a long way in lowering your score.

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We need to develop a "real estate slide rule"


Real estate is all about numbers, math and formulas. There are mortgage calculations, amortization schedules, debt ratios, average sale prices, days on market, the percentage of asking to selling prices, tax rates, tax bills, and on and on. It is all about numbers. I took four years of college prep math back in the day when you still used slide rules to figure out things. I can't say I was a whiz, but I got by. I am sure I have forgotten way more than I retained and I certainly don't remember how to use a slide rule. I can't remember the last time I even saw one. Today, I wish someone with a lot more mathematical background than I would invent a slide rule that could actually calculate the probability of selling a house ... any house, in any condition. Maybe a computer program would be more appropriate today.

Most real estate agents can tell when they list a home whether they have a real winner or not. It's that gut feeling you get from being in the business long enough to know that this particular home is really nice, something special, priced right, and that it won't be on the market long. Of course market conditions and asking price all have something to do with the outcome of any sale.

I have heard it said that numbers and mathematics can be used explain everything in the world. So, out of curiosity, I looked at the statistics for all the residential sales in Belknap County in 2015. The average sales price for the year was just over $320,000 and on average it took 120 days to sell a home. The average year of construction for the homes that sold was 1967 and they averaged 2,025 square feet in size with 3.09 bedrooms, and 2.23 baths. I guess we can call it three beds, two-and-a-half baths, to be real. There were 330 properties that sold that had no garage. For those that had one, the average was 1.3 stalls. A 1.3-stall car garage would be good for a small car and a moped, so I think we should round up to two bays. One-stall garages made up 19 percent of the sales, two-car garages made up 35 percent, and three cars or more made up about 11 percent of the sales.

The majority, or 80 percent of the homes that sold had a basement and the averaged finished space below ground was 768 square feet. Being in New England, most homes that sold, or about 56 percent, are heated with oil. About 33 percent used bottled or natural gas, 9 percent were electric, and the rest were kerosene, wood, wood pellets, and one had geo-thermal heat. I think there were a couple that relied on body heat, too! The average size lot was 2.96 acres.

There you have it, the perfect house to sell; a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, 2,225-square-foot home built in 1967 with a partially finished basement, oil heat, and a two-car garage on 3 acres will sell in four months for $320,000. Right? Maybe, maybe not, though it seems that you have got the odds on your side. But you also need factor in condition, quality, location, amenities, and more! Where is that slide rule and what is is the formula? It would be nice if we had one! You'd expect a home to sell quickly if it was mint condition, had new upgrades, was in the perfect spot, on a lake, and had no neighbors. But it could be overpriced! What are the chances then?! Is there a logarithm for this? From Wikipedia I see "Logarithmic scales reduce wide-ranging quantities to tiny scopes." I like the "tiny scopes" part. Whatever that means, it could help.

So to all you mathematical geniuses out there, I am requesting help to develop this new slide rule for real estate. We need to get to the root of the problem and not go off on tangents or cotangents. We may need to use some sines or cosines instead of signs and co-brokes. I think we can make a fortune with this, so give me a call.


P​lease feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system. ​Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.

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Laconia Country Club clinches the cup

Allison Mitzel

Assistant Golf Professional, Laconia Country Club

On Thursday, June 9, the annual Ladies Quad Cup returned to Laconia Country Club. The weather and course were in perfect conditions for the four teams to compete in the 18-hole event. The Quad Cup consists of women from Keene Country Club, Laconia Country Club, Manchester Country Club and Nashua Country Club.
The event rotates alphabetically to each course every year, and will be held at Manchester Country Club in 2017, Nashua Country Club in 2018, and Keene Country Club in 2019 before returning back to Laconia in 2020. One woman from each club was paired into a foursome, and all eighty women teed off at 8:30 a.m. The format was a point quota game, and players were awarded one point for a bogey, two points for a par, and four points for a birdie.
The best 15 scores were used to calculate each team's cumulative score. After the best 15 scores were recorded and calculated, there was a tie between Keene and Laconia Country Clubs at 34 points. Nashua was in third with 19 points, and Manchester Country Club was in fourth place with a deficit of 18 points.
In order to break the tie for first place, the 16th best score from each team was analyzed. Laconia Country Club's 16th score was two points better than Keene's 16th score. This two-point difference enabled Laconia Country Club to clinch the cup, and keep the trophy in their possession for the next year.
The women representing Laconia Country Club were Ann Brienza, Joanne Dickinson, Sue Dore, Maria El-Kurd, Scottie Ferry, Donna Grantz, Cindy Keenan, Connie Keller, Corrie Kinnicutt, Linda Knott, Helen Miller, Barbara Milligan, Maureen Power, Marianne Smith, Bette Stafford, Sheila Sullivan, Cheri Sweeney, Lorraine Verderame, Susan Whitmore and Mary Lou Wilson. The women are already looking forward to defending their win next year at Manchester Country Club.

A native of Poland, Ohio, Allison Mitzel is spending her first summer here in the Lakes Region as an Assistant Golf Professional at Laconia Country Club. She played golf collegiately at Youngstown State University in Ohio, and is currently the Assistant Women’s Golf Coach at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. 

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