Thinking back twenty years to George W. Bush’s re-election campaign is the last time the word “Swift” had a prominent role in presidential politics.

In 2004, the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” did their best to sink Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign. The term “Swiftboating” was understood as a pejorative political attack. The phrase may turn out to be in vogue in 2024.

What never stops frustrating me about Donald Trump’s style of politics is that it constantly appeals to a smaller but ever more loyal group of people.

I had similar experiences during my long radio career when a station appeals to an ever-smaller audience base and relies on that base to listen for longer and longer periods to grow. Eventually, this always destroyed the station.

The approach to milk more growth out of smaller bases always failed in radio and there is no path for growth in political elections. Despite Trump’s protests about cheating and voter fraud, no matter how loyal and enthusiastic his base is, they can only vote for him once in an election.

The correct strategy is to broaden a candidate’s appeal, especially moving from a primary fight (which has never been in serious contention for Trump) to the general election. Trump and his supporters keep unnecessarily angering people that he may need to win in November. 

With the 2024 general election campaign appearing to have begun, Republicans look like they are going to “Swiftboat” their presumptive nominee, former President Donald Trump.

I can’t pretend to be a Taylor Swift fan. I don’t think I’d recognize any of her songs. However, I admire her accomplishments. She is without question the biggest pop star of the 21st century. Arguably, there hasn’t been a music phenomenon with her impact since the Beatles. 

I have no idea if Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce are in love, if the relationship is a publicity stunt, or somewhere in between. I’d like to think that I haven’t become so cynical that I can’t believe a pop icon and a football player can have a relationship. 

America has seen it before with Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, right? Despite how it ended, Joltin’ Joe carried a torch for her to the end of his life when he reportedly said, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn again.”

I don’t know what Taylor and Travis are or aren’t. Frankly, I think they’re a cute couple. I hope they are in love and have a long, happy life together, ending a good deal better than Joe and Marilyn.

I know what Taylor and Travis are not; that includes a “psyop,” George Soros plant, or any of the other ridiculous theories going around the conservative media landscape. Each one is more embarrassing than the previous one.

It’s one thing to battle Joe Biden, mentally impaired as he is, and the Democrats. But there is no reason to take on Taylor Swift. Her endorsement, which undoubtedly has been coming all along, won’t matter to the MAGA loyalists. It wouldn’t have any more meaning than Bruce Springsteen’s endorsement until Trump’s supporters declared war on Swift. 

More people who may or may not have considered voting for Trump are now alienated. It’s another unforced error by Trump’s logic that it’s “us against the world.” The smaller, ever more loyal base is not the way to win.

The biggest mistake Trump has made since winning the presidency in 2016 is not reaching out and expanding his electoral appeal. He and his supporters continue to anger additional groups, making the path to victory narrower and more challenging.

Andy Bloom is President of Andy Bloom Communications. He specializes in media training and political communications. He has programmed legendary stations including WIP, WPHT, WYSP/Philadelphia, KLSX, Los Angeles, and WCCO Minneapolis. He was Vice President of Programming for Emmis International, Greater Media Inc., and Coleman Research. Andy also served as communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio). He can be reached by email at or you can follow him on Twitter @AndyBloomCom.

3 thoughts on “Andy Bloom: Don’t Swift boat this campaign”

  1. Andy,

    This report has been out for a year: Just read about it today.

    Congratulations, you are correct that a candidate will win if they are the most likable choice. Very obvious point.

    MSM is aligned with cheaters. People like you and Dom G. are part of the problem. You say stop complaining about mail-in ballots. “Beat them at their own game.” You will not gather more mail-in ballots then the Dems. They have the universities and nursing homes. Biden will drop once trump secures the R nomination, and whomever is the D candidate will win. We will continue to use “gender” instead of “sex.” Our children will share bathrooms to appease the fringe. Meanwhile there are court cases ongoing where the Gov is being sued for active censorship which you guys do not report. You guys just want everyone to be nice and get along. You realize that the life expectancy of men in the U.S. has dropped to 73 years? Over 7mm able bodied males aged 18-40 chose not to work? It gets ignored. Migrants are not the problem. Migrants are the lifeblood of the U.S. and always have been. Sooner or later people are going to stop being patient and complaining and start taking irrational actions. And then we will lose more of our freedoms. And then the CCP, following the steps in the Art of War, will have won the battle before it was fought. Our political and business leaders sold us out to the communists because they have no morals. Because we got rid of God. And the Universities are pumping out more communists every year. The U.S. is gone already.

  2. Michael Sweeny,
    You’ve thrown a laundry list of complaints, not one having to do with anything I wrote in this column.

    But you’re right on one point. Generally, the more likable candidate wins the presidential election. What does that tell you about nominating Trump?

    For years now, the most predictive polling question has been: “Who would you rather have a beer with?” You could imagine Trump winning that question against Hillary in 2016, but losing against Biden in 2020. Attacking Swifties isn’t going to help him win that question in 24.

    It’s worth my time to address one more issue that you write Dom G and I have the same response to; mail voting. I’m not a fan of it and think it creates more opportunities to cheat. The fact remains that it was happening in several states pre-Covid and has become critical in many more places since the pandemic. We don’t have to like it, just as I don’t like many of the rules the NFL has adopted over the past decade, but we have to know what the rules are and adapt to them, or we will lose, just as Democrats have to accept that we elect presidents based on the Electoral College – not the popular vote.

    If all elections are rigged and Democrats only win because they cheat (or cheat better). then there’s no point in anything. If there is one disservice Trump has done above all others, it’s sowing seeds of distrust in the integrity of our election system. I don’t know what to tell those who believe this – except if it were true, then Republican candidates wouldn’t need to invest so much money to win. They could just figure out how to cheat better. It’s simply not true, no matter how many times Trump says it. It’s a worn out excuse and doesn’t explain Republican wins.

    1. Andy, you and the radio hosts have the microphone and press. I agree with you on a couple points: 1. Trump is mostly terrible. 2. As I do think mail-in ballots in PA have been and will be rigged, I agree there is no point… in paying attention to this election cycle. People said these court cases were to get Trump nominated. It worked. Trump was trailing DeSantis before they started charging him. Most of the so-called conservative talking heads are partly responsible. Ron DeSantis was incredibly effective in Florida and without mail-in ballot abuse he soared to victory. Subsequently MSM, Big Corp, and others were terrified of DeSantis. Our AM radio hosts helped Trump, and hurt Ron. I’ll bet most of these AM radio hosts in PA also voted for Shapiro. Get ready to smell marijuana 24/7, listeners.
      As to proven mail-in ballot fraud we’ve evolved to: not enough happens – stop talking about it. Yet, simply Brave Search “US voter fraud mail-in ballots proven [type in any state]. Endless examples. Trump did not sow the seeds of distrust. Substack, Spotify, and the recent Covid tyranny and ongoing censorship efforts by our own Government and Big Tech have alerted U.S. taxpayers that Trump was correct about the “fake press.”

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