Help! Donald Trump has taken over my body and he won't get out!
Politico reporter Annie Karni wrote an inadvertently hilarious story about how a Hillary aide worked so intently to acquire the personality of Donald Trump as part of debate prep that now the President-elect is still lingering inside his soul to the extent that he can channel him.
The extreme lengths to which Philippe Reines went to become Donald Trump is the stuff of which comedy movies are made. In fact, Reines could not only write the script from first hand experience but he could also conjure up his inner Donald Trump to negotiate the movie deal. Even the title of the Politico article could also serve as the movie title, The Man Who Became Donald Trump:
...Reines effectively took a three-month leave from his day job and went full method actor, cribbing from the all-in immersion techniques of Hollywood legends like Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro.
Reines purchased four podiums on Amazon, two for his home and two for the secret office the Clinton campaign lent him at the PerkinsCoie law firm in Washington, D.C. He searched eBay for a 2005 Donald J. Trump signature collection watch, which he purchased for $175. He experimented with a self-tanning lotion on his face. Before prep sessions, Reines began suiting up with velcro knee pads (to keep his legs straight), a posture enhancer (to keep his arms back), and dress shoes with three-inch lifts (to match Trump’s 6’1 frame). His longtime tailor fit him for a loose-fitting suit with large cuffs. His goal was not a “Saturday Night Live”-style caricature of Trump, so he didn’t try to replicate Trump’s famous mane. But he wanted to approximate his physicality so that Clinton would grow accustomed to Trump’s looming presence when she saw Reines in her peripheral vision.
What about wearing those extra long Trump ties? No Trump impersonation is complete without that.
Hoping to fully become the character he had been cast to play, Reines briefly went off his meds (he declined to say which, or if he has since resumed them).
Which could explain a lot.
At home, or in his secret office, Reines watched all 12 Republican primary debates three times, while standing behind one of his podiums—practice for the physical feat of simply standing still for 90 minutes. During his first viewing, he would watch the debate all the way through, taking notes. The second time, he would watch just for Trump’s lines and reaction shots, and the third time he would watch with the sound off, studying Trump’s mannerisms and body language.
How far did this dedication go? Did Reines eat his steaks burnt to a crisp?
"I want him to leave his brain to science, I’m just so curious,” Reines says. “We just need to understand because it’s a simultaneously scary yet fascinating person."
And in case you doubt that Trump has inhabited the person who was once Philippe Reines, we have this:
Reines has not been able to give up his Trump obsession, and was glued to the news conference last week, where he thinks the president-elect skillfully dominated the media.
“You guys are bringing knives to a gunfight,” the famously combative Reines says of the press corps covering Trump, joking that he should stand in to train the media on how to grill the president-elect. Reines cringed at the convoluted, multipart questions that allowed Trump to avoid a straight answer. The media’s only hope of pushing Trump where he doesn’t want to go is working together to ask follow-up questions, he says. “He knows that whack-a-mole works.”
It sounds like Reines is trying to get himself a new gig as a Trump channeler.
Today, Reines takes great pride in being able to predict what Trump might say, do or tweet, before he does it -- and his former colleagues say it was uncanny watching him nail moments in debates before they happened.
“It’s one thing to learn everything that had been said by Trump,” says Dunn. “With Philippe, it became an ability to predict situations that hadn’t happened. It’s a whole other level of understanding of the person you are playing, to be able to do that.”
Reines has long since resumed his regular life. But the line between Reines and Trump at times is still blurry in his mind. "It went from me saying things I knew he had said, to me saying things I thought he would say," he admits. "There are times when he says something and I spend five minutes trying to figure out if I was copying him or if he was copying me."
It's called mind melding. However, Trump is not copying you, Phillipe. Your body is now the subject of a hostile takeover by Trump. Soon to hopefully become a comedy/horror movie. Perhaps we could resurrect Rod Serling to provide the final commentary when Reines looks into a mirror and sees you-know-who staring back at him.