(Los Angeles Times) Louise Sunshine, a former New York lobbyist and real estate executive, has known Donald Trump for more than 40 years. She shared a small office with Trump just as his career as a developer began to take off. She helped him cajole politicians for tax breaks on his first buildings.
Knowing how Trump operates, Sunshine was surprised to hear his rival Jeb Bush brand him last week as a "chaos candidate." Trump, she said, "is the least chaotic person I know."
"The least," she added to underline the point. "And the most determined person I know."
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Trump's raw, in-your-face style of politics can come off as random ranting. Over the weekend, he called Hillary Clinton a liar and Bush a loser.
"Dumb as a rock!" he wrote on Twitter of the former Florida governor.
But if Trump sows chaos, it is tightly controlled chaos. The bluster and put-downs are part of a meticulously calculated strategy by a surprisingly disciplined front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump is the rare first-time candidate whose mastery of basic political skills seems unmatched by most, if not all, of his rivals in a crowded Republican field.