The piece comes at a time when Ben Carson has pulled ahead of Trump in a joint NBC-New York Times poll.
Trump’s article makes no mention of his opponents. There is no Jeb Bush slam, no dig at Ben Carson, or even Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Even the bluster that Trump has become known for is absent. Instead, Trump makes the case for himself by writing broadly about leadership—that may or may not be convincing to Republican voters. “Real leadership is about competence,” he writes. He begins the next three consecutive paragraphs with the same sentence, but substitutes “selflessness,” “decisiveness,” and “courage.”
The candidate is making his case based on the leadership shown by his business track record: “I am what I am,” he writes, “but when it comes to accomplishing the goals of my organization, I put the interests of my employees and the company ahead of everything else. A person who seeks public office must do the same.”
When Jeb Bush penned an op-ed in the National Review back in October, he took a different tack, calling out the candidate that has gobbled up so much media attention, cautioning Republicans that Trump “echoes the attacks of… the fringe Left” and “simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”