Glenn Garvin, Miami Herald, April 22, 2016
It is a question that has been asked at least a million times over the past two decades–sometimes by her right-wing friends in admiration and amusement, more often by her left-wing enemies in desperation or damnation–and finally we have the answer from her own, proudly venomous, lips: What would make Ann Coulter, the queen mother of American political invective, shut up?
“You want to know what would shut Ann Coulter right up?” she asks. “Defeat Trump. Unless we elect Trump and do something about immigration, America will disappear. And I’ll disappear with it . . . .
“I should be working on another book now, but I can’t, I’m too wrapped up in the election. I’ll have to skip a year on books. And if Trump loses, my next book will probably be a cookbook. I’ll be done with politics, except for a nasty tweet or two about the end of America. Maybe I’ll organize Facebook groups to help me desecrate Teddy Kennedy’s grave.”
This is what passes for a reflective and even morose moment in the all-guns-blazing-all-the-time world of Coulter, and a startling one, too. Could it really be true?
After 11 New York Times bestsellers, something approaching 2 million book sales, a thousand newspaper columns and a seeming 10 million bombastic TV interviews in which anybody to the left of Joe McCarthy is excoriated and eviscerated, could Coulter really be on the verge of abandoning her self-appointed mission to obliterate even the faintest trace of liberalism from every nook and cranny of the United States?
Nah. A couple of days after her lunchtime winter of discontent, Coulter calls back from the South Florida hideout she calls home (location secret; she’s had stalker problems galore) when not in New York. A new book deal after all! “It’s going to be a blockbuster!!!!!” she proclaims in an email. (When the world’s supply of exclamation marks is finally exhausted, Coulter will quickly be identified as the culprit.) “It’s about how one man can change human history!” She won’t identify him, but it’s a safe bet that his hair is a lot oranger than, say, Barack Obama’s.
And she, as much as anybody, may be the one to credit–or, if you prefer, blame–for elevating Trump from a blustering never-been-elected-anything longshot to a perhaps-inevitable Republican nominee. Her brutally anti-immigration book Adios, America: The Left’s Plan To Turn Our Country Into A Third World Hellhole, provided the intellectual underpinnings of what has become Trump’s most popular campaign riff: walling off Mexico to keep out drug dealers and rapists.
Before June 2015, Trump’s musings about immigration were rare and contradictory: He sneered about the “self-deportation” plan that Mitt Romney proposed during his 2012 presidential campaign, but also sent out a few tweets in 2013 criticizing a Senate bill that would have offered clemency to illegal immigrants. In early 2015, as Trump began hinting he might run for president, his main issue was foreign trade, not immigration.
Coulter, meanwhile, was preparing a national promotional tour for Adios, America, which argues that the United States should stop all immigration, before Third World cultures dissolve it into a squalid moonscape of dope-fueled murder and child molestation. The book’s official release was set for June 1, but on May 26, Coulter did a combative interview in Miami with the bilingual Fusion TV network’s host Jorge Ramos, who had obtained an advance copy.
“I was on my way back to the airport to fly to New York City when I got an email from Trump’s office requesting that a copy of the book be overnighted to him,” recalls Coulter. Two weeks later, Trump delivered his famous–or infamous–speech about Mexico dumping “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, et ceterera” into the United States and was on his way to knocking 14 of the other 16 Republican candidates out of the race.
“He’s the only person I ever needed to read it,” says Coulter happily. “Now my work is done.” (Though she graciously gives the Mexican-born Ramos some probably unwanted credit: “Yay, Jorge! He can stay.”)
The Trump campaign is officially noncommittal about her role; a spokeswoman would say only that “We are grateful to Ann for voicing her enthusiasm for Mr. Trump and his candidacy.” But political consultant Roger Stone, who was with the organization last May before leaving to become a freelance Trump advocate, confirms that Coulter was a familiar figure around the campaign.
“She’s clearly been an influence,” he said. “Trump likes her and thinks very highly of her. I know he’s read her book, and I know he liked it.”