Convention analysis, Thursday afternoon
So far, the Trump campaign did a pretty good job of following my advice.
Especially, Trump’s three main politician-supporters—Christie, Giuliani, and Newt—all kept to my game plan and focused on terrorism, supporting the police, and attacking Hillary. None of those three mentioned anything about taxes, abortion, or even Obamacare (if I remember correctly).
Trump’s ace in the hole has been his children. Donald Jr. and Eric both hit home runs with their speeches. Everyone is saying that if Trump raised such great children, then he can’t be all bad. I think that Team Hillary was not expecting that to be so effective and there is probably a lot of fear over there.
The Melania gaffe (copying from Michelle Obama’s speech) was a slight misstep, but I don’t think it did any significant harm.
Trump did very well with his pick of Mike Pence. Pence has an aura of gravitas which is exactly what’s needed in a vice presidential candidate. And Pence being a hardcore conservative, combined with all of the speeches about the Supreme Court, have won over the conservative Cruz supporters. We saw how effectively Trump won everyone over when Cruz gave his dastardly “vote your conscience” speech. He received boos from all over the convention floor, and even most of his supporters think he was being a sore loser and a jerk. If Trump loses, which I don’t think will happen, but if it does, then Pence and not Cruz is going to be positioned to win the nomination in 2020.
There’s the question of whether Cruz inadvertently helped Trump with his speech. Cruz is definitely being seen as a sore loser and a jerk and I don’t think anyone who would have voted for Trump is going to vote against him because of the Cruz speech. The main downside is that Cruz made the evening about himself, and consequently the talking heads on the news channels are spending a lot more time talking about Cruz than they are about topics which might be more beneficial for Trump, such as the Eric Trump speech or Mike Pence’s gravitas. On the other hand, if the talking heads are talking about Cruz then they aren’t talking about how Pence has flip-flopped on many positions in order to join with Trump.
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Newt’s speech last night was pretty damn impressive. To counter the argument from Hillary that you shouldn’t vote for Trump because it’s too dangerous to have his finger on the nuclear button, Newt talked about a nuclear terrorist attack on an American city, and the message was that it’s too dangerous to vote for Hillary because if she becomes president, she will do nothing to fight terrorism and the result could be a nuclear terrorist attack. Scare tactics work. Remember the Daisy commercial?