Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Some Great News for Hillary Clinton

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of good news for her-just check the polls since the convention. She is up double digits in Pennsylvania, up 8 points nationally up 7 in Georgia, even within 2 in Missouri.

The evidence suggests this is more than just a convention bounce. Part of the trouble is that Trump failed just where she succeeded. She unified the party, and since the RNC, Trump has taken things backwards.

Yet Trump tells us he has no intention of changing a thing-his temperament is a winning temperament is a winning temperament. After all, he won the GOP primary.

"On the heels of his campaign’s worst week yet, Donald Trump suggested that it is his temperament that “has gotten me here” and said he has no plans to change it."

“I think that my temperament has gotten me here,” Trump said in a Tuesday morning interview on Fox Business Network. “I’ve always had a good temperament and it’s gotten me here. We beat a lot of people in the primaries and now we have one person left, and we’re actually doing pretty well there, but we’ll see how it all comes out.”

"Trump’s poll numbers have sagged in recent days after he spent much of last week feuding with the Gold Star family of a fallen Muslim soldier and with prominent lawmakers in his own party. After initially refusing to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sens. John McCain and Kelly Ayotte in their respective primary races, Trump offered an about-face and voiced his support for all three. By then, the intense scrutiny — combined with Clinton’s bump from a well-received Democratic National Convention — had taken their toll on Trump’s campaign."

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Can you imagine worse news for the GOP and better news for Hillary Clinton than that Trump is not going to change a single thing, not a darn thing?

His problem remains that he doesn't get that the primary and the general are two different animals. He doesn't think party unity matters. But it's his failure to unify the GOP that is a big part of why he now trails in the high single digits.

The rules have changed but he can't grasp this. In the primary you have to do what you can to defeat other candidates from your own party. That Trump did with great relish and effectiveness.

However, what he fails to grasp is because he hit his GOP opponents so hard, unifying is just that much harder. In the general you have to win the support of primary opponents you defeated.

This is what Hillary did with Bernie and what Trump failed to do with Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Worse, Trump is fanning the flames.

"Trump strikes back against GOP critics."

"Members of Trump’s own party have grown bolder in their rebukes of him.

"A day after Donald Trump faced a wave of criticism from members of the Republican Party, the GOP presidential nominee took to Twitter and the airwaves to hit back against his detractors."

“I am running against the Washington insiders, just like I did in the Republican Primaries,” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning. “These are the people that have made U.S. a mess!”

"The Manhattan billionaire’s campaign is working to get back on the rails in the wake of its worst week yet. Trump spent the week after the well-received Democratic National Convention feuding with the Gold Star parents of a fallen Muslim solider and with prominent lawmakers in his own party. Clinton’s convention bump combined with a week of negative headlines have put Trump in a hole that most polls show to be 10 points or more."

"Members of Trump’s own party have grown bolder in their rebukes of him. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who had long refused to say if she would support the real estate mogul, announced Monday evening in a Washington Post op-ed that the will not vote for Trump, making her the sixth GOP senator to make such a declaration."

"And the Republican national security community has been especially critical of Trump. A group of 50 senior national security officials, all alums of Republican presidential administrations, penned a public letter warning that Trump would "risk our country’s national security and well-being.” All of the letter’s signatories said they will not vote for the Republican nominee."

"Trump on Tuesday morning, however, said the national security officials are simply upset because they aren't a part of his campaign."

“Well I respond by saying that I wasn't using any of them and they would have loved to have been involved with the campaign but I wasn't using, I had no interest using [them]” Trump told Fox Business Network. “Look where the country is now look where country is now on national policy, look where we are on defense, look at the mess we're in.”

"Former New York Mayor and Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani said those national security experts are simply making the former reality TV star’s point for him."

“I believe it makes Donald Trump’s candidacy really clear: He's running against the Washington insiders. You just heard from the Washington insiders,” Giuliani said in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” “These are the people who have been running policy for the last eight or ten years, 12 years. The American people have delivered a judgment on that. They say America is headed in the wrong direction. These are the people who headed it in the wrong direction.”

"On Monday, several other Republicans announced their support for Clinton, saying in effect that Trump is unsuited to be president. Lezlee Westine, who served as the White House’s director of public liaison and deputy assistant to the president in the George W. Bush administration, threw her support behind the Democratic nominee, saying Clinton “has the expertise and commitment to American values to grow the economy, create jobs and protect America at home and abroad.”

"Also supporting Clinton are Republican former Michigan Gov. William Milliken and former New Hampshire Sen. Gordon Humphrey, who said he’d vote for Clinton if she were “neck and neck” with Trump in the Granite state."

Read more:

Here's what he fails to get. It doesn't matter whatever the truth or falsity about what he says about his GOP critics. He needs their support. He thinks they should fear him. But why should they fear him as long as he trails in the single digits?

As for Ted Cruz, I agree with Jennifer Rubin: in the long term he may have made the right choice.

"It has dawned on some in the media that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), far from incinerating his own political career by refusing to endorse Donald Trump, may be one of the few survivors of the 2016 GOP presidential field. Well, we have been making that case — since May. His convention speech, we have argued, kept Cruz free from months of the political hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty that have plagued so many Trump apologists."

"But — wait! Cruz might get challenged for reelection in 2018 by someone like Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.). Let’s think about that. McCaul — or someone else — is going to challenge Cruz on the basis that he spotted the train wreck and tried to warn the party and country? Whatever resentment some in the conservative base felt toward him will soon enough be replaced by grudging respect, if not admiration."

"And about 2018, don’t bet on Cruz running for reelection. He might beg off at that point, surveying the Clinton presidency and deciding he would be better served by leaving the Senate (where potential adversaries such as Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) will be obliged to improve their attendance and forced to take tough votes)."

"Cruz, like all 2020 contenders, will need to assess the electorate and figure out where the party and country are heading. It’s not clear Cruz has learned the right lessons of 2016 — rigid ideology is of limited value, nominees have to appeal to a broad cross section of voters, evangelicals’ power has been grossly exaggerated. That said, it is more likely that he will have a leg up on those foolish enough to tie themselves to Trump’s mast."

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