Thursday, September 1, 2016

President Enrique Pena Nieto is a Very Bad Politician

I'm truly at a loss. I mean, I get Trump's political calculus. Simply appearing on the world stage with another head of state in some sense elevates him. Then you add to that the steep curve Trump is graded on.

Brian Stelter:

"Grading on a curve" in full effect today

Phillip Rucker:

"This is what concerns Clintonites about 1st debate, which is why Brooklyn is working raising expectations for Trump."

Dan Janison:

"See how statesmanlike @realDonaldTrump has become! He stood next to someone and wore a dark suit. Non show biz impact? Nada but who cares?"

Some like Bill Kristol-who doesn't sound so #NeverTrump-think Trump had a great day. Sean Hannity says it was his best day of his campaign.

I don't think so. And thankfully, most of the press seem to get that his speech in Arizona in no sense was a pivot off of mass deportations.

Other than the NY Times and Lawrence O'Donnell.

But, look, Trump is losing and had to try something.

"Whether you look at the polling analysis or the predictionmarkets, Donald Trump is losing to Hillary Clinton, and it’s not all that close. There is a chance, albeit not a great one, that Trump can make this trip a political success…."

"When individuals are operating in the world of gains, they are more likely to prefer the sure thing to a risky bet that could net them even greater gain. When individuals are operating in the world of losses, however, they will prefer that risky lottery if it would recoup their losses. They will gamble for resurrection…."

"Relative to how he thought he’d be doing in the general election, Trump is operating in the world of loss. If he manages to go to Mexico City, have a productive meeting with the president of Mexico, generate some good visuals, and then give a tough immigration speech in Arizona, he’ll confound the conventional wisdom that he’d be an unmitigated disaster on the foreign stage. He’d also undercut Clinton’s core argument that Trump is unfit for office…."

"To sum up: Donald Trump is going to Mexico because he is losing. There is a small probability that this visit could reverse his electoral fortunes. But the odds are not in his favor."

For Trump it was playing the risky lottery in the world of losses. But what is Pena Neito's game?

The Mexican President has a 24% approval rating. He met with the one guy Mexicans like less-a lot less. Incredibly, Trump is more than 10 times less popular than Nieto at 2%.

This calculus does not recommend a meeting with Trump. Unless you say what the Irish Prime Minister said when Trump wanted to meet.

Enda Kenny said he wanted to meet Trump so he could call him a dangerous racist to his face.

I don't know what Nieto's goal in this meeting was. Did he think this would improve his God awful poll numbers? The only way it could have was to do an Enda Kenny. Now, he says he did tell Trump privately he wouldn't be paying for any wall.

But publicly he sort of looked like an amiable dupe. Mexicans are rightly outraged that he elevated Donald Trump for no good reason.

"Mexico's president was savaged on social media and in political circles following his joint press conference Wednesday with Donald Trump, with many seeing a national humiliation in his welcoming of a man who has derided migrants as rapists and criminals."

"President Enrique Pena Nieto said Mexicans felt "aggrieved" and had disagreements with the Republican presidential candidate, but he never did what people here wanted most: demand that Trump apologize. Adding to the anger, in the press conference Trump repeated his promise to build a border wall between the countries."

"Trump can leave at ease now. The humiliation was complete," Televisa news anchor Carlos Loret de Mola tweeted, after lamenting that Trump would dare to reiterate his intention to build a wall "in our face and home."

"And writer Angeles Mastretta wrote on her Twitter account that Mexicans saw "what was expected: a president who isn't capable of demanding apologies ... how sad."

"While Trump tried to mend fences by calling Mexican-Americans "spectacular" and "amazing," and arguing that illegal immigration and the flight of manufacturing jobs were hurting Mexicans as well as Americans, his words did little to win hearts and minds south of the border."

"Mexico security analyst Alejandro Hope called the meeting "a disaster."

"Trump didn't alter his positions one little bit," Hope said. "He just dressed them up a little in less incendiary language." Of Pena Nieto, Hope said "in the end, he gave Trump an opportunity to show off, while getting nothing in return. Good work, guys."

Thank you Alejandro Hope. So many of our own silly journalists don't seem to get the difference between altering positions and just a small change in tone. Trump is the kid who now gets honored for not throwing up on the teacher's shoes for one day. 

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