We have our two major party candidates: the first female major party candidate in history, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump.
Trump, who has criticized anyone who ever used a teleprompter for, in effect, reading other people’s words, took to the teleprompter last night and, except for the times he went off prompter, read other peoples’ words and was even scarier than when he riffs on his own. Why? Because he sounded almost like a normal candidate – scripted and on message. Someone to take, perish the thought, seriously.
If Trump sticks to a teleprompter, he would increase his chances of winning in November by a lot as he now tries to coax undecided voters to his side. But I think we can count on him to only use the prompter when necessary to stop Donald from being Donald.
Back to the historic news. Mrs. Clinton is the first female who will be nominated as a major party candidate for President. To quote the Vice President over an earlier historic moment, this is a big f-ing deal. It’s probably a bigger deal, though, to my generation than it is to the millennial generation which is kind of saying, OK, she’s a she ... next?
I don’t know the politics of overly playing the female card, as Trump calls it. Personally, I didn’t like the video played before her speech last night. I thought it was poorly produced and too self-congratulatory. I assume her political advisors said this was a good thing to do, thus it was done. Plus, it did provide a moment to celebrate the moment. Just as the country did eight years ago when Barack Obama become the first African-American nominee for a major party. But that moment could have been celebrated just by Hillary coming on stage.
Other than her constant nodding her head in agreement with herself as she speaks, I think Mrs. Clinton is finally finding her voice for this election … good timing. But, if Trump sticks to listening to other people and using a prompter more often, he may be finding a better zone.
Let’s not pass over Bernie Sanders who ran a surprisingly successful campaign. He raised a lot of money from a lot of people who didn’t give hundreds of thousands of dollars individually. He had a message. Imagine if he were a messenger more acceptable to the majority of Democrats? Imagine too if he toned down some of his proposals, because most voters know that he could never pay for the things he promised. If he had more reasonable proposals and was less the angry uncle at holiday dinner, we might not be celebrating the first female candidate today.
Bernie heads back to D.C. this week and will meet with President Obama tomorrow. My guess is he’ll finish his primary campaign with the D.C. voting next week, as he’s promised his supporters, and then magnanimously endorse Mrs. Clinton, if not before, and not take his campaign to the convention as he also promised. He’s already gotten concessions from her because he moved her left in the campaign and he’ll get more in the platform the party adopts, not that platforms matter for more than the moments they are debated and adopted. But it is time to close ranks.
Sanders deserves a big kudos for running the second most surprising campaign of the cycle. Second, of course, to Donald Trump’s.
I’m not sure Trump is a racist, but he says racist things. He definitely is an opportunistic racist, as CNN pundit Van Jones put it last night. He knows he solidifies support among a certain cohort of voters when he says those things, so he says them. This makes him, unlike his claims to the opposite, as cynical a politician as anyone else.
Trump also promised, maybe as early as Monday, a speech about the Clintons and all the controversies and scandals they have been connected to over the years. Even with a teleprompter, this will be quite a speech as Trump has been preparing for it all his life. A time to be critical and nasty and holier than thou -- his strengths -- and get national coverage for it.
He better stop a little short of where he was last night because he can’t prove much of what he said last night beyond what the media has uncovered over the years and what conspiracy theorists have written books about. For example, he hasn't proven "she should be in jail." He likely will have no new proof of anything and these scandals have all been vetted previously, with the exception of the still pending email issue.
If he has no new news/evidence, he will once again solidify the support he already has but I doubt will move undecided voters into his November column.
Eventually, Mrs. Clinton likely will have to release some texts of her paid speeches over the last couple of years to demonstrate transparency and use that as a time to call, again, for Trump to release his taxes, as every presidential candidate has done for years.
I’m guessing there is far less damning in her speeches than there is in his tax returns, so that’s a winning strategy for her.
Let’s take a day or two, though, to celebrate the first female nominee for president and then batten down the hatches for the general election campaign from Hell.