Can a Big Win for Trump Right the Ship?

 

161008171611-01-week-in-politics-1008-large-teaseAs we head into the debate tonight, millions will have seen or heard of the 2005 video in which Trump was bantering crudely with an apparently approving Billy Bush, as well as the Trump mea culpa video on Facebook early Saturday in which a sober Trump admits his failings. Apologizes! (Whoa! Stop the presses! Weren’t we told Trump didn’t have the maturity to ever apologize?) And then pivots to the gloves-off contrast the leaked video now permits him: lewd words vs. actual assault, focus on issues facing the country vs. avoidance of track record.

For that is the entire zeitgeist of this election for many who are still undecided, and thus the target audience of this debate: Which candidate is least bad?

When you saw the video, did you wonder: Are we in Casablanca, that hypocritical world where the authorities are Shocked, Shocked, that Trump might talk this way? Trump’s supporters’ are thinking “Huh? What did you think he talked like when alone bragging with the guys?” But those who never wanted Trump as the candidate are in high dudgeon, and those in the media and on the Left are acting as though this is new news — which it is not.

(One wonders: Were they bothered by how the Kennedys talked about and treated women? Or how Bill Clinton did? Nah. Crocodile tears.)

Will this latest outré outrage make a difference? I think not.

First — Those who support Trump aren’t doing so because they thought he had high moral character, admirable business practices, or the disposition of a statesman. They don’t.

Many Trump supporters don’t care for Trump personally. But what they like is that he’s an outsider, and what they particularly like is that he’s not her. They already know he’s rough, crude, and lewd. Moreover, they think those characteristics may be necessary to clean out our modern Augean Stables: the institutionalized corruption that increasingly defines Washington. Rather than undermining that narrative, the video reinforces it.

Second — Expect Trump to survive this the same way he does everything else, by changing the subject, and attacking his opponents for using mud to obscure with old news their present failings. He will repeat that he has made mistakes, has never pretended to be perfect, and he is not running for saint. He just wants to make America great again.

Third — He will remind people that he recognized that he owed, and gave, the American people an apology — and unlike the video, Trump apologizing is contrary to type, which will help with those waiting for him to act presidential.

Fourth — Trump will turn this to his advantage, and take the counter-punch opening it provides, starting with reminding us that, unlike himself, Clinton feels she owes us nothing, and that no apology, for anything, will be forthcoming from her.

Even more, Trump should say “My words might have offended many of you but her corruption and failed policies have hurt you.” Even her husband, Bill, thinks the Affordable Care Act is horrific — and she will make it worse. (Indeed, Trump needs to talk about Obamacare in a more heartfelt way than he has to date, both because it is an issue that is particularly resonant with women, but also because Bill Clinton’s comments were no accident, but the first step in justifying single-payer, government-run health care.)

Expect Trump to repeat that she’s been at this 30 years with failure as the result, and if you want a true politician, vote for her.

Clinton will bait him with attacks on his character and certainly has plenty of new fodder this week (no taxes, sexist, misogynist).

After his experience last time, don’t expect him to squander time defending himself, but rather to be more like Pence in his demeanor — calm, unruffled, and on offense, hopefully leavened with humor and zingers. Expect him to use his time to attack her (the secret emails released this week, the lies and cover-ups, the immunity deals, etc.) and to sell his own policies.

Trump, if well-prepared, will paint a vivid picture of daily life under corrupt politicians, their cronies, and powerful special interests, versus an optimistic future where the American people get a government that puts them first.

His bar is low for Sunday. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t come to the debate better armed and more on offense.

I’ve got my popcorn. Round two, here we come!

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There are 82 comments.

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  1. HVTs Inactive

    Trump needs to stick with the formulation he offered in the Facebook apology/apologia: Hillary = BASI.

    She Bullied, Attacked, Shamed, and Intimidated actual victims of sexual assault and rape—her husband’s victims.

    • #1
    • October 9, 2016, at 12:53 PM PDT
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  2. Michael Schulkins Thatcher

    One wonders: Were they bothered by how the Kennedys talked about and treated women? Or how Bill Clinton did? Nah. Crocodile tears.

    We are not playing on a level field, as everyone knows. For better or worse, Bill and Ted could get away with it, because the refs, the media, are on their side. Republican candidates cannot get away with such things. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is, and that’s why we can’t nominate a guy like Trump. It is a suicide move, as many of us have been saying for a long time. We couldn’t even win with a squeaky clean guy like Romney. How are we supposed to win with a sleaze?

    • #2
    • October 9, 2016, at 12:55 PM PDT
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  3. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    It seems to me a pointless argument to state how the Democrats get away with much worse behavior. That is a fact of life, and restating it is of value only to the flagging hopes of Republican voters. You are preaching to the choir.

    Trump was a terrible choice. My guess is that it is going to get a lot worse over the next four weeks as other items are strategically released to the media. As I stated in Claire’s thread, there are no surprises here. We all know and have known for a very long time that the media are not fair in the coverage of the candidates, the debates are moderated by partisans who favor the Democrat party. Nominating someone with Trump’s obvious deficits is a simple suicide pact. To have done so when a candidate so easily defeated by a real Republican has been chosen by the Democrats was an act of either total stupidity or insanity.

    We have just been through eight years of the worst presidential administration in history. Now we are about to see a leading light of that adminstration, a person so corrupt, so venal, such a complete and total liar ascend to the presidency for the next four years. And, what is worse, she will be bringing her husband with her to the people’s house so that at the end of their term they can cart off more of the people’s treasures. Good Job, voters!

    • #3
    • October 9, 2016, at 12:58 PM PDT
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  4. Scott R Member

    Trump will “capitalize” on this, “paint a vivid picture” of that, he’ll “counter punch”, his apology “makes him look presidential” etc.

    We’re living in different worlds. The Trump campaign I see is beyond parody in its incompetence. An utterly hopeless situation.

    Funny how reasonable people can perceive things so differently. One of us is very wrong.

    • #4
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:06 PM PDT
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  5. Michael Schulkins Thatcher

    Thanks, Eugene Kriegsmann. Exactly right.

    • #5
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:09 PM PDT
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  6. HVTs Inactive

    Eugene Kriegsmann:To have done so when a candidate so easily defeated by a real Republican has been chosen by the Democrats was an act of either total stupidity or insanity.

    We have just been through eight years of the worst presidential administration in history.

    So why didn’t “real Republican” Romney defeat the guy running the “worst presidential administration in history?”

    • #6
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:12 PM PDT
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  7. HVTs Inactive

    Eugene Kriegsmann: Good Job, voters!

    Bertolt Brecht beat you to it:

    Some party hack decreed that the people
    had lost the government’s confidence
    and could only regain it with redoubled effort.
    If that is the case, would it not be simpler,
    If the government simply dissolved the people
    And elected another?

    • #7
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:16 PM PDT
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  8. Hoyacon Member

    HVTs:

    Eugene Kriegsmann:To have done so when a candidate so easily defeated by a real Republican has been chosen by the Democrats was an act of either total stupidity or insanity.

    We have just been through eight years of the worst presidential administration in history.

    So why didn’t “real Republican” Romney defeat the guy running the “worst presidential administration in history?”

    To a substantial extent because he also had the best campaign apparatus in history. And also because Obama didn’t have to run on some of the stuff he’s pulled since then.

    • #8
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:21 PM PDT
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  9. Percival Thatcher

    HVTs:Trump needs to stick with the formulation he offered in the Facebook apology/apologia: Hillary = BASI.

    She Bullied, Attacked, Shamed, and Intimidated actual victims of sexual assault and rape—her husband’s victims.

    So Trump, the expert in “strategic ambiguity” (even if he has no clue what either word means), announces his attack plan in advance on Facebook?

    Brilliant.

    • #9
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:21 PM PDT
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  10. tigerlily Member

    No. This race is over. I am appalled by the attempts by otherwise decent people to defend the indefensible including Ttrump’s boasting of being able to sexually assault women and get away with it because of who he is.

    • #10
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:27 PM PDT
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  11. HVTs Inactive

    Hoyacon:

    HVTs:

    Eugene Kriegsmann:To have done so when a candidate so easily defeated by a real Republican has been chosen by the Democrats was an act of either total stupidity or insanity.

    We have just been through eight years of the worst presidential administration in history.

    So why didn’t “real Republican” Romney defeat the guy running the “worst presidential administration in history?”

    To a substantial extent because he also had the best campaign apparatus in history. And also because Obama didn’t have to run on the some the stuff he’s pulled since then.

    Which “real Republican” would have succeeded in 2016 defeating Obama’s third term?

    • #11
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:28 PM PDT
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  12. HVTs Inactive

    Percival:

    HVTs:Trump needs to stick with the formulation he offered in the Facebook apology/apologia: Hillary = BASI.

    She Bullied, Attacked, Shamed, and Intimidated actual victims of sexual assault and rape—her husband’s victims.

    So Trump, the expert in “strategic ambiguity” (even if he has no clue what either word means), announces his attack plan in advance on Facebook?

    Brilliant.

    The election is 30 days away . . . you’d advise “ambiguity”? I’d recommend he get out a sledgehammer and keep swinging it until his arms give out.

    • #12
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:39 PM PDT
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  13. Roberto, Crusty Old Timer Member

    Heather Higgins: His bar is low for Sunday.

    This seems completely wrong. Trump’s campaign was already damaged going into this debate, a solid win would have been just what he needed in order to right the ship. I would say this leaked video raises the stakes, it may be nothing that all should not already known about the man but that will not stop HRC from beating him over the head with it repeatedly. If he cannot manage an effective counter punch his campaign is liable to bleed support, failure to put in a very strong performance could be the end of him.

    • #13
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:43 PM PDT
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  14. HVTs Inactive

    tigerlily:No. This race is over. I am appalled by the attempts by otherwise decent people to defend the indefensible including Ttrump’s boasting of being able to sexually assault women and get away with it because of who he is.

    Actually, it’s over on November 8th.

    What “decent people” are “defending” his vulgarity? Can you name one?

    Hillary bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated women that simply wanted justice for the actual assaults (and in one case at least, rape) they suffered at her husband’s hands. Which is worse? Trump’s vulgar talk or Hillary’s actions? You prefer the bully and intimidator as your President?

    • #14
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:46 PM PDT
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  15. big spaniel Member

    Trump has proven every bad thing people have thought about him. Every one. It’s so stereotypical, it’s not funny anymore.

    HVTs:

    Hoyacon:

    HVTs:

    Eugene Kriegsmann:To have done so when a candidate so easily defeated by a real Republican has been chosen by the Democrats was an act of either total stupidity or insanity.

    We have just been through eight years of the worst presidential administration in history.

    So why didn’t “real Republican” Romney defeat the guy running the “worst presidential administration in history?”

    To a substantial extent because he also had the best campaign apparatus in history. And also because Obama didn’t have to run on the some the stuff he’s pulled since then.

    Which “real Republican” would have succeeded in 2016 defeating Obama’s third term?

    There was a dozen solid candidates out there, all of whom would be leading Hillary at this point. Trump can’t use Hillary’s faults against her because he shares so many of them himself. None of the other candidates would have had this problem.

    • #15
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:47 PM PDT
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  16. Hoyacon Member

    HVTs:

    Hoyacon:

    HVTs:

    Eugene Kriegsmann:To have done so when a candidate so easily defeated by a real Republican has been chosen by the Democrats was an act of either total stupidity or insanity.

    We have just been through eight years of the worst presidential administration in history.

    So why didn’t “real Republican” Romney defeat the guy running the “worst presidential administration in history?”

    To a substantial extent because he also had the best campaign apparatus in history. And also because Obama didn’t have to run on the some the stuff he’s pulled since then.

    Which “real Republican” would have succeeded in 2016 defeating Obama’s third term?

    Hard to say. But given Hillary’s approval ratings, the fact that she isn’t Obama, and the fact that the race was very close until the first debate, you’d have to think that most of the top tier would have had a shot. I don’t think that it’s any secret that Democratic campaigns are predicated on demonizing the opposition, not putting forth policy options. For some reason, it seems to work. And unfortunately, it seems to me that the person most easily demonized is the nominee. Scott Walker, for example, is kind of boring. But I’m guessing that there aren’t any tapes of him talking about using his fame to “score.”

    • #16
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:48 PM PDT
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  17. big spaniel Member

    Michael Schulkins:

    One wonders: Were they bothered by how the Kennedys talked about and treated women? Or how Bill Clinton did? Nah. Crocodile tears.

    We are not playing on a level field, as everyone knows. For better or worse, Bill and Ted could get away with it, because the refs, the media, are on their side. Republican candidates cannot get away with such things. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is, and that’s why we can’t nominate a guy like Trump. It is a suicide move, as many of us have been saying for a long time. We couldn’t even win with a squeaky clean guy like Romney. How are we supposed to win with a sleaze?

    It’s a different world, and frankly on this point, a better one. People like Kennedy and Clinton shouldn’t have gotten away with what they did. Nor should Trump. The GOP nominated someone who was fatally vulnerable on this point. None of this stuff is a surprise. It’s just that it’s more forceful when you can witness it. And, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, Trump can’t exploit many of Hillary’s vulnerabilities because he shares them with her. None of this stuff is a surprise. We knew all of this before. Trump’s supporters are going to have to look in the mirror and try to be honest with themselves about what they’ve done.

    • #17
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:52 PM PDT
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  18. DocJay Inactive

    Roberto:

    Heather Higgins: His bar is low for Sunday.

    This seems completely wrong. Trump’s campaign was already damaged going into this debate, a solid win would have been just what he needed in order to right the ship. I would say this leaked video raises the stakes, it may be nothing that all should not already know about the man but that will not stop HRC from beating him over the head with it repeatedly. If he cannot manage an effective counter punch his campaign is liable to bleed support, failure to put in a very strong performance could be the end of him.

    Correct. Anything less than an outright embarrassing win vs Clinton will be a failure.

    Rather than fighting my way through 60 comments a minute I’m going to drunk blog it.

    • #18
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:52 PM PDT
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  19. HVTs Inactive

    big spaniel: Trump has proven every bad thing people have thought about him. Every one. It’s so stereotypical, it’s not funny anymore

    Help me understand how this assessment—and let’s just assume it’s true for argument’s sake—doesn’t apply with equal force to Hillary Clinton, especially in light of her now revealed talking points for the global banking lobby?

    • #19
    • October 9, 2016, at 1:53 PM PDT
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  20. HVTs Inactive

    big spaniel: Trump can’t use Hillary’s faults against her because he shares so many of them himself.

    Trump sold access to the office of the Secretary of State? Sold it to government officials from regimes that oppress women? Posted classified information on insecure servers attached to the internet? Then lied about it repeatedly? Made millions giving speeches telling insiders his policy positions were the opposite of what he told voters? Bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated victims of sexual assault (and rape) in order to sustain his political ambitions?

    • #20
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:02 PM PDT
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  21. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    HVTs:

    Help me understand how this assessment—and let’s just assume it’s true for argument’s sake—doesn’t apply with equal force to Hillary Clinton, especially in light of her now revealed talking points for the global banking lobby?

    No one on Ricochet is denying that Hillary is awful. The problem is that they are both awful. They are both liars, both corrupt, though Hillary’s corruption was in the public arena which does make it worse. The point is that all of Hillary’s stuff has been out there for the public to see for several years now. Much of it has been discounted and become nothing but background noise. It has become “old news” in her jargon. It has no impact.

    Trump on the other hand is fresh meat. He lied repeatedly during the primaries, flip flopped on issues, made some incredibly stupid statements, and, generally, acted like a complete buffoon. He made himself completely obnoxious to all but his most ardent supporters. Now the media is completely focused on destroying him, as I was certain they would do, having done the same to a much less onerous Romney. They demolished Romney who was a truly decent man. What chance do you think Trump has in that arena given his vast limitations?

    • #21
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:10 PM PDT
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  22. Valiuth Member

    DocJay:

    Roberto:

    Heather Higgins: His bar is low for Sunday.

    This seems completely wrong. Trump’s campaign was already damaged going into this debate, a solid win would have been just what he needed in order to right the ship. I would say this leaked video raises the stakes, it may be nothing that all should not already know about the man but that will not stop HRC from beating him over the head with it repeatedly. If he cannot manage an effective counter punch his campaign is liable to bleed support, failure to put in a very strong performance could be the end of him.

    Correct. Anything less than an outright embarrassing win vs Clinton will be a failure.

    Rather than fighting my way through 60 comments a minute I’m going to drunk blog it.

    Hey that’s what I plan to do. I’m going to make myself a Gin Martini and watch this thing implode.

    • #22
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:15 PM PDT
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  23. HVTs Inactive

    Hoyacon: . . . Democratic campaigns are predicated on demonizing the opposition, not putting forth policy options. For some reason, it seems to work. And unfortunately, it seems to me that the person most easily demonized is the nominee. Scott Walker, for example, is kind of boring. But I’m guessing that there aren’t any tapes of him talking about using his fame to “score.”

    Your argument needs some credible evidence—or even a credible argument!—that it would be any different for any candidate but Trump. I don’t think you have that . . . haven’t heard it yet at any rate. Walker? Right . . . busting unions wouldn’t have mattered for nominee Walker?

    But that gets to a second point: Walker dropped out six months before the first primary! Doesn’t that tell you something about the viability of potential nominee Walker? How about we keep this discussion to the final four . . . Trump, Rubio, Cruz, Kasich? None of the others were even marginal players.

    • #23
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:15 PM PDT
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  24. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    HVTs: Trump sold access to the office of the Secretary of State? Sold it to government officials from regimes that oppress women? Posted classified information on insecure servers attached to the internet? Then lied about it repeatedly?

    These are all being treated by the media as allegations, unproven. On the other hand, everything Trump does or says is shouted from the roof tops. We know these things because people on this site pay attention. We are essentially political junkies. The majority of Americans aren’t. They get their news on the major networks or from late night comedians. What is obvious to you and to me is simply unknown and unknowable to the majority of American voters.

    • #24
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:15 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    HVTs: How about we keep this discussion to the final four . . . Trump, Rubio, Cruz, Kasich? None of the others were even marginal players.

    I am not sure how well Cruz would have done against Hillary given that the Republican establishment hated him more than they hated Trump. However, Rubio could very wll have beaten Hillary hands down. He wouldn’t have been the ideal conservative president, but he would have been electable, and that is lot better that what we ended up with.

    • #25
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:19 PM PDT
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  26. HVTs Inactive

    Eugene Kriegsmann: The point is that all of Hillary’s stuff has been out there for the public to see for several years now.

    Ahh, did you not notice the other headline this weekend?

    • #26
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:19 PM PDT
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  27. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    HVTs: Ahh, did you not notice the other headline this weekend?

    Yeah, but it was overwhelmed by Trump’s stupidity. How many do you think are going to bother to read that when the more salacious story of Trump’s sexual predation is in competition with it and the media is pushing it?

    • #27
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:21 PM PDT
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  28. HVTs Inactive

    Eugene Kriegsmann: Now the media is completely focused on destroying (Trump), as I was certain they would do, having done the same to a much less onerous Romney. They demolished Romney who was a truly decent man. What chance do you think Trump has in that arena given his vast limitations?

    The logic of your argument is it makes no difference who the GOP nominee is. So it might as well be someone capable of fighting back, no? In fact, it must be someone who can fight back, no? That’s the only possible path to victory given the situation as you describe it. In short, what’s the point of another Romney?

    • #28
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:23 PM PDT
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  29. Profile Photo Member

    If this report of a recording of Trump using that REALLY bad epithet are true, he is gone.

    • #29
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:25 PM PDT
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  30. Hoyacon Member

    HVTs:

    Hoyacon: . . . Democratic campaigns are predicated on demonizing the opposition, not putting forth policy options. For some reason, it seems to work. And unfortunately, it seems to me that the person most easily demonized is the nominee. Scott Walker, for example, is kind of boring. But I’m guessing that there aren’t any tapes of him talking about using his fame to “score.”

    Your argument needs some credible evidence—or even a credible argument!—that it would be any different for any candidate but Trump. I don’t think you have that . . . haven’t heard it yet at any rate. Walker? Right . . . busting unions wouldn’t have mattered for nominee Walker?

    OK, that’s fair, but you should at least be willing to concede that it’s hard to marshal evidence for a counterfactual version of history. I could look at the major contenders at the point Trump secured the nomination, make a spreadsheet listing all of the intemperate remarks that they’ve made, and pretty much guarantee you that the column marked Trump will be the longest. And to repeat, I’m basing this on the premise that gaffes/alleged “insensitivities” are the absolute meat on which Democratic campaigns are built. To me, that is observable, and from that perspective, I cannot see anyone running behind Trump, even the prickly Ted Cruz.

    • #30
    • October 9, 2016, at 2:31 PM PDT
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