Trump making mess of his campaign
By constantly talking about himself and reminding people of his own mistakes, he’s ruining his message, as Chris Cillizza notes.
The daily story in the presidential race, as of Wednesday afternoon, was this: “Clinton tries to change subject on tough email report; Trump rakes in cash.” Pretty good for the presumptive Republican nominee!
Then Trump went to Cincinnati for a rally with vice-presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich. And it all fell apart.
Trump spent the first 20 or so minutes of his speech reading from prepared notes — hitting Clinton on her email practices and raising questions about her honesty and trustworthiness…
Then something snapped. He threw away the notes and lit into the media — and society, more generally — over two recent controversies: (1) his campaign tweeting out and then removing an image that looked suspiciously like the Star of David, and (2) his comments about how late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was “so good” when it came to dealing with terrorists…
It’s hard to explain how bad that turnaround is for Trump. And how avoidable it all was. What’s even more remarkable is that he seemed to have the blueprint — read the speech, blast Clinton, get out of the way — for a good day. Instead, he voluntarily dipped into two issues — debating whether he was anti-Semitic and defending his praise for a brutal dictator — that are straight losers, politically speaking…
Malpractice is a harsh word. But there’s no other word for taking a good day and turning it not only into a bad day but potentially a bad week or a bad month. Winning campaigns play up their strengths and play down their flaws. Trump seems committed to doing just the opposite.
This isn’t the campaign’s fault. The campaign — from manager Paul Manafort on down — is clearly telling Trump the right things to do. He just isn’t willing to do them. The blame is his. Pure and simple.