Saturday, May 28, 2016

Trump tease

Trump shouldn't have walked this back. A debate would be tactically brilliant.

Sanders needs the debate far more than he does, so he has enormous leverage. Vet the questions ahead of time, format it in the usual forum style where the actual direct interaction between the participants is minimized, emphasize things he and Sanders have common ground on, like trade and--before Hillary forced Sanders to shift leftward in primaries--gun rights and immigration skepticism, be disciplined enough not to launch a verbal kill shot at Sanders, and otherwise use it as an extemporaneous stump speech opportunity where he is at his best.

The downside risk is easily mitigated. With his charisma and frame control he's masterful at avoiding the body blow. This isn't even a debate he wants to decisively 'win'. The overarching objective is to prop Sanders up to make Hillary's nomination as unsatisfying to Sanders' supporters as possible.

Lock Hillary out of a debate with the largest audience in American history--her elective absence being something both he and Sanders could allude to in their opening remarks. Endear himself as much as possible to disaffected Sanders' supporters with an eye towards the general election. Accentuate Hillary's ire towards Sanders to diminish the salience and status of the position Sanders is offered in a Hillary administration as much as possible. Sanders as Hillary's VP is the worst case scenario and anything that makes that outcome less likely is worthwhile. Get Hillary to offer him something lame like housing secretary instead.

That said, net-net he still benefits from having created this speculation before reneging. The expectations for Hillary to debate Sanders again are obviously higher than for him to have done so. Everyone looks apprehensive about going one-on-one with Sanders, and an enhancement in Sanders' image hurts Hillary, with anything hurting Hillary helping him. Sanders ends up garnering more attention over the course of the week than Hillary does. He avoids the potential debate ambuscade.


The Z Blog said...

I thought the same thing. It looked to me like a kill shot to Hillary. It would make her look like an fringe player. This would appeal to Bernie voters, some of whom may be tempted to flip to Trump in the general.

That said, Trump has not officially clinched the nomination. That happens at the convention. Apparently, there are rules about these debates both parties work out years in advance. By debating Bernie, Trump would have violated those agreements. That would just upset all those bureaucrats in the GOP establishment, who take pride in their detailed negotiations over things like debates.

Trump probably should have said something about how the rules prevent it, but I'm not sure that would make much of a difference. He's playing 3D chess in Hillary's head right now so he got what he wanted from this ploy. He's using a rather old tactic to keep Team Clinton off-balance.

1. He appears to have no strategy. Random stunts like this make him seem erratic and unpredictable.

2. He's always shifting his patterns and habits. This ploy was a shift from attacking Hillary to buddying up to Sanders, which no one expected.

3. He is always on offense by attacking unsuspecting targets. Team Sanders was caught off-guard and ended up looking like a partner of Team Trump. Trump then cuts that off and goes back to attacking Hillary.

Mil-Tech Bard said...

Trump is operating inside the decision loops of the "Peak Political Consultant Class" hive mind.

Trump's success there is going to do to the GOP political consultant class what Howard Dean did to the Democratic consultant class as DNC chair, squared and cubed.

The Democratic Party consultant class will have an even worse problem after a Trump general election win.

Trump seems about to reset white male voting pattern's outside the South to that of White males -inside the South-.

And also get the 50% general election participation rate for non-college degree white males (60% of the white male vote) to roughly that of college degree white males (75%), if the increased working class White Male GOP primary returns are any indication.

Hillary is only getting 14% of the non-college degree white male support in the latest ABC News polls.

The demographic implications of that for Purple/Blue states can be seen in the last poll from Oregon that had Trump up 44% to 42% over Hillary.

bleach said...

The corncuck libertardian Charles Murray is now on record saying Hillary is preferable to Trump. Because he's "outside the normal parameters", you see.

Audacious Epigone said...


Would love to know how much is Trump thinking three moves ahead and how much of it is just great instincts. Either way, it's getting more and more difficult to see how Hillary doesn't start falling apart over the next five months.

Mil-Tech Bard,

Working-class white male turnout is what will turn this into a route, a blowout, or whatever else one might shout to round out the rhyme.


Murray has been the single most disappointing figure in the last year. His WSJ article awhile back was good. That was the extent that he needed to interject himself into partisan politics, which isn't his schtick and is instead making him look ridiculous.