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Fear and Loathing at the Trump SoHo Hotel: Trump Throws the Republican Oppo File at Clinton

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

In this post, we continue our tradition of close reading of primary sources, in this case a third speech by presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump (previous posts here and here). Today, we’ll look at the speech Trump gave at the Trump SoHo Hotel, a “posh high-rise” in Lower Manhattan (in which the Trumps invested no capital). This is the speech Trump had planned to give before the Orlando mass shootings, after which he rescheduled. The video follows, and the transcript is here.

Here’s a word cloud of the speech:

wordle

As you can see, the speech has one central subject: “Hillary” “Clinton.” (My original word cloud had a tiny “Libya” neatly positioned between the jaws of the large “C” in “Clinton” — readers, I swear it! — but unfortunately Wordle’s algorithm has some randomness built in, and when I refreshed the page after changing the typeface, the word cloud’s layout had changed, and I wasn’t able to reproduce the effect. Sad!) Whether the cloud of smaller and tiny subjects surrounding “Hillary” “Clinton” is the result of a scattershot approach, or of machine gun fire, is yet to be determined.

Let’s begin by looking at the spin, starting out with the Republicans; from Politico, “Is this the new Trump?”:

“You can really see a difference between a Corey and a Manafort approach,” said Michael Steele, the former RNC chairman. “Corey would say ‘just go for it.’ Manafort is telling him he has to define a narrative and stick to it; and he clearly is trying to turn some corners. The test is can he sustain that. The next interview he gives, can he stay on message and drive those points home?”

Of course, the Rice-Davies Rule (“They would say that, wouldn’t they?”) applies, as with all partisan operatives, and we see the bipartisan technical vocabulary (“narrative,” “on message”) of the exact sort of Beltway professional Trump scorched in the primaries. Nevertheless, that a fully paid-up member of the Republican establishment says this now is a story in itself, Manafort is stone professional and either an excellent speechwriter himself or made a good hire, and Trump wrangled a teleprompter successfully. So we see some signs of health in the Trump campaign.

The Rice-Davies Rule also applies to the Democratic nomenklatura; picking one at random [please give me a moment to throw a dart at the list David Brock keeps for his “writer’s bureau” — kidding!] we find Brian Beutler, by no means the worse of them, at The New Republic (seemingly unaffected by its latest ownership change). Let’s parse this out:

Though scripted, Trump’s remarks were scattershot and defensive. In that regard, and in the rather inelegant and desperate way they were deployed to change the current narrative of the race, they resemble the disorganized, information-dump-like attacks his primary campaign rivals aimed at him, just as their campaigns were about to falter. Everything all at once, but too little, too late.

As for “scattershot,” I will leave that to you to decide. “Defensive”? Hardly. And “too little, too late” is something we really don’t know, isn’t it? (Democrats, in general, ever since they discovered the word “performative” in 2003 or so, have had a bad habit of acting as if saying words makes them come true. Pronouncing any campaign over in June, when voters won’t be paying attention ’til after Labor Day, strikes me as premature triumphalism. Just ask President Dukakis.)

The defining quality of Donald Trump’s bill of particulars against Hillary Clinton, laid out in a bullet-pointed speech Wednesday morning, is that much of it was fabricated or embellished.

First, the speech isn’t bullet-pointed, literally or metaphorically. Like his style or not, Trump transitions from point to point informally, but smoothly. Second, even I know to look for the weasel words: “much of it” — this of a “defining quality”! — and “fabricated or embellished.” “Or”? How much of each? A salesman, especially a successful one, is permitted some puffery, after all.

“Hillary Clinton, who already has the blood of so many on her hands, is now announcing that she is willing to put each and every one of our lives in harms’ way.” (False.).

“False,” forsooth? Not even “half true”? Even the New York Times, which endorsed Clinton, says Clinton personally tipped the balance in the adminstration toward intervention in Libya, and so bears responsibility for the subsequent debacle. So: “Blood of so many on her hands”: True. And: “Now announcing that she is willing to put each and every one of our lives in harms’ way.” If not true, 100% plausible, if you think past performance is a good indicator of future results, if your consider that Clinton’s finger wasn’t “on the button” at State, and if you are worried that a new generation of small, stealthy, and more precise nuclear weapons will make them easier to use, for button-pushers so minded.

The 2012 campaign Barack Obama ran against Mitt Romney, to take one contrary example, was much more methodical. Many months before Romney secured the Republican presidential primary, Obama laid the groundwork to run against a heartless plutocrat, proposing a tax reform he called the “Buffett Rule,” which would ensure that high-income earners and people with large investment incomes (people, in other words, like Mitt Romney) wouldn’t pay lower effective tax rates than their employees. Republicans everywhere, including Romney, obligingly inveighed against the proposal.

Obama’s efforts to define Romney flowed from there: He isolated key aspects of Romney’s business record and his political agenda, and held them up through that lens.

What Obama didn’t do was rattle off all the unlovely Romney facts he thought he knew, without any connective tissue binding them together into an organic whole.

Here we have the heart of Beutler’s complaint: That Trump — unlike Obama — didn’t organize or present his material in the style that the Acela-riding polical class prefers! Can Beutler really believe that Paul Manafort doesn’t know how to organize a speech? What on earth can undergraduate English-minor language like “without any connective tissue binding them together into an organic whole” possibly mean? For my money, the “connective tissue” is “Crooked Hillary.” (One might also consider that Trump doesn’t need to lay so much groundwork, given that Clinton, through hubris or incompetence, has done so much of Trump’s work for him. Obama couldn’t hold up a copy of Rommey Cash and tell voters to read it, because there was no such book.)

Now let’s look at a source likely to be read outside the Beltway: People magazine:

Trump’s Turn: GOP Nominee Attacks Hillary Clinton as ‘World-Class Liar’ in Takedown Speech, Launches LyingCrookedHillary.com

“She’s a world-class liar. Just look at her pathetic email and server statements, or her phony landing in Bosnia, where she said she was under attack and the attack turned out to be young girls handing her flowers,” the billionaire businessman told supporters at Trump Soho in New York Wednesday morning. It was “a total and self-serving lie.”

Trump claimed that Clinton has prioritized “making money for special interests and taking money from special interests.” “They totally own her and that will never, ever change, including if she ever became president, God help us,” said Trump, whose children Tiffany, Eric and Ivanka were among the crowd.

(Nice touch about Trump’s children being in the crowd.) People seems to have picked up — and amplified — Trump’s message just fine. Perhaps there was more “organic” “connective” “tissue” than Beutler thought?

With that, I’ll look at four themes that should carry Trump through to November, as exemplied by excerpts from the speech:

  1. Rigged System
  2. Corruption
  3. TPP
  4. Email

The speech is long, and there’s a rather a lot of oppo, including a narrative of Benghazi that is, at long last, at least coherent — red meat for the base! — but these the themes that I think are in NC’s wheelhouse, and will resonate most with NC readers. (I’ve demoted Clinton’s warmongering to a footnote, since in my view that’s so obvious as not to need discussion.) You can decide for yourselves whether the truth lies closer to Beutler’s interpretation, or to People’s.

I’m going to take selected portions of Trump’s speech, and annotate them, with two streams of notes: The first, numbered (“[1”), will cover the substance of Trump’s speeech. The second, lettered (“[A]”), will cover the rhetoric. (At some point, I should get out the Magic Markers™and look at Trump’s rhetoric exclusively, but this post is not that post.) First, the rigged system.

1. Rigged System: “Her phony landing in Bosnia”

[TRUMP:} [I]it’s not just the political system that’s rigged, it’s the whole economy.

(APPLAUSE)

It’s rigged[A] by big donors who want to keep wages down[1]. It’s rigged by big businesses who want to leave our country, fire our workers and sell their products back into the United States with absolutely no consequences for them.[2]

It’s rigged by bureaucrats who are trapping kids in failing schools[3]. It’s rigged against you, the American people. Hillary Clinton, and as you know she — most people know she’s a world-class liar. Just look at her pathetic e-mail server statements[4] or her phony landing…

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: … or her phony landing in Bosnia[5], where she said she was under attack, and the attack turned out to be young girls handing her flowers[6], a total and — look, this was — this was one of the beauts[B], a total and self-serving lie. Brian Williams’ career was destroyed for saying less, remember that[7].

[1] “Keep wages down”: The Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe wage-fixing cartel, for example, which involved over a million employees.

[2] “Leave our country, fire our workers”: For example, Carrier. More generally, private equity selling off the Rust Belt for parts.

[3] “Bureaucrats”: Trump probably means unions. Of course, the Obama administration’s charter-friendly policies, backed by scab temp agency Teach for America, are also an assault on unions, using the classic neoliberal strategy of starving public services budgets and then introducing a privatized, rent-seeking alternative. Conservatives (Trump) and liberals (Clinton) can’t say that, although the left can.

[4] “Pathetic email statements.” There are many, such that only long-form posts can cope with the volume and shifting detail. See here, here, and here.

[5] “Phony landing in Bosnia.” “pants on fire.”

[6] “Flowers”: true. Also effective because it recalls the pervasive trope that we’d be greeted with candy and flowers after invading Iraq.

[7] “Saying less”: Less than, or equal to.

* * *

[A] “It’s rigged… It’s rigged… It’s rigged….” a fine example of anaphora, especially because the repeated word, “rigged,” is so charged.

[B] “[O]ne of the beauts”: This descent to a low style is very characteristic of Trump. It’s a figure of pathos, designed to provoke an emotional response, or even a function of the emotional state of the speaker, but I can’t find a precise term for it! (The technique is like bathos, which also a descent in style, but an anti-climatic lapse. Aschematiston is a vice, not a virtue.) Because Trump is disconnecting from his audience in one style, and reconnecting with them by addressing them in a second style, I’m going to use apostrophe as a placeholder in this post.

2. Corruption: “They totally own her and that will never ever change “

[TRUMP:] Then when she left, she made $21.6 million giving speeches to Wall Street banks and other special interests[1] and in less than two years[A], secret speeches that she does not want to reveal under any circumstances to the public[2]. I wonder why?[B]

Together, she and Bill made $153 million giving speeches to lobbyists, CEOs and foreign governments in the years since 2001[3]. They totally own her[4] and that will never ever change, including if she ever became president, God help us[C].

[1] “21.6 million”: true.

[2] “[D]oes not want to reveal”: true (ha). “Recalled one attendee: ‘She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.'”

[3] “$153 million: true.

[4] “Own her:” A pardonable exaggeration; for a typology of corruption in American political life, see at NC here. This is really not hard: Up here in the Great State of Maine, when the managers of the (privatized) landfill give “the community” a tour, they always make sure to serve free food? Why? Out of the goodness of their hearts? Of course not! They want to influence people to feel good about the landfill and its owners, duh! Doctors can be influenced in their prescriptions by promotional items as small as a coffee mug. Are we really to believe, then, that Clinton won’t be influenced by $21.6 million dollars? If your answer is “No”, or “Hell no,” then understand the definition of corruption: It’s not only leaving an envelope on the dresser with cash in it; corruption is the use of public office for private gain. And in allowing Wall Street to purchase options on her future, public actions, based on her past, public actions as FLOTUS and SoS, that is exactly what Clinton is doing. (Note that when Clinton advocates demand proof of a quid pro quo, they’re accepting the majority doctrine of Citizens United, which in essence sets “money in an envelope in exchange for services rendered” as the standard. That’s not the case with my landfill example, it’s not the case with the doctors, and it’s not the case with Clinton, either. All these relations are still corrupt using Teachout’s approach, which is grounded in how the writers of the Federalist papers understood corruption, and not Antonin Scalia.

* * *

[A] “and in less than two years”: anastrophe, changing word order for emphasis. Putting this phrase at the end of the sentence (rather than following “millions”) emphasizes the rapidity with which Clinton made this money, suggesting greed. Anastrophe is another important feature of Trump’s style.

[B] “I wonder why?”: rhetorical question.

[C] Anastrophe once more.

3. TPP: “If she is elected president, she will adopt the Trans-Pacific Partnership”

[TRUMP:] This is the latest Clinton cover-up and it doesn’t change anything. If she is elected president, she will adopt the Trans-Pacific Partnership[1] and we will lose millions of jobs and our economic independence for good[2]. She’ll do this, and just as she has betrayed the American worker on trade at every single stage of her career[3], and it will be even worse than the Clinton’s NAFTA deal, and I never thought it could get worse than that.[A]

We will lose jobs, we will lose employment, we will lose taxes, we will lose[B] everything. We will lose our country[4]. I want trade deals, but they have to be great for the United States and for our workers.

[1] “She will adopt”: Likely true. The Democratic National Convention drafting committee defeated a proposal from Rep. Keith Ellison that would have rejected the pact. If you believe that the Clinton campaign has the DNC wired, then you believe Clinton supports the TPP.

[2] “millions of jobs and our economic independence for good”: partly true. On “jobs,” some estimates say 450K, not “millions.” If we go by NAFTA, “millions” would be correct, but the Rust Belt has already been hollowed out; we can’t do that twice. On “economic independence,” that’s true if losing our “independence” means “surrendering our national sovereignty to the ISDS system.”

[3] “every single stage of her career”: Not true, since Clinton voted against CAFTA.

[4] Again, I’m surprised Trump doesn’t mention ISDS; loss of “sovereignty” would certainly be red meat for his audience. He should talk to Jeff Sessions, who has actually taken a principled stand on the issue.

* * *

[A] “worse than that”: Anastrophe.

[B] “we will lose”: Anaphora

4. Email: “Her server was easily hacked by foreign governments”

[TRUMP:] To cover up her corrupt feelings [sic], Hillary illegally[1] stashed[A] her State Department e-mails on a private server[2]. She’s under investigation, but it seems like nothing is going to happen[3]. Even though other people who have done similar things, but much — at a much lower level, their lives have been destroyed[4].

It’s a rigged system, folks. It’s a rigged system.[B] Her server was easily hacked by foreign governments[4], perhaps even by her financial backers in communist China.[5] Sure they have it.[C] Putting all of America and our citizens in danger, great danger.[D]

Then there are the 33,000 e-mails she deleted. Well, we may not know what’s in those deleted e-mails, our enemies probably know every single one of them. So they probably now have a blackmail file over someone who wants to be the president of the United States.[6]

This fact alone disqualifies her from the presidency. We can’t hand over our government to someone who’s deepest, darkest secrets[E] may be in the hands of our enemies. Can’t do it.[F]

[1] “illegally”: Not yet determined by a court. Again, see here, here, and here, all of which make the case that Clinton committed crimes.

[2] “e-mails on a private server”: Plausible. If you believe that the half of her email Clinton (believed she) destroyed was about Chelsea’s wedding and yoga lessons, then you reject Trump’s thesis.

[3] “seems like nothing is going to happen”: True. Clinton has said that there is ‘absolutely’ no chance FBI investigation will be problem. Here too the Rice-Davies Rule applies, but still.

[4] “lives have been destroyed”: true. David Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling classified documents, or any number of victim’s of the administration’s campaign against whisteblowers, which are often based on the misuse of confidential information (for example, William Binney).

[4] “easily hacked by foreign governments”: True. AP: “In a blistering audit released last month, the State Department’s inspector general concluded that Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup broke federal standards and could leave sensitive material vulnerable to hackers. Her aides twice brushed aside concerns, in one case telling technical staff ‘the matter was not to be discussed further,’ the report said.”

[5] “communist China”: unproven, although note the lawyerly “perhaps”!s

[6] Plausible, especially if you consider an unsecured email server as a phishing equilibrium.

* * *

[A] “Stashed.” Ouch!

[B] “rigged system”: conduplicatio, repetition of words in adjacent phrases or clauses, a third key Trump technique.

[C] “Sure they have it”: Anastrophe.

[D] “danger”: conduplicatio.

[E] “deepest, darkest secrets”: alliteration, most often repeated initial consonants.

[F]. “Can’t do it”: Anastrophe.

Conclusion

Again as a troll prophylactic, let me say that this post is not an endorsement of any candidate. However, as we know too well with the Clintons. just because it’s oppo doesn’t mean it isn’t true! In this speech, Trump opens up four lines of attack:

  1. Rigged System
  2. Corruption
  3. TPP
  4. Email

There’s a lot of truth on each front, and Trump builds his case using simple, effective language. Of course, there’s a million dollar SuperPAC with the billable hours to refute these charges by funding trolls — you can go online and meet them! — but to me, they’re pounding the table because they’re losing on the facts and (maybe) the law. On corruption, it’s common sense that taking huge sums of money from Wall Street influences you, just as much as an effing coffee mug can influence your doctor when he’s prescribing that. If you agree with that, then you agree that Clinton has used her past public service and prospects for future public service for private gain; there’s no way around the influence peddling. Corruption is important, because it means that the calculus for the actual policies that Clinton will deliver — as opposed to those she says she’ll deliver now — isn’t transparent to voters, although we already know enough to know it will be skewed to donor interests.

Many have commented that both the Democrat and Republican candidates have unfavorables that are, historically, uniquely high. At 55%, Trump’s unfavorables are, amazingly, 20 points higher than Clinton’s also amazing unfavorables, at 35%. Short of running into a burning building to save a small child, it’s doubtful that Trump can reduce his unfavorables. What he can do is drive up Clinton’s unfavorables so that they are at his level. The series of speeches that we’ve looked at are, I think, a coordinated effort to do that, and there’s good reason to think they’ll succeed. To what extent, we don’t know. Again, anybody who thinks that Clinton will get a free ride to the Oval Office is delusional.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

97 comments

  1. polecat

    I hope Trump continues to wipe the plebeian floor with her sorry ass!

    …how about labeling it the ‘Donald Damp Mop’…??

        1. different clue

          hmmm . . . . the phrase does seem perhaps to have possibilities . . .

          One wonders whether it could be combined with other phrases for interesting effects . . . phrases like “leaning in” and “power feminist”. Effects like “(so-and-so) is a real power feminist who can inspire us all by how she leans in to break through the tiffany glass ceiling.”

      1. polecat

        right oh! ……. as he pitches her thru the opera house roof glass,,,in a single bound……up,up and away!

    1. Jus'Thinkin

      Don’t count Bernie out yet. He’s been in politics a long time and is no fool. He may still have a trick up his sleeve. Things have not been going well for his views at the Democratic Platform, amazingly the Clintonites blocked an opposition to TPP from the platform – OOPs not so amazing.
      We have had a lot of strange things happen in this election cycle I think there are more to come.

    1. apber

      Hillary’s criminal acts are legendary, although never actually adjudicated. Donald has no FBI investigations on his resume but I’m sure in the rough and tumble world of NY real estate, there were many corners cut, subtle bribery, many forms of corruption etc. I remember an FHA (prevailing wage=union job) I did in Boston many years ago. My super declined the union demand that he featherbed 20 workers; he wound up with a bullet in his head. Unfortunately, one has to know how to play the game, and Donald certainly does. Difficult to compare any criminal activity in his employment history to that of Clinton because Clinton’s scope was global; millions died and were impoverished.

  2. Anon

    Awesome work, Lambert! Another key note about this speech (and I can’t speak to all of his) is that the information is simple, accessible – the kind of speech that you wouldn’t scratch your head to figure out the words to. Not sure if it’s scientifically proven that people remember alliteration better or not, but still pretty good. Finally, I realize that the “Crooked Hillary” linguistic kill shot has her initials (albeit in reverse order). I wonder if that was part of it?

  3. fosforos

    Trivial. But “undergraduate English minor-language” should be
    “undergraduate English-minor language.”

  4. Pat

    Unfortunately today our Supreme Court took a case that was clear cut corruption and said there was none because it was not connected to an official act. And threw out a CONVICTION which met the high bar that was before this ruling to do it.

    Sadly, nothing will be criminal regarding this again unless we can somehow take over the government and write laws even our corporately owned Supreme Court cannot parse to mean the opposite. (And by the way those laws must make them liable to the same laws regarding corruption and influence.)

    But I’m more likely to win this week’s powerball than that happening.

  5. TedWa

    I’m coming more and more to the belief that maybe this is the time that the 2 parties change positions. Democrats have become the war party and Republican in more ways than I care to count. I recollect that this has happened in the past but I’m unsure of the circumstances surrounding this change, but we all know that the ERA changed the Republicans of Eisenhower’s time to the scoundrels we know today. The Republicans of Lincoln’s time certainly were more Democratic, and they also were in Eisenhower’s time. Trump may be that catalyst? Interesting times.

    1. Buck Eschaton

      Maybe the Sanders people should leave the Democratic party and start to take over the Republican party.

    2. Pavel

      I beg to differ.

      Republicans = War Party
      Democrats = War Party + Welfare Party

      In either case… more war.

    3. The Rage

      Nah, Trump is the war candidate. I think the bigger things is whether Democrats become anti-immigrant in the future causing strife. The Democrats have always been a coalition party and this current model is growing old.

      1. Yves Smith

        Evidence please? You are our of your depth on this one.

        No big donor are backing him yet, particularly industrial donors or the defense surveillance complex.

        A DC insider tells me Google is the new Wall Street and owns Hilary.

        Hillary has Victoria Nuland on her short list of candidates for Secretary of State and her husband is Robert Kagan.

        Hillary has said she wants a no-fly zone in Syria, which is tantamount to declaring war on Russia.

        By contrast, in Trump’s foreign policy speech, he said we’d wasted $4 trillion in the MIddle East, killed millions, and accomplished nothing Contrast that with the New York Times feature “Top Gun” on how Hillary became a uber hawk.

        Trump also said we should de-descalate with Russia, that we can’t afford to be on a hostile footing with China and Russia at the same time and we have more in the way of common interests with Russia.

        The neocons went nuts after Trump’s speech.

        Making stuff up is against our comments policies.

        1. Lord Koos

          I don’t see how either party can skate on the war issue, since neither party has ever gone against the deep state.

    4. ToivoS

      This notion that Democrats are the peace party defies history. What party did the following president’s belong to?

      WWI, Woodrow Wilson
      WWII, FDR (well this is one that was unavoidable for the US)
      Korean War, Harry Truman
      Vietnam, LBJ

      The Bushs brought us two Iraq wars but Obama’s record in Libya and Syria was pretty dismal. Eisenhower ended the Korean War and Nixon Vietnam but Obama seemed incapable of ending the Afghan War or even the Iraq one.

      1. LYLE SLACK

        Sorry, Nixon did not “end” the Vietnam War. He and Kissinger ramped up that war in many ways before finally reluctantly throwing in the towel. Out of that whole bunch it was only the former four-star general, who actually knew what the face of war was like, who genuinely ended a war (Korea).

      2. jsn

        As much as I’m a fan of FDR, WW2 was avoidable and he chose not to. I agree in that instance with a Democratic (FDR earned the ic suffix, I think even Lambert might agree) war president, but it does support the case that Dems are the party of war.

      3. Tony Wright

        But would either Libya/ Arab Spring or ISIS/ Syria have played out any way near the disastrous way they have if
        Dubya, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Co. had not blundered their way into Iraq? And gone a long way to stuffing up the US budget in the process . Can’t imagine Al Gore doing that; thanks Jeb.

  6. Pat

    Just adding to the Carrier list, try the Oreo plant in the South Chicago area which was informed last year that they would be moving operations to Mexico if employees didn’t agree to work for ridiculously low wages.
    Not in this leak but it was included in another heartbreaking story of a meeting where employees went in proud and hopeful because they had expectations of a well done and an announcement that their plant was going to be updated and came out devastated because they found out their jobs were going to Mexico.
    Admittedly Obama and Clinton ‘criticized’ the decision but funny how it didn’t get a pointless sit in in Congress or even a few suggested law changes on taxes and tariffs.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/mondelez-nabisco-oreo-layoffs-production-move-mexico/

    1. Pavel

      Thanks for adding this, Pat — I was going to do the same. And what could be more iconic than Oreo cookies?

      And Lambeth, kudos for the “Rice-Davies Rule”! LOL. For those readers who need context, watch the “Scandal” movie (IMDB: Scandal (1989) or the episode of Ab Fab when Patsy quotes Mandy Rice-Davies.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We need an Anisotropic Wall.

      Companies can’t move south to Mexico.

      People can move north to America.

      1. B1whois

        United States. America is offense to the residents of central and south America. Canadians don’t seem to mind.

    3. Jennifer

      Well, it is time to bake our own cookies, in our own kitchens, cheaper, and not a tree nut facility. :)

  7. Hana M

    Absolutely fascinating post, Lambert. Well done. It’s telling that People magazine has a clearer view than all the Beltway insiders, who may well be deluding themselves once again. Brexit redux?

    1. RW Tucker

      If Nate Silver’s abominable performance is any indication, the ability for anyone in the political intelligentsia to discriminate their asshole from a hole in the ground, is in serious doubt.

  8. ambrit

    Report from the ground level.
    Phyllis, (Happy Birthday Dear!) was vigourously discussing over the telephone, politics with her sister, who presently lives in Plano, Texas. Phyl reported a distinct “plague on both their houses” attitude from her usually Olde Style Republican sister. Rez made a cogent point, as reported by Phyl to me. She said that one could discern the political allegiance of someone by determining the brand of cable news talk show on the television in the persons kitchen. (It’s that kind of place.) Introducing a counter narrative is thus an uphill battle.
    The extremism now manifesting in the populace is rather breath taking. Rez narrated the case of a seemingly level headed matron who was convinced that Mrs. Obama was really a man in drag. Not quite up to the standards of our Reptilian Overlords, but close. In that milieu H Clinton is viewed mainly as corrupt. The sexual allegations are soft pedaled. Competency is a minor issue. All of that money and where it came from is centre stage. Quid pro quo is understood right enough, and connected to H Clinton, ah, intimately.
    When the Babbitts of America desert you, you are in serious trouble.

  9. Mark John

    I am a Bernie supporter, and, frankly, these are all of the right themes for Trump to go after. I won’t be voting for Trump or Hillary. I might vote for an Elizabeth Warren vice-presidency. Probably Warren is the only one who can respond to these types of attacks. Worryingly, the ladies-who-lunch in Manhattan say that the VP pick will be Andrew Cuomo (keep an eye out for a quickie marriage with Sandra Lee).

    1. Pat

      The Ladies who lunch in Manhattan are proving their ignorance. Luckily it won’t happen. Not only would Andrew “I learn from the best when it comes to corruption” Cuomo not dent his future Presidential chances by doing it, there are technical reasons not to do it. Check out the electoral college rules on voting for a President and a Vice President from the same state. Unless the Clintonites are truly stupid they are not going to set up a situation where the Senate gets to pick the new Vice President OR even more troubling they elect the Vice President and go for a new President (in that case i think it is the House that gets to choose…)

      I have great hopes for Cuomo meeting the state standard of corruption really really soon, although it is a long shot thus saving us from Andy in 2020 or god forbid 2024.

  10. ekstase

    Terrific breakdown of his rhetorical techniques, which can be appealing, until you see that it is a New York tough guy bit. He can’t go three sentences without telling us he’s “amazing” at something. I see this as something of a weakness. Great in an elevator pitch, maybe, but not all day long. Whatever personal insecurities Hilary may have, have been well polished over, long ago. Trump is probably furious at mirrors. I’m glad we have Sanders’ candor to look at while the rest of this campaign proceeds.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Breaking down the techniques for an entire speech… That’s laborious, but at some point I should do it. I think you make a great point on Trump overcompensating, and that it is a weakness. It would be interesting if it were a “tell” of some sort.

      1. RobJ

        The great, amazing, and all the other superlatives, repeated 450 times–or maybe it’s just 45–in a speech are fatiguing and reveal that Trump is all NY bullshit and no substance.

        He’s a braggadocio, with a hat to hide his fur.
        Other than that, I suppose it was an effective speech.
        (And when a critique of Libya policy has been preceded by a speech in which the Trump claims “I’m the most militaristic candidate you’ve ever seen,” well, it kind of waters down the effect of the critique of the Killary in the ME, doesn’t it? Combined with the other bombing rhetoric. But these are nose-picking details.

  11. flora

    Great post. It seems to me Trump has one other overall theme briefly mentioned in the first 2 minutes of his speech.

    “I am grateful beyond words to the nation…. So, when people ask me why I am running, I very quickly answer — I’m running to give back to this country which has been so very good to me.

    Whether you think that’s boiler plate or sincere, the sentiment of giving back to the country out of respect is going to resonate with large sections of the voters. Can anyone imagine Hillary doing anything to “give back”? Trump’s bill of particulars against Hillary are a list of all the ways she takes (and has taken the country), and the many disasters that have followed.

    1. polecat

      ..because if you’re not with ‘her’…..well………then you’re ‘ungrateful’…right??

  12. PIGL

    I dislike Hillary Clinton for many of the reasons stated, but in my opinion, the Hillary Hatred of Naked Capitalism has long since slipped the bounds of earth, and soared into the stratosphere of gibbering, foaming, irrationality. You’ll be bringing up the Foster murder any second…many of you people have lost all perspective, and are making mountains of monstrosity out of trivial acts.

    I remember in 1992, about the time that Bill Clinton was elected president, Mother Jones ran an article on him which pointed out the seething hatred in which he was held by young, suspenders-wearing Wall Street brokers. It was a thing to behold, especially as there was no possible basis for it at the time except self interest: it seemed possible that he might raise their taxes.

    As many of the readers and writers here come from that world, I think the irrational degree of Hillary Hatred expressed here with relentlessness that would power a galaxy, must have its origins in the historical fact to which I allude, to this long-ago sense of injury felt by unearned privilege. After all, everything comes from somewhere.

    Whatever the case, I can no longer support this site financially.

    1. PIGL

      I was editing to add support for my position, namely in the fact that this Hillary Hatred is verging into explicit support for Donald Trump. I mean, really? What it wring with you people?

      1. Felix_47

        I never found Ms. Clinton very bright. Bright but not really. After the rape case at Oxford that drove Bill back to the US and Yale I suspect he hooked up with her because she was well off, from Wellesley, had the right class etc….added a little polish to a southern redneck with an inferiority complex. But he is the real master here. His triangulation election strategy with the dems was brilliant and they are still playing it. And he is a natural born politician……smooth and slick……of course he should be very rich…….he deserves it. Anyway PIGL my problem is that making yourself rich by serving the people violates every fiber of my being. I am serving the country and have for many years at a significant cost to myself because I subscribe to Kennedy`s suggestion rather than the Clintonesque, serve yourself mentality. I would rather a candidate that simply was running to do the job……rather than running to make more money for the family dynasty. In fact, integrity means more to me than policy since the congress will remain deadlocked. That might be the blessing of this election. As long as the Congress is deadlocked all we really need is a leader who can talk to the masses……given that how can you say Trump would be so bad? Congress might demand a voice in the next proposed war if he is president. If Hillary is president and she wants to invade somewhere with peacekeepers or freedom fighters or whatever the term de Jour is Congress might just roll over because the Dem machine is slick and lays the platitudes and BS out masterfully……not inelegently and immaturely like Trump. Hillary and her ilk are Yale Law School. Trump is a spoiled brat. High powered lawyers scare me big time. And I have been a Bernie fan from the start.

    2. aab

      Trivial facts like violating the espionage act; taking donations from the House of Saud as well as the banks, vulture funds, corporations and energy and fracking companies destroying the planet economically and environmentally; acting to break other countries for private profit; committing widespread election fraud; negotiating the TPP, then claiming you oppose it, then having your surrogates block formal opposition to it in the toothless Democratic platform…

      You mean those trivial facts?

    3. different clue

      Well bless your heart, piggle.

      If you ever catch one of us bringing up the “Foster murder”, you just step right up and set that person straight, y’hear?

      1. weinerdog43

        Um, no. Trump is a warthog. Look, I think Hillary probably lies about whether she ties her own shoes, but it’s time to recognize her presumed opponent is probably not sane enough to be running the place either. It’s death by leprosy vs. death by ebola. Take your pick.

    4. different clue

      Dear Mister Piggles,

      I reread your comment more carefully. I am a bi-weekly wage-working pharmacy technician in a major academic medicine hospital in the Midwest. I make $41,000/ year. So wherever my distaste for Clinton might come from, it won’t come from the “fear of tax-injury to a rich Wall-Streeter” that you referrence as a possible source for the hatred.

      I can suggest another possible source for my distaste for the Clintons. That would be a lingering displeasure with Bill Clinton’s long conspiracy while in office to turn the industrial MidWest into a post-Soviet wasteland using the weapon of Trade Treason Agreements such as NAFTA, WTO membership for America and MFN for China. Could that explain some of the manifest ill-will which so disturbs you in these threads?

      By the way, wouldn’t it be too funny if you never gave any money to NaCap to begin with? That sure would make your threat an empty one, now wouldn’t it. Ehh . . . Mister Piggles?

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      1) That’s “slipped the surly bonds of earth.” You’re welcome.

      2) “You’ll be bringing up the Foster murder any second.” Not if it doesn’t appear in the speech. You did notice this post annotates a speech? Typically not the genre of choice for foamers, but whatever. In any case, surely you don’t think me incapable of distinguishing a well-sourced claim from a poorly sourced one? That’s why the claims I noted are linked. Every one.

      3) It’s a big Internet. I hope you find the happiness you seek, elsewhere.

    6. fajensen

      … but in my opinion, the Hillary Hatred of Naked Capitalism has long since slipped the bounds …

      on“, man, “on“, or is that Freudian Mistake and we can expect that the CIA / NSA / DHS will soon be shaking this site down for candidates for extra-legal renditions, drone targeting and no-fly listings?

  13. Code Name D

    I have predicted for years that HRC would win the general election – by any means necessary – and then go on to lose the general election, even without any idea who the Republican nominee was going to be. Well, I got the first part of the prediction right, but what about the second part?

    That Trump would favor a Hillary Bashing strategy is hardly a hard prediction to make. Clinton presents such a rich opportunity that Trump is nearly spoiled for choice. My thinking was that if he pounds on Clinton hard enough, creating something of a red-meet feeding frenzy with the rank and file that the GOP has no choice but to rally under his flag.

    But I am beginning to wonder if this strategy will be as effective as it one might think. For one thing, saying any-thing negative about Clinton appears to be outside the Overton Window. His most recent speeches have received vary little media attention. Especially when compared to before when the media hung nearly on his every word.

    One of the tin-foil-hat theories being bantered around the you-tube is that HRC “selected” Trump to run against, using her influence with the media to give Trump a huge advantage in his primary. Once the primary is over, HRC would switch the media to anti-Trump mode, removing his free-media. There is no evidence I have seen to support this conspiracy. Even the resent leaks suggest more of a media strategy rather than the sort of control one would need for such an operation.

    And then there is his race-bashing of the Hispanic judge presiding over one of the lawsuits he is defending against. This was a very big gaff that reveals the Republican rank and file isn’t nearly as racist and small minded as we might think. That his implosion is self inflicted is a stronger argument.

    Still, that radical shift in the media’s tone regarding Trump is hard to ignore.

    It’s an open secret that the Trump camp is in severe disarray. More than likely, we are seeing the extent of Trump’s “management skills” on display here. More importantly, this was a criticism of the Trump campaign made for some time. With some even wondering how such a poorly run campaign could possibly manage to do as well as it did. The media fix would go a long way in explaining that trend.

    And as we saw in the Democratic Primary, HRC had no qualms taking the low road. So more than likely her efforts to rig the general election is already well underway.

    Is this really Trumps election to lose? Or is he like Sanders? Running in a rigged system that leaves nothing to chance, and where Clinton’s opponent was doomed to fail from the very beginning.

    1. fajensen

      And then there is his race-bashing of the Hispanic judge presiding over one of the lawsuits he is defending against.
      Is it not a normal legal strategy to attempt to claim bias amongst jury members and other legal entities?

      In this case Trump will use it to reinforce the message of: “I didn’t do this thing at all, The System rolled me over because they hate me! Just Like I Told You.” when Trump loses the case.

      We all remember the “Hispanic” thing because it’s ludicrous – yet – there is also a smidgen of doubt in everyone, “that maybe them Mexicans are fixing to do Something …”. It’s how we are wired.

      The Republicans just hate Trump for being “not one of them”. If Trump was seen as “one of The Boys” he could be an all out gay-bashing, muslim-baiting, bible-thumping creationist moron, and no-one would bat an eyelid over it.

  14. ewmayer

    Re. Again, I’m surprised Trump doesn’t mention ISDS; loss of “sovereignty” would certainly be red meat for his audience. — I suspect Trump’s “We will lose our country” was in fact a reference to this, just not in so many words/initialisms.

    1. different clue

      We have to allow for the possibility that Trump isn’t very smart or broadly educated. His “intelligence” may be limited to shrewdness and cunning and expertise at money-grubbing in the construction field. He may not even know or understand about the Sovereignty issues.

      ( Now . . . if those who know Trump personally tell us that he is more broadly and deeply intelligent/educated than he seems, we should be prepared to believe what they tell us.)

      1. Yves Smith

        He went to UPenn and Wharton. UPenn is not easy to get into. Wharton isn’t either.

        He may have narrow intelligence but he is not stupid. He clocked 16 Republican candidates spending virtually no money.

      2. fajensen

        I think he keeps the good stuff back until Hillary is *in fact* the official Democratic candidate. If he manage to derail Hillary now, the Democrats may yet bring up a better candidate, and worse for the Trump campaign, it would be one he hasn’t got so much readily-available dirt on.

        It’s like a Box Barrage – once Hillary is “The One”, the Democrats will all rally together closely around Inevitable Hillary and that’s exactly the proper time to run some rounds through the Howitzers. The dirt will sink more opposition people with fewer “shots” when they are all bound tightly together by promises. Popcorn, must buy. And Beer.

  15. TG

    Very well written and reasoned! Kudos!

    Of course, Trump will be fighting pretty much the entire establishment, and it’s not certain that even his massive ego can take that on. I mean, he can give a good rational focused speech, but if most people don’t hear it, if all they hear is ‘racist losing disorganized crazy fascist racist’ etc. the message becomes the reality.

    But for all Trump’s bluster, while not a saint by any stretch, he has a track record of getting along with people and making deals. If only for her record as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton should really really scare us…

  16. DarkMatters

    Thank you for parsing the speech so competently. Naturally, the impression I got from the the MSM was that Trump was lying and exaggerating in a futile attempt to drag Hillary through the mud (when she was already there, of course). I’ve given up listening to pundits analyzing speeches to tell us what the speech means; more often than not, what they write tells us what the pundits WANT it to mean. This inoculation has stood me in good stead not only for assessing Trump, but also for clearly understanding Putin, who gives especially incisive speeches and conferences, and Qaddaffi, the surprising quality of whose speeches I sadly discovered only after his death. For both P&Q, the impression of the individual left from their (subtitled) speeches was totally at odds with the impressions reported in the MSM. But as you demonstrate so conscientiously, it takes a HUGE (pace Trump) amount of work to counter the BS once it’s out there: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” (Churchill, not Twain, evidently)

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t agree with all or even most of Trump’s speech. But if he keeps attacking on the fronts listed, Clinton should have a hard time countering, given that the claims I noted have the merit of being true, and many are quite serious.

      If Trump faces a sudden media blackout, that could be a problem. On the other hand, people like me, 10-ers manqué, still take these mainstream sources seriously, even as we fight them. I wonder if the Trump campaign is flooding forums and Facebook and email with clips.

  17. Mark Johns

    And I must tell you that Hillary’s speech with Elizabeth Warren was pretty great.
    Keep talking. We’re listening.

      1. Mark John

        “We” is the pragmatic “we”. Those of us who can listen to each other and find the things (“Pragma” is the Greek word for thing) we can agree on. I don’t know what speech you listened to, but I heard very clear issues spoken about, issues I care about (cleaning up Wall Street, student, debt relief, the importance of unions), and two women espousing positions that were very important to Bernie voters, of which I am one.

        1. marym

          The first meaning of pragma according to Liddel and Scott is “that which has been done, deed, act.” One of those women has made alliances and acted against the interests of the people in the areas you cite for her whole life to her personal advantage, the other is “with her,” and, judging by the last 8 years, the pragmatic “you” – now aligned with Kissinger, Paulson, Kagan, etc. – will continue to support the neolibcon authoritarian anti-environment agenda.

          1. Mark John

            The reason Bernie ran as a Democrat is that he is pragmatic. He realizes that there is no real political organization on the left as yet in the United States, and that is why he is attempting to drag the Democrats to the left and engage in dialogue with Hillary Clinton. Are you saying that Bernie is now aligned with Kissinger, Paulson, Kagan, etc?

        2. tegnost

          yep, the “go along to get along ” crowd. Your pragmatism is either self serving or misplaced.
          Your parenthetical “cleaning up Wall Street, student, debt relief, the importance of unions” applied to hillary and warren is comical in it’s naivete. Rather than espousing wishful thinking maybe provide some actual reason why you think hillary will do anything that will favor those who want to clean up wall st (maybe you mean robot street sweepers) little freudian slip there putting the comma between student and debt relief because ain’t gonna happen, unless you mean pay wall st. for the loans made to people who have no means to earn money so the banks don’t suffer from making bad decisions, or the importance of unions, unless you mean allowing union activists in colombia to be murdered in order to prevent unions from impeding wall streets voracious appetite for moar easy money…but they are two women so you got that part “right”….

          1. Mark John

            I would advise you to look into projects like Avalon village in Detroit, Mondragon industries in Spain and the like for ideas that might serve as alternatives to the neoliberal power structure and work to create a popular movement around collective ideas. These are real things that are happening, and we need to create the space to make them happen. You have a well-founded distrust of Hillary Clinton; so do I. At the end of the day, she may be the one in actual power, and it is not naive to try to move her as far left as we possibly can.

            1. marym

              Calling acquiescence in the neolibcon agenda “pragmatism” helps destroy that space. Pretending acquiescence will move Clinton to the left is dangerous. It certainly didn’t work with Obama. While pragmatist were defending the corporatist ACA as if it were a step in the left direction, he was busy making sure it would never be, by building further corporate protections like the TPP.

              1. Mark John

                See, acquiescence and pragmatism are two different things. They don’t have the same definition. Dick Cheney,not a terribly pragmatic guy. Bernie Sanders, pragmatic guy. Get the picture. Please don’t confuse the two terms.

                  1. Mark John

                    Glad you understand that. And mind you, the bulk of human history shows this to be a violent and unstable species. Excuse me if I tread carefully in the minefield.

        3. tegnost

          Adding that this is what you said yesterday am,
          “It should be unacceptable to decouple identity justice from economic justice. The neoliberal establishment talks a good game on identity politics, but meanwhile data shows distribution of income at record setting levels of inequality (i.e. the ones in charge are running off with the loot)”
          Hillary is neoliberal establishment to the core , no? And running off with the money is definitely one of her major talents. One very important to bernie voters issue is the neoliberal wet dream TPP, has your dynamic duo instructed the platform committee to strike the “party divided on TPP” and change it to “No TPP”? (…didn’t think so, wouldn’t be pragmatic)

          1. Mark John

            No. I am against TPP, but it looks pretty dead in the water. I don’t think it needs to be in the platform to kill it and if she ever tries, I will join others in the street. That is my practical assessment. Neither does the Democratic platform advocate for TPP to my understanding.
            Of course, there are issues that I wish to see addressed in the platform which are not. I appreciate your idealism. I also may not necessarily vote for Hillary. What I am saying is that she has an opportunity to win my vote, and I would much rather see her need to move in my direction rather than the alternative.

            1. Pat

              It isn’t dead in the water. Rangel is out as of January. He has pretty much signaled his vote is available in the lame duck, and this is a guy from blue state who pretty much kept the front up on the Fast Track vote. There are a quite a few members of Congress like him, in both Houses. The administration is clear that they are planning a lame duck vote. They only need a majority. Remember that it is important. The Senate was the harder of the two houses to get in line for Fast Track because they had to get to 60. That hurdle is gone. So it was important.

              But if you are correct this is especially telling about the Clinton and crew attitude to the left. If it is dead in the water, why not give the Sander supporters this small bone? Why can they not even move that small amount in a way that is not a parsed campaign speech? You say you want her to move toward you, unless you want overreaching globalization deals, this is exactly the opposite.

            2. tegnost

              TPP is anything but dead in the water, joining others in the street is completely ineffective and similar to the claim that we should wait to hold hillary’s feet to the fire until january, you know, when it’s too late. The dem platform as I read here today says the party is divided on tpp, and obama supports it. Idealism? My cynicism regarding hillary and all things dem knows no bounds, and your resorting to that high minded garbage makes me wonder what your true purpose is here, sheepdogging maybe? Can’t be ruled out because the hillary camp admits to paying people to troll websites, and the condescension is a major hallmark in that effort. You are idealistic, not pragmatic. In my case she has no opportunity to win my vote. She has “needed” to move left for bernie voters, but has instead thrown all in to getting hank paulson and robert kagan’s endorsement. You idealize that it’s enough if she NEED’s (hope for some future act of benevolence) to move your way, but that ideal is belied by the fact that she IS (reality) moving right. Maybe you could list some of the things that hillary has clearly stated that she will do to gain the support of bernie supporters, other than saying get in line and stop being childish?

              1. Mark John

                That makes no sense to me. And you are predicting the unknowable. Granted her actions in the past make her untrustworthy, but if she does become President, the left flank of the party will need to be strong. We have to work to elect truly progressive members to Washington. We have to work to get the money out of politics. We have to work to kill the TPP. The corporate structure spent decades and decades undoing the New Deal. We must build alternate ways of doing things that will bring along popular support. It will take time. We have not done the work to get us to that point as of yet. We are just at the point of planting the seeds.

    1. Pavel

      I didn’t hear the speech. But just the photo of the two women, arms raised together, with Hillary’s enormous grin was enough to sicken me. What a turncoat Warren turned out to be. Hillary is the embodiment of all she claimed to be against.

      1. Pat

        Don’t watch the video of her on the View today. It is currently on and the garbage coming out of her mouth is beyond disgusting. I will still appreciate her actions to stop the continued crapification of our financial regulatory system, but she has killed my belief that she is anything more than another ambitious hack more than ready to throw away any stands and values in order to ‘advance’ personally.

  18. Rhondda

    I really appreciate this close reading, Lambert. I was quite impressed by Trump’s speech and I don’t even like the guy. Nevertheless, it’s plain spoken-ness grabs you, rather in the way of bullshit profundity. ;-)

    Even so, I gasped several times when I read the speech. He trump roasted her, grilled well-done on both sides! Oof! da Troof hurts!

    I read the speech, though. After I finished reading it, I wondered if I would have found it similarly impressive if I had seen a video of it. Probably not, as I find his demeanor (and, I admit it, his accent) obnoxious.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      He just needs to keep repeating the message, over and over. Warren and Clinton are taunting him, trying to get him off message. He wouldn’t be The Donald if he didn’t swat back, but he needs to keep context. I bet “Professor Warren” would work just as well as “Pocahontas”…

      1. Pavel

        He needs to make the same points, calmly and clearly, in the debates (if HRC doesn’t find some excuse to chicken out of them). They will no doubt have the highest audience figures ever, and the MSM won’t be able to ignore them.

        However I’m not sure he has the discipline to pull it off properly; he is more inclined in debates to make the put downs (“Little Marco” and “low energy Jeb”) and make funny faces than pursue a real argument. And this speech was with a teleprompter. And on past history the debate chairs will cut people off if they make a point they don’t like.

        But we’ll see…

        1. ambrit

          “…the debate chairs will cut people off if they make a point they don’t like.”
          It’s time to give control of the debates back to The League of Women Voters.

  19. Larry Nordell

    The reference to influence peddling in the next-to-last paragraph have now been made irrelevant by the Supreme Court, at least for Republican governors. Will accusations against Hillary still carry any weight?

  20. Phil

    If Trump wins, consider who will be pulling his strings. There is no perfect candidate, ever, but a Trump win would mean that people like Christie, Manafort, Stone, and some of Trumps’s now-vanquished clown car candidates might find ways into his administration.

    America is in for a lot of struggle, going forward, especially as regards employment because one will soon no longer have to outsource a job to reduce labor costs. Job automation (via software, robotics, and 3D printing) is already beginning to take care of the “labor” line item.

    Neither party is preparing for this massive, looming problem – not to mention the inevitable, upcoming SCOTUS appointments.

    That said, how anyone could wish for the kinds of people that would follow Trump into office – who will be pulling his strings – (even allowing for some of Hillary’s questionable associates, aside) – is beyond me.

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