Trump wins the battle of the dueling town hall events by just showing up
If a presidential candidate is featured in a town hall event (where supposedly “ordinary” people question the person on matters of public policy) and nobody tunes-in to watch it, will it still have a bearing on the race? The question must have been on the minds of lot of people on Thursday night. October 15 was supposed to be the occasion of the second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat challenger Joe Biden, but the program was cancelled -- allegedly -- because of “health concerns.” Yes, the Commission on Presidential Debates pulled the plug a week ago, well before they had a legitimate justification to do it. The recuperating (because of the Chinese Communist Party virus) Trump was certain to be non-contagious by now, but the establishment’s keepers used his sickness as a reason to kill it anyway. NBC, to its credit, offered Trump an hour’s worth of time to meet the voters. Of course, they wanted big ratings, too. That didn’t have anything to do with inviting Trump, did it? Going into the evening, some NBC employees protested the network’s allowing President Trump to do the event by himself -- opposite Joe Biden’s 90-minute forum on ABC -- as grossly unfair, since the president was the one who originally said he wouldn’t “virtually” participate. They suggested the two events should not have been scheduled opposite each other, and that Americans deserved a means to watch both of them. (Isn’t it called a DVR?) Though the viewership numbers aren’t in yet, the real reason must’ve been that Trump would swamp Biden in the ratings. Face it, even on a bad night Trump is more entertaining than Biden and everyone knows, including his own supporters, that Biden is a babbling idiot who can’t put coherent sentences together. Pitted against each other, the only reason to watch Biden would be to see if he can stand erect the whole time and/or to watch for a major gaffe like “You ain’t black” or if he calls someone a “dog faced pony soldier,” tells a citizen to “shut up” or distorts some easily recognizable fact, like “150 million have been killed by guns since 2007.” Trump was both knowledgeable and “presidential” on Thursday night despite a rather one-sided interrogation to open the program. “Moderator” Savannah Guthrie started it off with a lengthy series of probing questions about Trump’s experience with the coronavirus. She seemed awful curious about when was the last time Trump tested negative prior to his positive one. (Seriously? Who cares?) Then she nagged him -- obstinately -- about masks. Stupid. For his part, the president placed the blame where it lies -- on China. Guthrie seemed like she just wanted a “gotcha” moment. “You can’t let the cure be worse than the problem,” Trump said. Words of wisdom, but to the alarmists? Next up Guthrie asked Trump about denouncing white supremacy…and QAnon. Does anyone care about this (outside of the media, that is)? Then she started getting defensive and petty when Trump changed the focus to Antifa, the real source of violence and mayhem in this country. This went on for about twenty minutes. As if this weren’t bad enough, then Savannah asked the president about the “peaceful transfer of power” non-controversy. “The answer is yes I will (accept the result),” Trump replied, “but I want it to be an honest election and so does everyone else.” Trump tried to make a point about vote fraud and the woman argued with him that it doesn’t exist…! Once the questioning moved to “real” people, the program instantly improved, including his response to the first questioner, who asked about measures to contain the virus. I’ve noted it many times before, but Trump is one of the few politicians who directly addresses the audience member’s question. The media never gives him credit for his straightforwardness and usually savages him for an over exaggeration or mistaken figure. Trump’s spent a lifetime talking with “normal” people, so he knows how to do it. Biden, on the other hand, has spent most of his life talking to colleagues in the snooty senate or staff members who are there to serve him. Simply put, Biden doesn’t know how to talk one-on-one with people who have real jobs and concerns outside of the insulated Washington DC bubble. It’s not that he’s incapable, necessarily, just that he’s out of practice. Trump seems to thrive on it. Always remember, Trump dislikes his political enemies (in both parties) and the media, not the people themselves. He’s not about to call Americans “deplorables” or question their intelligence. Pundits like to say that Trump’s personality turns people off (see below for more on this) and that he’s rude and abrasive and unfriendly. It’s a legitimate criticism in some ways, but it’s a rare instance when you see anything approaching rudeness where a voter is concerned. If you want outright hostility towards a “normal” person, tune-in to a Biden event. I didn’t get to watch Biden’s competing town hall, but here’s guessing if he was asked by a voter about son Hunter’s emails and shady foreign deals, the response was not kind, something to the effect of, “Nobody’s ever said my son did anything wrong. He’s a fine boy who just had a drug problem like millions of other people. That’s all. You’re way out of line to bring it up. We should be talking about all the corrupted business deals Trump and his family have made. We don’t have enough time this evening to get it all in.” It's about the same as his answer on ending the filibuster and the potential for court packing. “If I answer the question, my words will be the headline in all the papers tomorrow. It isn’t the issue… blah, blah, blah.” Trump, however, isn’t about to let the Hunter Biden subject go. Two weeks ago, in the first presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace and Joe Biden hounded Trump over his tax returns (based on a New York Times story), as though he'd done something corrupt or illegal. By all appearances, Hunter Biden used his dad’s position as vice president to enrich himself. Joe says he didn’t know about it, but the emails indicated he did. Who to believe? As would be expected, Guthrie raised the tax return topic on Thursday. It gets old. It wasn’t an issue in 2016, and it isn’t now either. Thursday’s “town hall” event basically ended before it got interesting. Trump fielded questions on taxes, COVID-19, immigration and why he deserves reelection. Will it help him? Hard to say, but it’s clear he’s back in the game after surviving the dreaded Chinese plague. He did well… and “won” the debate. Liberals: Oh please, Trump. Take our advice and limit your exposure before the election! It’s always semi-hilarious to receive campaign advice from someone who would never vote for you in a million lifetimes. It happens a lot these days as liberal talking heads are happy to “analyze” polling data and make recommendations accordingly. In a piece titled “Donald Trump is doing the *exact* opposite of what he should in the last days of 2020 campaign,” Liberal pundit Chris Cillizza wrote at CNN.com, “What all of those numbers suggest is that Trump's best strategy -- an admittedly long-shot one still, of course -- is to do the opposite of what he is currently doing.
“Rather than do a series of campaign appearances where he recites his greatest hits of distortions and wild claims -- most notably about the coronavirus -- he would be better served by limiting his exposure to voters. If he could do that -- and, to be clear, Trump is totally incapable of doing so -- then it's at least possible that voters would look more at Trump's record and less at, well, Trump.
“[Trump] has always made everything, including the presidency, about him and him alone. Unfortunately for Republicans, he appears to now be on a kamikaze mission to make the 2020 election all about him, too. And the consequences of that strategic choice will likely be something the party is dealing with for years to come.”
Where’s the crystal ball, Chris? After what happened in 2016 on Election Day, do you feel confident in predicting the sky is falling on Donald Trump now? Three years of non-stop investigations, Democrat attacks and relentless media negativity haven’t softened up his opinion survey ratings to the point where he’s a certain loser. Trump is synonymous with his policies, isn’t he? Or is his new campaign slogan, “Make Trump Great Again?”
In writing this, Cillizza is only doing what all liberal political watchers have done for five years now, namely bragging that Trump is his own worst enemy, he repels everyone with his personality, is destroying the Republican brand, and his best way to come back -- which according to them is very unlikely -- is to hide himself away like a rat in a hole. Or like Joe Biden. Same thing.
The problem with such thinking is well over ninety percent of self-identified Republicans support Trump and they’re not only accepting of his leadership of a new type of conservative/populist GOP, they’re proud of it. The whole notion of advising the president to cease or limit his activities at a time where thousands upon thousands are itching to see him and hear his message -- it’s just plain dumb.
Imagine you’re a Trump campaign advisor and you’re speaking with the president about strategy and you bring up Cillizza’s column and his advice. “Uh, Mr. President, this guy at CNN thinks you’d actually gain voters by shutting down for the final two weeks, since he says you’re a self-obsessed megalomaniac who’s just in it for yourself. And, oh yeah, all those people cheering at your rallies -- they’re just deluded! Not representative of the typical blue state voter at all. They’d prefer that you just concede the election now.”
And where does Cillizza get off digging at Trump on the coronavirus? The president has been at the center of the storm since the beginning, conducted dozens of press events regarding it, listened to opinion after opinion after opinion on the danger involved, how to deal with the infections, keep people working and most of all, prevent folks from panicking. There’s also the matter of the chief executive having contracted the virus, received treatment for it and then been given the medical profession’s go-ahead to start campaigning again.
Someone needs to convey a message of courage and fortitude in dealing with the Chinese plague. We’re sure not going to hear it from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (the Democrats just pulled Harris off the campaign trail because some of her staffers tested positive for the CCP virus. What, didn’t the masks help them? Sheesh. How stupid does this get?). If Trump were to remove himself from the bulk of his public appearances, he’d guarantee a loss on Election Day. But that’s what the media hopes for anyway, isn’t it?
Why doesn’t the media tell Democrats to stop campaigning?
It’s funny how these same liberals don’t speak of the need for Democrat leaders -- or even the rank and file -- to hide away. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for example, isn’t exactly the warmest and fuzziest of all people, yet Cillizza and the line-up at MSNBC isn’t counseling her to quit her nonsensical rambling and insulting personal attacks (like CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is an apologist for the president? Huh?) on anyone who dares question her political tactics.
Then there’s Senate Minority Leader “Chucky” Schumer, who’s making an absolute donkey out of himself and every member of his party in the upper chamber by characterizing Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as extreme and out of touch with ordinary Americans. Barrett has sat calmly and almost serenely while being subject to pontificating lectures from partisan questioners who wouldn’t vote for her if she were the second coming of a secular messiah.
Barrett has completely destroyed every Democrat attempt to stir up popular opinion against her, their only smidgen of possibility of swinging a few Republican votes to reject her. Watching Democrat presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris try and make the Supreme Court all about Obamacare and abortion exposes the ruse of Democrats caring about the “rule of law” and the Constitution.
What they’re really thinking is, “Court packing! Court packing! Court packing!” These mean, vindictive people will do anything to get what they want. Here’s thinking the American people will not be so inclined to do their bidding.
Why don’t the pundits advise the Democrats to stop their absurd grilling of ACB?
Liberals like Cillizza appear to forget that people aren’t exactly clamoring to see Trump’s opponent -- doddering dunce Joe Biden -- in person either. It could be said that Biden is slightly more appealing and popular than Hillary Clinton, but it’s not like there’s a great deal of remorse that Biden isn’t doing large scale events. Democrats are keeping Biden under lock and key because if they don’t, Grampa Joe will talk his way out of millions of votes every time he opens his mouth.
It seems clear that President Donald Trump is on a roll. With the recent revelations concerning Hunter Biden and the Republican campaign’s focus on spreading a positive message on COVID-19, the tide could be turning on popular opinion. Democrats are running out of excuses for keeping Grampa Joe locked away in seclusion. It’ll be a fascinating final two weeks.
Vice President debate
town hall debate