Sorry Hillary, Friday's headlines will be about Trump
CNBC, Jake Novak, July 28, 2016
This is the night Hillary Clinton has been waiting for her entire life. This is the night where she has her latest and best chance to make her case to undecided voters, clarify her vision for America, and cut into her massively high unfavorable ratings. Finally, the attention at the Democratic convention and in the news media will be on her, her message, and not just endorsements and speeches from powerful allies like Mike Bloomberg and President Barack Obama.
Good luck with that.
We already know who's going to dominate the headlines Friday morning in the end. And he happens to be Clinton's opponent. Let's justify that conclusion by reviewing the extremely recent evidence:
Donald Trump stole the headlines away from the Democrats and their convention Wednesday by stirring up controversies over Clinton's emails and the Russians. Thursday morning, even after four barn burner speeches by Mike Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Tim Kaine, and finally President Barack Obama, the most-talked about story in the news and social media is still Donald Trump's calls for the Russians to hand over the former Secretary of State's deleted emails. Maintaining the lion's share of media attention even in the wake of a stirring speech by the President of the United States is no easy task. But Trump, and his apparently still clueless and unintentional allies in the media, pulled it off.
Now, the "challenge" is to do the same to a mere Democratic presidential nominee with high unfavorable ratings, who doesn't possess the same speaking skills as President Obama, Vice President Biden, or even her husband. Even if only the established news media still controlled the main political narrative in this country, beating back Clinton's potential attention-grabbing chances wouldn't be impossible for Trump. But with social media's powerful influence thrown into the mix, he won't have to try very hard at all.
He proved he's the master of the media cycle many times before, but Wednesday's coup ended all arguments on that score. Even if the talk about the Russian email hacking story dies down by Friday, Trump will have a few rallies and his Twitter account at the ready to stir something else up if he wants. And we know the news media will be eager to cover it.
Instead, the establishment types are writing off Trump's supporters as mostly ignorant, angry, and racist making their voting choices based on irrational hatred or ignorance. Since almost no one thinks these mythical racist idiots make up most of the nation's voters, political and news media veterans believe Trump's apparent gaffes will kill his chances to win.
But the results of the GOP primaries and Trump's enduring strength in the polls keeps proving that conclusion to be wrong. And ironically, it's the people who swear that they make their decisions based on facts and not emotions who are ignoring these essential facts as they continue to be assured of Trump's imminent demise. They call the polls from one outfit unreliable when they show Trump ahead one day, and then tout the same outfit's poll the next day when it shows Clinton ahead. Call it lack of self-awareness, cognitive dissonance, or any other term you like. In the end it's a failure.
So that brings us back to tonight and Clinton's extremely difficult task ahead. Clinton really does need to say something to beat Trump in the excitement/attention-getting game. The people who are still undecided have already been inundated with loads of anti-Trump messages before and during this convention. At some point, Clinton needs to get some attention for herself. But unless that attention is coming from an FBI investigation, she hasn't had much luck at that and her campaign doesn't seem to even be trying anymore.
That's a hard conclusion to avoid based on her team's choice of the non-exciting Kaine for a running mate, and its decision to focus most of its campaign firepower attacking Trump.
Because they don't understand Trump voters and potential Trump voters, the speech tonight will not speak to those millions of Americans. That means Clinton's address will be less of an acceptance speech on the road to the White House and more of a concession to Trump's superior publicity machine. https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/28/sorry-hillary-fridays-headlines-will-be-about-trump-commentary.html