Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Humble Advice to the Trump Campaign

Has anyone heard from Roger Stone today? Just yesterday, he was on social media and radio triumphantly declaring the demise of Hillary Clinton. According to Stone, Julian Assange was going to drop a "mother lode" of documents that would land Hillary in handcuffs and elect Donald Trump president.  I was more cautious than Mr. Stone. I carefully avoided discussing the subject mainly because I thought it would turn out to be a hoax - better to adopt a wait and see approach. I was not disappointed. The wee hours of the morning came and the "historic" announcement that Alex Jones was covering live turned out to be Assange hawking his book.

Stone has also been pushing the Trump campaign to pursue the Clintons scandals in an effort to show that Hillary is no champion of women. Hillary did said that victims of sexual harassment or assault should be believed. However, if one reads the fine print, it does not apply to women preyed upon by her husband. Should Trump decide to pursue this line of attack, it will likely fail. Bill Clinton was successful in convincing the majority of the public that his impeachment was about his having an affair with an intern and not perjury. I have no doubt that Hillary will be successful in convincing the majority of voters that she was an beleaguered wife trying to save her family.

I am not a political operative like Mr. Stone. I don't have his many connections and years of experience in American politics. Nevertheless, I would like to give my humble advice to Mr. Trump: stop listening to Roger Stone. The Clintons cannot be defeated with scandals. They have built their political career on surviving them. Hillary won a Senate seat thanks to the Lewinsky scandal. It is obvious that Hillary does not want the public to focus on her record and her only hope to win is to make the argument that Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president. In the first debate, her weakest moments were while discussing issues. She only prevailed when she baited Trump by attacking his business record. The only way to defeat her is to make this race about the issues, her record and the fact that she is part of the political class that has failed our country at home and abroad.

It will require discipline but at the next debate when Hillary launches her pre-packaged attacks, Trump should turn to her and say: "This election is not about me, Secretary Clinton, it is about the American people and politicians like you who have failed our country." If Hillary brings up the tax returns, Trump should reply "I didn't create the tax laws. Politicians like you did. Your fingerprints are all over the rigged, unfair system we have. Not mine." If she tries the misogynist attack again, Trump's response should be "I am not going to take any lectures about the treatment of women from someone who has taken millions from Saudi Arabia where women are oppressed and gays are killed. It is time for Secretary Clinton to get off her high horse." Another line, "Secretary Clinton wants to talk about Miss Universe. I want to talk about Obamacare driving up premiums and squeezing middle class families, killing jobs. I guess we all have our priorities." If Hillary brings up Trump's business losses, he should say "I suppose I could have been a professional politician living off taxpayers' dime and getting rich by selling access. Instead, I decided to be a businessman and create thousands of jobs."  Finally, if Hillary  argues that Trump is running to rig the system to help himself, he should reply "If I wanted to rig the system for myself all I had to do is give you a campaign contribution. Much easier than running for president."

Bottom line, Trump can only defeat Hillary if he stays focused on the issues. Trade, immigration, terrorism and staying out of more foreign conflicts is the key winning the White House. Trump defending his honor, business record will not.