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Friday, July 22, 2016

Trump's Speech--A Political Sea Change

Here's my quick take on Trump's GOP nomination speech last night:

  • No soaring rhetoric; just the usual declarative hammer blows.  Trump knows his voice and stuck with it.  Spoke for 75 minutes but wasn't boring.  Tone was, combative, defiant--"this means war!"
  • He will be the attack dog in this campaign.  His VP running mate will be there to provide quiet sanity.
  • He buried the cultural wars as a campaign theme.  This election is about security and economics.  
  • He also buried the idea of small government, which has been on life support for 15 years or more.   Lots of big government programs that could have come from Bernie Sanders's playbook--day care (Ivanka's theme), student loan relief, etc.  Will the feds under Trump be more involved in community police work??
  • Also a strong plug for school choice, which Bush advocated and then quickly abandoned. 
  • Many Republicans must have been choking when he slammed big business "special interests."   Definitely the "Middle-American Radicalism" was coming through.   In fact, Trump was aiming way beyond Republicans all night.  
  • Probably the most comprehensive case for immigration controls I've ever heard from a major candidate.  And he wants to stop immigration from countries that have terrorist issues.  (And don't think we haven't done that before.)
  • He has totally reversed himself on Iran.  During the debates he vowed to "enforce the deal."  Now this is the worst deal in history and Iran is on track to get the Bomb. (It is not.)
  • He blamed Hillary for everything that has gone wrong in the Middle East over the past five years.  Unfair!   But will it stick?  She does have to answer for our reckless Libya policy. 
  • We are going to defeat ISIS quickly.  How?  Stay tuned.  
In the end, Trump got it done:  demonstrated he could make a strong speech that delivered his message clearly and powerfully.  But was it "presidential?"  Not what we are used to seeing. His sheer energy and star power will make him very tough for Hillary to beat him.
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