Monday, June 06, 2016
There's no question that Hillary Clinton's speech in San Diego last week was incredibly effective in defining the Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump as erratic, petulant, thin-skinned, dishonest, dangerous and woefully unqualified to be president. It was an evisceration of the kind not experienced by Trump during the GOP primaries. It also served as the foundation for a barrage of unrelenting attacks he can expect for the next five months. But one thing's certain: Clinton will be greatly helped during this time by Trump himself. She just needs to let Trump be Trump.
Trump simply cannot help himself. Like a child. Or an addict. Unfortunately for him, he is incredibly thin-skinned. He is super-sensitive. He cannot hear even the slightest challenge or criticism without coming out swinging like a ranting, raving, unhinged, emotional lunatic, which sends him careening off message. And that's when anything and everything can and will come out of his mouth. No matter how irrational, incoherent or offensive. No matter how un-presidential.
Safe to say, last week was not a particularly good one for Trump. He faced a mountain of criticism over his controversial racist comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who's presiding over the Trump University civil fraud case. The case itself also took the news spotlight, with Trump accused of essentially robbing seniors and low-income folks out of their savings. Trump also imploded at a press conference he held to address accusations that he reneged on a promise to raise $6-million for veterans causes. And there was that brilliant Hillary speech, which was so unsparing and scathing that it left Trump a terrified sweaty mess the rest of the week.
The media may have also reached a tipping point with Trump. At his press conference he unleashed a tirade of insults, referring to journalists as "dishonest" and "disgusting" while calling one ABC News reporter "sleazy." At almost every Trump rally he also relishes calling them "scum" and "slime." It would seem that the media's love affair with the bloviating, sexist, racist billionaire may finally be over, in which case he will face a tsunami of scrutiny the likes of which will result in even greater Hillary-landslide-causing temper tantrums.
To be sure, what we witnessed last week was that there's clearly just one adult in the room. Which is why Hillary should stay on point, discussing substantive policy issues while defining Trump as "dangerous" and "incoherent," drawing a stark contrast between them. She should demonstrate experience, leadership and presidential temperament, just as she did in San Diego. And she can bet that Trump will continue to do and say outrageously offensive things, and will pout, whine and stomp his feet like a spoiled, petulant 6-year-old every time he's "insulted," treated "unfairly" or not properly "praised." Hillary should simply let him self-destruct.