Muftic: Trump’s newest pivot, too little too late?
September 1, 2016
In the news last week Donald Trump appeared he is preparing himself for defeat but in a last ditch effort ,he took on new campaign staff and made an interesting "pivot". The question now is if his "pivot" is too little too late and his past flame throwing oratory will still come back to haunt him.
With plunging polls, he is beginning to see the writing on the wall so the leopard is changing his spots. He tried a pivot earlier by sticking to teleprompter remarks, but when away from that discipline at the podium, he had doubled down on insulting key demographic groups. Now he is trying to make amends by charging Democrats for failing to lift African Americans up. He failed to detail how he would help improve their economic standing and a failed to acknowledge their grievances about police brutality, too. He signaled a shift from insulting Hispanics to perhaps softening his immigration policies. Given his past bigoted, racial dog whistle comments and hate filled "build the wall" slogan, his sincerity will be a hard sell.
This past week, Trump admitted he had made some verbal mistakes and hurt some people. On the other hand, he applied that admission to individuals only, ignoring he had turned off large blocks of minorities, women, and the college educated. The voters may already have come to the conclusion that the real Trump is a bigot who exploits divisiveness to promote himself. Also in question is to what extent his newly appointed advisors will reign him in since those very same messaging advisors from Breitbart specialize in conspiracy theories and inflammatory postings.
Before the pivot, he had attacked the press as biased against him, accounting for sinking polls. There are still other media outlets that tilt toward Trump that can warm the hearts of his supporters. That is the value of freedom of the press. Trump's message is still getting out because his inflammatory , insulting oratory is itself driving much of the coverage. Instead of killing the messengers, he needs to temper his message.
If Trump wants voters to focus attention instead of on himself but on Hillary Clinton's weaknesses with her relationship with the Clinton Foundation, that approach may have lost its value, only fortifying old news that she is a wheeler dealer that has already become an acknowledged perception. Clinton's already low personal approval ratings but winning national vote polls indicate voters still prefer her to Trump, warts and all. Trump's relying on the Foundation connection is like standing on shifting sands. The politically nimble Clinton campaign has already taken steps to assure the public that the Foundation will not accept foreign donations and that Bill Clinton will resign from the board if she is elected.
The other excuse for a potential loss we have heard from Trump is that there will be voter fraud. He cannot accept polls in Pennsylvania show he is losing , then fraud is the reason, rationalizes. Trump must prove voter fraud is widespread now and post election to make this excuse stick.. That is a challenge. As Politifact, independent fact checker found true, was that " Roughly 300 people per year are struck by lightning in the United States. But cases of voter fraud — someone impersonating another voter — are documented even less often."
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