(If faithful readers of the blog will permit me the indulgence of resurrecting this post from March 2 of this year.)
Hattip to commenter Ernst Schreiber for the idea behind this post.
As faithful readers of this blog know, I am a strong opponent of Donald Trump. I view him as an ignorant blowhard, a Democrat in a skimpy Republican disguise, and a disaster in the making of epic proportions if he should be elected President. I will not vote for him if he is the Republican nominee, an easy call for me since if Illinois is in play Trump is heading for a landslide win in any case. However, unlike many Trump critics my opposition to him does not have anything to do with his electability in the fall. If Clinton is the Democrat nominee I think it likely that Trump will win. Here is why.
1. Clinton Smear Machine-Unlike most candidates I think Trump is largely immune to smears. Throughout his career he has been subject to a largely bad press. Except for cannibalism and incest Trump has been charged with every crime imaginable and with some that truly do tax the imagination. I doubt if there is much more that could be revealed to harm him. Like Huey Long, the Kingfish of the Depression Era, he thrives on bad press and attacks.
2. Colorful Career-As loathe as I am to admit it, there are elements in Trump’s career that will probably play well with the voters, including this incident, go here to read it, where Trump intervened to stop a violent mugging in progress.
3. Wrong Clinton-I always said that Clinton had preternatural political skills, however that was Bill Clinton, who could probably have won an election after being discovered in bed with either a live boy or a dead girl. His spouse on the other hand is a miserable politician who got beaten like a drum by Obama in 2008 and who has struggled to beat an elderly socialist this year.
4. Empty Promises-Democrats have thrived over the years on making empty promises to voters with a straight face. No one can out empty promise Donald The-Mexicans-Are-Going -To-Pay-For-The-Wall Trump!
5. Outsider-This is clearly a year when the voters want an outsider. Trump, the croniest capitalist, would seem to be the consummate insider, except when compared to Hillary Clinton. In the primaries Trump has been able to paint himself as an outsider, and compared to Clinton it is not quite so laughable a claim.
6. Scandals-Beltway pundits clearly underestimate public anger over Benghazi. Tie that in with the e-mail
crime scandal, and doubtless a lot of juicy tidbits being excavated by Trump’s opposition research, and Clinton will be on the receiving end of endless negative attack ads that would have bounced off her husband but likely will do damage to her.
7. Jugular-Republicans frustrated by a too gentlemanly form of campaigning by their candidates will have nothing to complain about from Trump. He will begin with throwing the kitchen sink against Clinton and proceed on from there.
Do I think Trump is a shoo in? By no means. He has given the Democrats plenty of ammo to ramp up Black and Hispanic turnout, the Ace in the Hole for Democrats. A fair number of Republicans like me will be sitting this one out. However, Trump is not the usual type of Republican that Democrats campaign against. Trump will be campaigning as a populist Democrat and I think frustrated Democrat strategists will often feel like they are fighting against themselves. If Trump is the Republican nominee, God forbid, throw out the rulebook for the fall campaign, grab some popcorn and fasten your seatbelts, it will be an election campaign straight from the Bearded Spock Universe.