Calbuzz: Why Trump Only Has One Play at His Convention -- What Dems Did & Didn't Get Done at Theirs
On the cusp between the end of the Democratic National Convention and the start of the Party of Trump's, veteran political writer and pollster Phil Trounstine returns to Newsmakers for analysis of what happened last week and some forecasting of what's to come in the next.
With just over 10 weeks left in the campaign, erstwhile Calbuzz partners Phil and Jerry discuss Donald Trump's fundamental political challenge as he seeks to rebound from his lagging position against Joe Biden: his need to transform the race from a referendum on his own White House performance into a choice election that portrays the Democrat as a more unacceptable alternative.
In other words, attack, attack, attack.
Having already violated countless norms of our constitutional democratic republic, the 46 percent 45th president not only plans to speak on all four nights of the Trump Show, but also to address the nation directly from the White House -- lest there be two or three people who've been asleep the past three-and-a-half years who remain under the illusion there's any distinction between the government they're financing and his personal political operation.
Comparing and contrasting the 2020 race with defining elections of the past -- Is Biden like Michael Dukakis in 1988, when the Democratic nominee saw a big summer lead evaporate under constant pounding and assault by Republican George H.W. Bush? Or is this dynamic more similar to 1980, when first-term President Jimmy Carter succumbed to an avalanche of domestic and foreign policy disasters while challenger Ronald Reagan was establishing himself as an acceptable alternative? -- the Calbuzzers also foist and focus their geezer-brand punditry on a batch of other key questions:
Can Trump successfully win back constituencies that were important to his shocking 2016 win -- suburban and older voters, and those who disliked both him and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton -- or is his best hope trying to demoralize voters and shrink the electorate?
Will Trump try to spin, or simply ignore, the 175,000 people dead from Covid-19, double digit unemployment and the national outcry over racism?
Will Trump seek to transform Black Lives Matter icon George Floyd into the Willie Horton of 2020 in a bid to debunk the protest movement and scare white suburban voters?
Will Trump's decision to speak every night of the convention prove a plus or minus for Biden?
Why is Mitch McConnell passing on the GOP affair?
Did Democrats do enough to address the kitchen table economic anxieties of middle class voters amid all the Trump-bashing, celebrations of diversity and paens to Biden's emotional resiliency?
Will Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, be tough enough to withstand withering attacks on her decidely mixed record as San Francisco's district attorney and California's Attorney General?
Why were so many old white guys given prominent speaking roles at the Democratic convention - not only John Kasich and Michael Bloomberg but freakin' Jon Meacham, ferhevvinsake?
Whatever happened to Julian Castro?
All this and more, right here, right now, on a special Calbuzz Episode of Newsmakers TV....and the podcast version is here.