TRUMP PLAYS THE MEDIA
LIKE A STRADIVARIUS
Donald Trump is leading Hillary Clinton in several polls of likely voters. And now an analysis by Reuters suggests that the distribution of his voter support is bringing him close to dominance in the Electoral College.
Who woulda thunk it? More and more, The Donald is revealing himself as a political prodigy.
There’s no question of his gift for manipulating the media. He plays it like a violin.
Friday’s press conference — billed as an apology for his early questioning of Barack Obama’s citizenship (based on uncertainty about place of birth) — turned out to be a publicity triumph. Not only did Trump show off his new Washington, DC, Trump Hotel, he got national coverage for the parade of generals and Medal of Honor winners endorsing him.
On top of that, he maneuvered Hillary into fierce denials that her 2008 campaign crew had instigated the Birther frenzy. And by the way, no apology from The Donald. Just this simple statement…
“President Obama was born in the United States. Period. Now, we want to get back to making America strong and great again.”
The cleverness of Trump’s gambit was summed up perfectly by Katie Pavlich, editor of Townhall…
“Love him or hate him, support him or oppose him, it was brilliant.”
And it was. In one swipe, Trump succeeded in drawing all of the country’s attention to himself, just as Hillary was attempting to revive her health-compromised campaign. Plus he raised doubt in the minds of her more leftward supporters about whether she’s really the right person to carry the torch of Obamite Progressivism (not that Bernie’s elves hadn’t already broached the question).
Could it have been … might it be possible … dare we even speculate … that the putative First Woman President wasn’t all that keen on the putative First Black President? Was she so self-centered, so racially insensitive, so politically incorrect as to question Obama’s claim to all-American roots?
As it happens, representatives of several major media operations — mainstream media, that is, not rightwing fringe outfits — have now come forth with recollections of two Clinton operatives who made suggestions about Obama’s roots and even distributed the infamous photo of Barack dressed in traditional Kenyan tribal garb that broke on Drudge and still circulates on the World Wide Web.
The McClatchy news syndicate has even revealed that it sent two reporters to Africa to check out the allegations of foreign birth. Apparently they came up dry, and McClatchy dropped the hunt.
One of the alleged leakers was a lowly campaign volunteer who took the fall as soon as word of the effort got out. The other, however, was writer Sydney Blumenthal, an intimate Clinton confident and advisor of many years standing.
I never thought much of the Birther thing. It struck me as a desperate quest for some silver bullet to invalidate Obama’s presidency and negate everything done under it.
Any conspiracy to fudge his birthplace would have had to begin in 1961, when a birth announcement appeared in the Honolulu Star Advertiser. This didn’t seem likely. Besides, since his mother, Ann Dunham, was a U.S. citizen, baby Barack would have been considered “natural born” regardless of where he emerged from the womb.
Nevertheless, questions about his origins weren’t entirely ungrounded — given the fuzziness of his travels in Chicago radical circles, the initial hesitation about producing a birth certificate, and then the indications of Photoshop tinkering with the digital image which was eventually released. I can see where Clinton and her staff would have considered all the doubts well worth fanning.
I can even see Hillary putting the idea into The Donald’s mind and encouraging him to stir the pot. They were moving in the same social circles in those days.
Hey, it coulda happened. And wouldn’t that be an interesting twist?
Whatever the origins of Trump’s inquiries, he’s succeeded in tossing the Birther hot potato to Clinton now.
This was a good PR week for The Donald in a couple of other ways too. After giving what appears to have been a very well received policy presentation to the Economic Club of New York, Trump guested on the “Tonight Show,” where host, Jimmy Fallon, talked him into mussing his hair.
Writing on American Thinker, commentator Thomas Lifson observed…
“Whoever thought this up … identified exactly the best leverage point to redefine Trump-the-candidate as not at all scary and mean, but rather a guy who is game. Watch the mugging for the camera that Trump does. He is having fun, and is in on the game, making fun of his own peculiarities.
“The contrast with Hillary Clinton could not be more striking.”
The “Tonight Show” studio audience loved it. But predictably, Fallon is receiving harsh criticism from the Left for giving The Donald a national platform on which to demonstrate that he’s a good sport. As one Twitter denizen tweeted angrily…
“I will never watch Jimmy Fallon again. That’s how strongly I feel about humanizing a monster.”
Watch your back, Jimmy.
All in all, it wasn’t a good week for Hillary Clinton. In fact, she may be wishing she’d spent more time in seclusion recovering from pneumonia. Things seem to be going from bad to worse, on more fronts than just her health.
And The Donald? I don’t know what kind of President he’ll make. But clearly, he’s a creature of our media age.
An absolute natural.
Breitbart News has reported that a variety of news outlets were contacted by individuals associated with the 2008 Clinton campaign attempting to encourage media investigations of Barack Obama’s background, especially the possibility that he had been born outside the United States. Naturally, current campaign leaders deny that these contacts had been authorized officially. Heaven forefend!…
A 2008 story in the UK’s Telegraph reported on Obama complaining that the Clinton campaign had slipped a photo of him dressed in African tribal garb to the Drudge Report in an effort to suggest that he was really a Muslim…
“His  campaign manager, David Plouffe, said: ‘On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election.’”
This affair certainly doesn’t help the news media — for which a recent Gallop poll suggests Americans currently have the lowest level of respect ever…