A Reddit discussion, based on this morning's "Meet the Press," which I've seen and for which I am trying to locate the transcript. There's something else I want to blog and will blog soon, but this is an excellent topic. I don't cotton to calling Trump "Drumpf," but the basic question raised there is one I wanted to ask too. To acknowledge that Cuban is a creditable pick — which Hillary did — is to throw out one of your main arguments against Trump.
ADDED: Ah! Here's the transcript. Here's the part about Cuban:
CHUCK TODD: And I know you're not going to reveal how you're vetting for a running mate....At this where she's conceded that it's possible to "have absolute confidence" that a person with only a business career could shift to the presidency without any other political experience. The only question seems to be whether that person actually is successful. Todd picks up the cue and makes it about Donald Trump:
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: Well, the most important thing is to pick someone who you have absolute confidence in can be president....
CHUCK TODD: Mark Cuban.
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: Yes. Yes--
CHUCK TODD: I did a interview with him earlier. He expressed serious interest [in the VP position]. If you called him up and said, "I want to vet you to be my running mate," he'd listen. What do you say to that?
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: I think we should look widely and broadly. It's not just people in elective office. It is successful businesspeople. I am very interested in that. And I appreciate his openness to it. I think that--
CHUCK TODD: You do plan on having people that maybe have never served in elected office, that you're going to vet--
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: I am absolutely intending to look far and wide. And I think that is the best way to find somebody who can really capture what's needed in the country, and businesspeople have, especially successful businesspeople who are really successful as opposed to pretend successful, I think have a lot to offer.
CHUCK TODD: Pretend successful? You don't think--Now, just to be honest, you have to express admiration for something, don't you? But she needs to fight Donald Trump. That's her main objective, and yet she just made a huuuge concession. If she didn't notice she was doing that, she does now. How can she recover? She shifts to the detail of his tax returns:
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: Yeah.
CHUCK TODD: --is there anything Donald Trump's done that you think should be praised?
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: I think he needs to release his tax returns. The only two we have show that he hasn't paid a penny in taxes. And yet he goes around talking about "Make America great." You know? That means paying for our military. That means paying for our roads. That means paying for the V.A. That means a lot of things. And if you've got someone running for president who's afraid to release his tax returns, because it will expose the fact that he pays no federal income tax, I think that's a big problem.So many problems here: 1. She's utterly undercut if he has paid taxes, even at a fairly low rate. 2. She shifts to a subject that could be labeled It's Actually Great to Pay Taxes, 3. It's somewhat fussy detail about paperwork, and she's famous for withholding papers, 4. She couldn't say one thing nice about the man, which forces Todd, who's otherwise ultra supportive, to ask:
CHUCK TODD: No, my question was there's nothing about his background that is praiseworthy?So she waffles and hedges and comes right back to the tax returns, as if it all hinges on the tax returns. That gives Trump all the power. It's like a demonstration of Trump's favorite criticism: She doesn't know how to negotiate.
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: We'll find out. Because we have to get below the hype. We have to find what the reality is. And--
CHUCK TODD: You don't feel like you know that?
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: I don't think the country knows it.
CHUCK TODD: Do you?
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: I-- I think that we're beginning to find out. But I don't think we know enough. And that's why he should release his tax returns.
CHUCK TODD: All right.She's demanding that Trump prove that he's a successful businessman. That's his favorite subject!
SEC. HILLARY CLINTON: Prove that he actually has the level of success he claims to have.