August 13, 2016

"For most politicians, a call-it-as-you-see-it approach has limits: Candidates who offend too many voters, or look overly impulsive or intemperate, generally lose."

"But Mr. Trump believes that voters who have seen hard times in their communities will embrace him as a truth teller."

Paragraph 25 of a 28 paragraph NYT article titled "Donald Trump’s Missteps Risk Putting a Ceiling Over His Support in Swing States."

I singled that one paragraph out because it's different from everything else in the article, which I read because I wondered what evidence the author — Patrick Healy — had for the (hedged) proposition in the headline. I was imagining an alternative article that could have been written premised on the idea that Trump is choosing the best path for himself, that it's worrying Clinton people, and that they hope to enlist the media in an effort to lure/scare Trump into doing something else — toning down his attacks, being less exciting, ruining the ratings-based relationship he's got with television. 

30 comments:

MayBee said...

I remember all the breathless anticipation that Obama was going to "Bulworth" his second term, and finally say the truths he wanted to say. This was going to be a great thing, a changing point for America. Some home truths we needed to hear.

And now we have a Bulworth. Nobody calls hm Bulworth. Nobody brings up Bulworth. Because they don't like it when the "other side" gets a chance to say what they really want to say and the people like it.

tim maguire said...

Prof., I would expect your expectations to be the subtext of a concern-troling thumbsucker. Always enjoyable when a person with no understanding of who conservatives are, what they believe, or why they believe and does not wish them success weighs in on what conservatives need to do to succeed.

traditionalguy said...

The Clinton Campaign probably wants all the politicians around Killary to be Timmie Kaine look a likes. In fact she demands it.

But getting a insider cabal of Bush Repubbies to demand that The Trump become a weak Timmie Kaine Mini Me would be the all time psyops tricks.

n.n said...

Generally lose. Hopefully lose. Please lose.

Partisan rant.

"But -- fill in the blank -- believes that voters who have seen hard times in their communities will embrace him as a truth teller."

Truth to power... unless it's politically unprofitable.

Choose life, not abortion.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

What if Donald Trump isn't, in fact, taking a call-it-as-you-see-it approach?

What if he is as inhibited as any other person but the part of his brain that knows he's inhibited isn't fully engaged? People perceive him as relatively uninhibited mostly because (1) they, personally, would have to be uninhibited to do what he does; and (2) he sees himself as uninhibited, thus reinforcing the perception that he is uninhibited.

When a kitten kneads its mother's belly, it gets milk. No ethologist believes, so far as I know, that a kitten says to itself: "Hey, I'm hungry. Time to go knead mom's belly and open up the spigots."

The behavior gets rewarded, all the same.

Humperdink said...

"But Mr. Trump believes that voters who have seen hard times in their communities will embrace him as a truth teller."

What a shallow statement. Is this writer in Oz? It's not just those who have seen hard times who embrace Trump as a truth teller. The country is on the wrong track - literally. I am expecting to Trump to derail this wrong-way freight train.

And I have not seen hard times. I have been blessed, in a large way.

Tank said...

Well put Mr. dink. Many of us who are competent, intelligent and successful see that the country is, and has been, on a long downward spiral. Without significant change ... we are doomed as a country. Doomed.

Prolly too late. Dead country walking. Dead.

GWash said...

I have heard trump many times say that he is campaigning the way he wants.. saying what he wants.. expressing his truths about what he sees going on... unfortunately for him he comes across as a narcissistic, ego maniac that is more suited to be the head of Trump Inc than the president of the US... which, like it or not, has many cultural requirements that do not fit his personality.. we'll see if his method of campaigning works or not... so far not so much.. but there is still a long way to go and lots of things can intervene..

JAORE said...

"And I have not seen hard times. I have been blessed, in a large way."

Me too,HumperD. Or at least so I've always thought.

But when I see and hear people moaning about how tough their lives are I am often astounded. They, by my experience, are living lives full of promise and, though they know it not, abundance. Plus they live in an era of (relative) freedom and technological wonder unthinkable for even the wealthiest just a few years ago.

rhhardin said...

It would be a better article if he'd said women instead of voters.

That opens up a fruitful discussion.

Is Trump the problem or is it women.

Unknown said...

I was imagining an alternative article...

You misspelled universe.

cyrus83 said...

The headline could have been re-written as "Hopefully Donald Trump Has Made Missteps That Put a Ceiling on His Support in Swing States". It's hard to know before an election happens exactly what is a misstep and what isn't, and there are limits to being a bland candidate who says as little as possible of substance per minute spoken while also focus grouping or poll-testing everything before taking a position.

The problem with the latter inoffensive approach is that taking the popular position on everything could well result in a candidate that on balance few people like because it is likely that individual voters hold certain individual policy preferences that the majority don't, so the candidate is still ending up choosing policies that offend people, it's just difficult to know how the mix plays to voters on balance.

AJ Lynch said...

Have you noticed Althouse that Trump was one of the first to oppose TPP and say Nafta hurt American jobs badly and now Hillary is also against TPP and suggesting Nafta ay need to be looked at too? Trump is obviously the change agent because Hillary is adopting Trump's policies. Of course that is right out of the Bill Clinton playbook : hold back your own opinion until you hear all other's opinions/ideas then steal one.

320Busdriver said...

Tank said
Prolly too late. Dead country walking. Dead.

I think thats about right.
The problem is neither candidate promises the needed "significant" change to reverse the spiral. Trump in fact is the antithesis of a conservative in that he thinks there is nothing both he and big government can not do. His promise is that he , and he alone, can fix it.

Thats great for a reality tv show. Somehow I doubt that skillset transfers to running the US.

Levi Starks said...

It reminds me of something I remember being told about how we won the revolutionary war,
As I recall it had to do with fighting tactics and how the British marched organized ranks which made them easy targets for our soldiers who relied on the element of surprise, and from the standpoint of the British weren't fighting fair.
That's the way Trump runs his campaign, it's all about unpredictability, and it's being cast as unfair, and not playing by the rules.
So it's only natural that the media which in normal times would be unbiased feels compelled to step in and level the playing field.

Sam L. said...

Whatever the NYT says, Trump knows they are NOT trying the help him...do anything but lose the election.

bbkingfish said...

How many readers, besides our hostess, are so ingenuous that they think Patrick Healy wrote the headline for the linked article?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The people who voted for Trump, especially the most interesting, verbose and spontateous speaking Trump, don't want to see a little Jeb or Romney mini me version of Trump.

Warts and all. Trump is who he is and the people, in the MILLIONS, voted for him. He tells the truth. Maybe not as elegantly as a Harvard or Yale educated lawyer, but in words that the people themselves use. They don't want him to change. His demeanor and his words are what attracted people to him. His ideas are the draw. Build a wall/protect the borders. Limit immigration/protect us from terrorism. Do better trade deals/protect and strengthen the economy. Support the Constitution particularly the 2nd and 1st amendments/protects ourselves and keeps our freedoms.

People can call Trump racist. The supporters know that isn't true because the left calls us racist all the time. Media can say Trump is a traitor for making a joke about Hillary's missing emails. The people know a joke when they hear one. Evidently the media is incapable. Trump make a remark that Obama and Hillary are responsible for ISIS and uses an analogy. Media goes insane because the don't seem to be able to understand sarcasm. The people understood. We have had to use sarcasm as a shield to protect ourselves from our own incompetent government and corrupt officials for decades.

If Trump takes the bait from the Media hacks, from the Democrats who are concern trolling, from the NeverTrump GOPe......then he is going to lose....biggly. We didn't elect JEB! or Cruz for a reason. Romney and McCain. Losers. Trump just needs to stay true to himself and to those who voted for him.

Humperdink said...

DBQ ,,,, stellar comment.

AJ Lynch said...

And DBQ, I see the never trump crowd writing opeds about what the GOP will be after the election. They don't realize that Trump has changed the GOP forever. The Trump movement will replace the GOP and the nevertrumpers can either join in or get the hell out of the way. And that is true whether Trump wins or loses.

virgil xenophon said...

@DBQ/



"Trump just needs to stay to himself..."

"Or, as P.M. M. Thatcher said to President George H.W. Bush shortly after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait: "Remember, George, this is no time to go wobbly."

virgil xenophon said...

***stay true to himself"

gadfly said...

Several Republican voters say they grow leery every time Mr. Trump speaks these days, for fear he will embarrass them, and feel increasingly repelled just when they hoped he might adjust his message to try to draw more people in. “I liked that he was politically incorrect. But now I feel, enough already,” Trish Grove, a banker, said . . .

Wow, talk about a representative sample of Republicans! Several, that's more than two but not many more, are growing leery of T-rump and the author was fortunate to get a single opinion into print. I always thought that POLITICO was king of unsubstantiated opinion but those whippersnappers at that left leaning publication had to get trained somewhere. The NY Times has forever been writing the print headlines that all editors mimicked later in the day. "All the news that's fit to print," as determined by the Times' editorial staff, is what we get.

Sebastian said...

@DBQ: "He tells the truth" Except when he doesn't.

"Trump just needs to stay true to himself and to those who voted for him." So he isn't trying to win? The people who said he actually doesn't want to be president are right?

@AJL: "The Trump movement will replace the GOP and the nevertrumpers can either join in or get the hell out of the way. And that is true whether Trump wins or loses." That's possible. The GOP split(s) is/are structural. But presumably losing disastrously may cause some rational Trumpites to reconsider. Unless they prefer losing. We shall see.

@gadfly: "“I liked that he was politically incorrect. But now I feel, enough already,” Trish Grove, a banker, said" Sure, it's the NYT cherry-picking. But the reaction is out there. No, I'm not saying the anti-PC fight was going great etc. etc., but Trump still set it back.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Trump just needs to stay true to himself and to those who voted for him."

So he isn't trying to win? The people who said he actually doesn't want to be president are right?


You would prefer that he lie, spin, pretend to be something other than himself, put on a false face, a different accent for each crowd he is talking too? Pander? Obfuscate? Take false positions in order to get votes?

You want Hillary then. :-)

Here's the deal. You dance with the one who brung ya.

Or... another scenario..if your wife while dating pretended to be someone entirely different to win your hand in marriage and then after the marriage you find out that she is someone completely at odds with how she presented herself. Someone you can't stand, can't get along with, who you now hate, don't you think you might be more than a little mad? See. You can get divorced. We as a people have a hard time getting divorced from a politician once in office. I would prefer to know all the good and the bad BEFORE getting hitched.

I like Trump. Warts and all. He is certainly miles better than the other choice Hillary. The Supreme Court is a crucial issue and Hillary...we know what her goals are. Trump has listed his choices for the appointment and they are acceptable. However, if the rest of the people make a different decision based on being informed, as opposed to being brainwashed by the media..... and it is a LEGITIMATE election. Then we just have to try again the next time. If not legit...well...all bets are off.

We don't have the luxury of making fantastical mythological choices for candidates who are not running or throwing a snit fit and deciding to throw votes away. The choices we have are clearly in front of us. Just like the hated Brussels sprouts versus broccoli. Chose. This is what is on the plate.

There isn't more time and this may be our last opportunity to save the United States of America. Through the ballot box, that is.

narciso said...

Bulworth, heh, maybee, I thought it was a bad chris rock impression from 'head of state' or perhaps that other yawner with robin williams,

gadfly said...

@Dust Bunny Queen said...
The people who voted for Trump, especially the most interesting, verbose and spontateous [sic] speaking Trump, don't want to see a little Jeb or Romney mini me version of Trump.

Warts and all. Trump is who he is and the people, in the MILLIONS, voted for him. He tells the truth. Maybe not as elegantly as a Harvard or Yale educated lawyer, but in words that the people themselves use. They don't want him to change. His demeanor and his words are what attracted people to him. His ideas are the draw. Build a wall/protect the borders. Limit immigration/protect us from terrorism. Do better trade deals/protect and strengthen the economy. Support the Constitution particularly the 2nd and 1st amendments/protects ourselves and keeps our freedoms.


The above response has become the ritual for the T-rump supporters. DBQ, like the others cannot understand that Donald's stream-of-conscience rhetoric pours out of his solipsistic mind like water from a dam - unrestrained and unfiltered. His personality disorder is exposed every day and his lies are unstoppable in his outflow. Doesn't it bother you to be talked down to by a septuagenarian who cannot get word usage above that of a 4th grader? Aren't you tired of hearing how "great" he is and how his programs will fix everything? This from the guy who stole from investors, bankers, vendors and employees in four separate bankruptcies. How about the guy who mistreated his tenants withholding heat and repairs, while harassing them in court to abandon their rent-controlled apartments?

This real estate magnate used political influence, mob connections, and illegal immigrants to help him acquire his fortune and he deliberately lied to Trump University students to get large advance payments for an education that would have been far more beneficial if obtained from a real approved college. This is the guy who took a widow, an Italian restaurant and a pawn shop through the hell of imminent domain in order to build a parking lot for a casino that he bankrupted shortly thereafter.

And the beat goes on. I would like to know what Trump received in return from the Clinton Crime Family Foundation for his $100,000 donation. As best that I can tell, more surprises are in store for the Trump supporters.

Sebastian said...

"There isn't more time and this may be our last opportunity to save the United States of America." That's why it would be nice to have a candidate who, instead of just staying true to the people who have already voted for him, would reach out consistently, deliberately, and effectively to people who haven't yet. So that he might actually persuade enough people to get to 50+1 in the swing states. Instead, the supposed truth teller runs his mouth, acts like a clown, has no GOTV operation, and deflects attention from Hill's misdeeds.

khesanh0802 said...

DBQ @1216 Well said! Ignore Gadfly's subsequent bitterness. I dislike Hillary with a daily increasing passion. I marvel at all the ways Trump seems to fall all over himself but, like you I would rather see him run the campaign as he senses it should be run. He will rip off a few scabs and he will tell some amazing truths. All the nay-sayers can cry in their beer, but what we have is a binary choice: Trump or Hillary. We are three months from the election. A lot can happen in three months - things could get better - or worse - but it's going to be a show.

Over the last couple of days the WSJ has printed two articles and an op-ed that said 1. the China trade agreements did not work as forecast by our brilliant economists and that China has taken jobs from the US at a rate that no one imagined; and 2. it is not "free" trade when one side manipulates its currency to gain an advantage. If you have ever purchased product from off shore you know that exchange rates are critical to both financing and cost/profitability. Trump has not been wrong in his accusations about China taking our business.

Joe said...

Isn't it obvious that Patrick Healy is just making shit up? Even the people he references don't have great track records, so why quote them? (I actually like Frank Luntz, but he has very low credibility.

And, from the article: “America’s role in the world matters to me, and I don’t want a president who yells at other people,” said Adam Woldow.

I just worked for an asshole like Adam Woldow's holds so dear and he's destroying the company. It's about time, we had a president who yells and holds a big stick (versus one willing to suck the cock of every foreign leader in an attempt to be liked.)