Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My take on Donald Trump's speech against Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump. Gage Skidmore

Trump's full speech

I watched Donald Trump's speech today on Hillary Clinton, even though I work nights and should have been sleeping. It was a great speech and Trump really took it to Clinton. If you want to watch the whole thing, it is posted in it's entirety above. Even if you don't like Trump, if you dislike Clinton you will enjoy Trump shining the spotlight on Clinton's various misdeeds. 

I'm not going to go through every point that Trump said. I don't have the time for that and plenty of other people have done so already. But I do want to go through the various strengthens and weaknesses of the speech were. 

The Good:

-This was a very presidential speech by Trump. He was serious and on point. There weren't any nicknames or asides to the audience. There was a lot less snark all around. This made his claims seem a lot more serious and made him look like he belonged as a serious presidential candidate. 

-The speech wasn't just an attack on Hillary Clinton. Trump spent quite a bit of time touting his own programs as well. I have long said that only focusing on your opponents weaknesses is a huge mistake. You also need to convince people that you are worth voting for. Trump might not have convinced everyone that he is the best choice but he at least didn't stop making the case while he was bashing Clinton

-Trump destroyed Hillary's "I'm with her" slogan. He made Clinton's slogan seem like it was all about her and he skillfully flipped it back right at her by saying that "I'm with you". Regardless if you agree with Trump, you have to admit that Clinton is going to have a tough time using that slogan anymore.

-Trump made a very clear attempt to get Bernie Sanders voters on his side. I don't know how many he convinced but he did directly call on them to join his campaign. He also used Sanders attacks on Clinton by highlighting the various speeches to Wall Street and made a strong case that she's owned by them. 

-Trump also turned around many of the attacks that Hillary Clinton used against him. He said that she is too temperamental to run and is completely unqualified to run for office. And unlike Clinton, he was able to point to her disastrous run as Secretary of State as proof

-This whole speech was red meat for the GOP. I won't speak for all Republicans but this is the speech someone should have made about Hillary Clinton years ago. The right in this country has always felt that Clinton has gotten kid glove treatment from the GOP and the media, so to finally see someone go all out against her is refreshing.

-Trump is also making a strong case that he's better on LGBT rights then Clinton is. Like he said, Clinton has taken quite a bit of money from countries that have the death penalty for gay people. This should broaden his coalition in November if the attacks stick. I doubt that Trump will get a majority in the LGBT community but he could shave off a few voters from Clinton if he keeps this up.

The Bad:

-Other then the "I'm with you" slogan and the moment where Trump called Hillary Clinton the most corrupt person to ever run for president, there weren't a whole lot of moments that will go viral from this speech.

-Trump left out quite a few attacks on Hillary Clinton. Most glaringly, he failed to mention how she has enabled her husband to abuse women. He has done this before and I can't understand why he would leave it out. Maybe he didn't think it was presidential enough? He also didn't mention Hati, which my Bernie Sanders supporting friends seem to care about more then any of the other accusations against Clinton. 

-He relied to much on the Clinton Cash book. I haven't read it so I don't know if it is true or not, but by using it he gave the media a chance to dispute what he said. I have no doubt that at least some accusations in that book are correct, but the media is going to focus on the fringe cases to try and discredit Trump. 

The Ugly:

-Trump basically called for Hillary Clinton to be arrested. Sure he has done so before and he technically was just repeating what a supporter said, but I am not sure how that plays for undecided voters. I personally agree with it, and I know most Republicans will be salivating at the though, but it could turn some people off. 

-This wasn't a killing blow against Clinton. The people that support her will probably still do so. They will likely dismiss his accusations

-Trump also essentially called Clinton a traitor when it comes to foreign policy. For the same reasons as the "arrest Hillary Clinton" comment, this could hurt him among undecided voters, even as it helps him with the GOP. 

All that being said it was a good speech. I think it will help unite the GOP against Clinton and for Trump. It also might help Trump in the polls. He had slipped a bit after putting Ted Cruz away, and this speech should help his numbers and hurt Clinton. I don't think this is the thing that will win Trump the election but it does seem like he got the initiative back. 

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