Thursday, July 14, 2016

Seriously, does Trump want to win?

Today the Trump campaign released its tentative convention schedule and hinted that Mike Pence will be his Veep. I'm beginning to wonder if Trump wants to lose. The convention schedule is not only light on politicians and heavy on nepotism in its speaker list, it promises to highlight two of the least effective scandals that the have been ginned up against the Clintons: Benghazi!TM and the Bill Clinton sex scandals.

Indeed, the Clinton sex scandals and that whole impeachment charade actually increased Bill Clinton's popularity and let the democrats gain seats in Congress in 1998. That scandal even makes less sense to bring up now when Hillary and not Bill is running for president. It's not her scandal! In fact, Hillary got one of her highest approval rating (67%) in the midst of the Lewinsky scandal, and that sympathy surge in her popularity was a major factor that got her elected to the Senate in 2000.

The focus on Benghazi!TM and Bill's sex scandals are especially puzzling because that email scandal has really seemed to hurt Hillary's popularity. I personally don't think there is much to the email scandal. But rightly or wrongly, it has done actual damage to Clinton's candidacy. They finally a scandal that seems to work, but instead they will go with that tired old stuff that doesn't.

And then there's Pence! To the extent anyone remembers who he is outside of Indiana, he's the dude who almost brought economic ruin to the state with his barely veiled anti-gay law posing as a religious freedom law. Even Indianans don't like the guy. His lack of political future may explain why he would accept an invitation to run on Trump's ticket. But it doesn't explain why Trump would pick him.