I’m probably the only Democrat who will say it publicly, but Donald Trump could wind up being elected president.
It’s not that he’s the best person for the job, or that he has tapped into some vast pool of “voter anger.” The real key to Trump’s success is that he is just flat-out exciting, and these days, we as a nation are addicted to excitement.
Eight years ago, a largely unknown Barack Obama created a tremendous wave of excitement with the idea that he could become first black president. On the surface, Trump would seem to face a far steeper climb — what’s so unusual about a 69-year-old white guy wanting to be president?
But Trump has proved to be the most media-savvy candidate not only in the Republican primary, but maybe in the history of U.S. politics.
It’s not that he knows how to handle the pundits and spin the media. It’s that he creates his own media. Every morning he is somewhere on TV or in the Twitterverse, feeding the frenzy.
He is also the only candidate I’ve ever seen for whom making mistakes and misstatements is an integral part of the agenda.
Hillary Clinton’s message — I’m competent, experienced and rational — didn’t work out when she ran in the primaries against Obama in 2008. She’s basically running the same campaign this time. For all his appeal to young people, Bernie Sanders isn’t exactly Obama, and Clinton is still having trouble putting him away.
In November, we know what we’ll get with Clinton. There’s a lot of loose talk about how the electoral map is stacked against Trump, but a lot of that talk presupposes that he’s a typical Republican.
He’s not. He’s a mystery novel, and people keep turning the pages, waiting for the next twist.
Clinton is an owner’s manual that you’ve already read. For Democrats, that’s a big danger.