With Under Two Weeks Until the Election – President Trump’s Endgame Strategy Is Working
Following an avalanche of criticism over his heavy-handed performance in the first presidential debate, President Trump was on his best behavior on Thursday night. Despite the lack of any dramatic knockout moments that will be immediately appended to political debate history, Trump easily won the night and set up some obstacles that former Vice President Joe Biden may find difficult or even impossible to overcome in the final stretch of the campaign.
In his Friday podcast (which can be viewed in full at the bottom of the article), Dan explained the Trump campaign’s strategy for victory – and it’s not what you would think. He also shows precisely how President Trump worked throughout the debate to trap Biden into making statements that would “alienate” his supporters who would surely demand explanations afterward and to “sow distrust.”
Dan starts by acknowledging that many suburban women and others who voted for Trump in 2016 have withdrawn their support. They cite the President’s “abrasive” style, his offensive tweets and his aggressive behavior during the first presidential showdown in early October.
He explains that 2020 is a “base” election. In a traditional election, a candidate tries to win over members of his or her own political party and as many independents as they can. In a base election, a candidate plays to his base and tries to expand it by targeting and motivating like-minded Americans who haven’t participated in the political process or even cast a vote in years. The goal of this strategy is to acknowledge and try to quantify the loss of previous supporters (those who now oppose his style), and then to concentrate on cultivating an even greater number of new supporters.
The day after the first debate, many pundits expressed their disapproval of Trump’s performance. Dan stood nearly alone in declaring the President the winner. He understood that it had not been the campaign’s objective to win back those who were offended by Trump’s style, but to appeal to and expand his base. (Although the campaign hopes to win back former supporters, this is not a priority in a base election.)
Dan’s theory seems to have caught on. In a piece published on Friday in The Washington Examiner, entitled “Trump juices base to compensate for 2016 supporters defecting to Biden,” David Drucker writes:
An analysis conducted by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report found 4.9 million eligible white voters without a college degree did not vote in 2016 in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. White working-class voters are the bulwark of Trump’s base. If the president can draw more of them to the polls, he might offset defections in the suburbs and from other blocs that propelled him to the White House but are now backing Biden.
This is precisely the aim of the Trump campaign. Dan explained that if they can get 10% of this group to cast a vote, the small percentage of suburban housewives who have abandoned him will make far less difference. He tells viewers, “The Trump team has figured this out. They’re not going to get the style voters anymore. Some suburban moms who don’t like the tweets, they’re lost.”
Dan boils the Trump campaign’s debate strategy down to this: “Excite my base and get Joe Biden’s base to really hate and distrust Joe Biden.” The campaign has made the decision to go “full apex predator.” And it really is as simple as that.
He plays a clip of Biden and Trump discussing the future of the oil industry and asks viewers to imagine hearing this as a moderate Democrat, particularly one who works in the industry.
During the exchange, Trump gets Biden to admit he would “transition” from the oil industry.
Trump asks Biden, “Would you close down the oil industry?”
Biden admits, “By the way, I would transition from the oil industry, yes.”
Trump says, “Ohhh! That’s a big statement.”
With that admission, Biden just lost votes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and other oil producing states. As Dan put it, “Trump just got your false golden god Joe Biden to admit in front of 70 million people that he wants to bury the oil industry because they pollute.”
Next Dan plays a clip of the two sparring over fracking and asks viewers to look at it from the perspective of the most liberal portion of Biden’s base. Biden declares, “I have never said I oppose fracking.”
Of course Biden has said he opposes fracking. We’ve all seen the clips of Biden telling liberal voters he opposes fracking.
Trump’s eyes pop open and his arms fly up. “You said it on tape.”
Biden then doubles down and forcefully says, “Show the tape. Put it on your website.”
Was Biden insane to spout an obvious lie which could be quickly proven?
With this remark, Biden alienated the most liberal portion of his base.
Trump very deliberately looked for opportunities to trap Biden into making statements that would disturb various groups within his base. And he was successful. Just minutes after the debate ended his campaign had uploaded a compilation of times Biden publicly said he’d ban fracking to the internet, and it’s been viewed by tens of millions since.
Dan highlighted many examples where Trump exploited opportunities to manipulate Biden into making similar statements on issues ranging from health care to Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal.
Additionally, as the debate wore on, the coherence of Biden’s answers and the clarity of his speech began to decline. His fatigue was becoming obvious.
Finally, as hard as it is to believe, many of the estimated 63 million Americans who tuned in for the final presidential debate learned about The New York Post’s explosive report concerning the emails found on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop for the first time. The emails reveal that Joe Biden allegedly had knowledge of and may have even participated in his son’s corrupt foreign business affairs. Specifically, one email shows that Biden met with a high-ranking official from Ukrainian energy firm, Burisma Holdings, prior to making his ill-advised demand that unless the country’s president fired the prosecutor who was investigating the company and about to question his son, the U.S. would withhold $1 billion in badly needed aid.
Fox News and the conservative blogosphere have trumpeted this story since it broke on October 14. Mainstream media outlets, however, desperate to bury it so they can drag their cognitively diminished candidate across the finish line ten days from now, have refused to cover it.
NPR public editor Kelly McBride summed up what appears to be the Democrats’ party line in a newsletter published this week. First, she told readers, “There are many, many red flags in that New York Post investigation.”
As proof, McBride turned to talking point established by The Washington Post shortly after news of the emails broke. “Intelligence officials warn that Russia has been working overtime to keep the story of Hunter Biden in the spotlight.” The messenger of the bad news was Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, who The Post claimed was spreading disinformation after he’d been targeted by Russian intelligence officials.
Finally, she explained, “But the biggest reason you haven’t heard much on NPR about the [New York] Post story is that the assertions don’t amount to much.”
NPR managing editor for news Terence Samuel fully agreed with McBride’s assessment. He wrote, “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions. And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event, and we decided to treat it that way.”
Well, this story isn’t going away anytime soon, despite what Biden had hoped looked like a firm denial on Thursday night. This is not a case of he said – she said. There is hard evidence behind these accusations.
No, Joe Biden did not win the night as CNN and other liberal media outlets have proclaimed. Instead, President Trump did great harm to Biden’s candidacy, precisely as he had intended.