Monday, October 3, 2016

Donald Trump’s Conservative Act Is Unconvincing

Playing a conservative doesn’t suit him.
In recent weeks, there has been an effort to make Donald Trump more attractive with a broader audience. This is not first time this has been tried. After Trump secured the nomination in May, it was said Trump would “pivot” to a more appealing general-election persona. That didn’t really happen then, but in the month leading up to Monday night’s debate, Trump had been more disciplined than he had been at any other time during the long presidential campaign. The most recent effort seems to have paid some dividends: He’s been running almost even with Hillary Clinton in many polls over the past two weeks.
The core of the current pitch from Trump campaign officials is that their candidate is actually a run-of-the-mill Republican. Trump’s new campaign team has convinced him in recent weeks to do his best impersonation of Jack Kemp. He has announced the formation of a committee of pro-life supporters, proposed a new block grant to the states to promote school choice for low-income households, promised to increase spending on the military, and released a revised version of his economic plan focused on tax cuts, deregulation, and more-rapid energy exploration. In public remarks using a teleprompter, he has sounded more like a composite of the 16 Republican candidates he defeated earlier this year than the candidate we had all come to know. And in case all of this was too subtle, last week he added Utah senator Mike Lee, a favorite of many Washington conservatives, to his list of possible Supreme Court nominees.
It is one of the many ironies of this election cycle that Trump prospered in the GOP primaries by willfully trampling on many traditional Republican themes, and is now trying to improve his general-election prospects by sounding more like a traditional Republican. While selling Trump as a traditional Republican may work to some degree, it is also clear that the pose does not come naturally to him. Trump has agreed to wear the clothes, but they don’t really seem to fit.
Read the rest from James C. Capretta HERE.

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