Donald Trump has met his enemy: it is himself. There is a branding and public relations phenomenon we’ve come to know as overexposure and, guess what? Trump is butting up against it. His insatiable need for attention, even during times when he should simply lay low, is destroying his candidacy.
This race, this battle of unfavorables, is like no other in American history. And it’s coming down not to who is most impressive, but rather who is least offensive.
You want to know how bad it’s gotten? It’s so bad that during this very public and unnecessary battle with the parents of a dead American soldier, his own campaign manager is saying he can’t control him. So bad, that no Republican candidate will campaign with him. So bad that he’s losing to Hillary Clinton in national polls by almost double digits. So bad that he could actually lose Arizona, Georgia and maybe even Texas. Can you say landslide? How about GOP embarrassment?
Donald Trump is not a very well liked candidate. That’s not news. Then again neither is Hillary Clinton. But Clinton is doing something that Donald Trump isn’t. You know what it is? Nothing. Did you get that? Let me say it again, Hillary Clinton is winning by doing nothing. The "less is better" approach is working for her — as in the fewer words she says, the better off she is. Brilliant.
Clinton, a horrible speaker with a complete inability to recognize how or when to shift her pitch and tone, is not even headlining her own appearances. In fact, she seems to be getting out of the way, strategically campaigning with people who are better and more popular than she is.
When she needed a strong woman to take on Trump directly, she sat back and let Elizabeth Warren do the work. When she needed somebody who actually comes across as likable, she called on Tim Kaine. When she needed a Trumpish figure from the word of reality TV and business, she called on Mark Cuban. When she needed a billionaire to go on the attack against Trump, she unleashed Michael Bloomberg. She has Michele Obama, the president himself and Bill Clinton at her disposal. And then there’s the oracle himself. What do you say when you have Warren Buffet at your side? The answer is nothing.
Yes, Hillary Clinton is winning by doing and saying nothing. She is getting out of her own way and remarkably her negatives are going away. It’s not rocket science, if you’re the guy who nobody in your company likes because you talk too much at meetings, you know what you need to do right? You need to stop talking so much at meetings and miraculously people will start to like you more. It’s tried and true.
Poll after poll this week has shown that Clinton gains when Trump’s foibles dominate the headlines. It’s as if he’s pushing his unfavorables to the forefront and she is hiding in the background. It’s working.
Even in South Florida, fertile ground for Trump, I am for the first time hearing his supporters express exasperation with their candidate. What they say is just that, “Basta ya!”
This race, this battle of unfavorables, is like no other in American history. And it’s coming down not to who is most impressive, but rather who is least offensive — dare I say who is better at shutting the hell up? Hillary Clinton is winning that battle!