Conservative radio host, political pundit, and Donald Trump supporter Hugh Hewitt appeared on MSNBC in the hours after the Vice Presidential debate concluded on Tuesday night, and what he had to say doesn’t bode well for the Clinton campaign. Hewitt was impressed with Mike Pence’s debate performance, but he saw a larger opportunity for the Trump campaign. If Mr. Trump can adopt Pence’s debate strategy and deflect the “avalanche of insults” tossed at him by Hillary Clinton, there may be a new path forward for the campaign to win the presidency.
I listened to all of our previous experts, guest and friends, and everyone of them has either implicitly or explicitly declared Mike Pence the winner, and hands down.
I would add to that simple litany of comparisons between the over-caffeinated Tim Kaine and very calm and patient Mike Pence, two strategic objections. Not only did he ratatat Hillary Clinton again and again on Russia, on Syria, Libya and on the server, but he confirmed Donald Trump’s exercise of judgment with selecting Mike Pence. And I would expect Donald Trump to say something like: ‘Did I not show you what the rest of my administration would be like? I brought along this very wonderful conservative calm fellow, and my 3,000 other appointees will be that way.’
And more importantly, still, strategically… The ‘avalanche of insults’ commentary. That reframes the pattern of attack that has developed. And I expect you will hear, I hope you will hear Sunday, Donald Trump adopt that language about the ‘avalanche of insults’ language. ‘It just continues Secretary Clinton. It just continues, Hillary.’ That would turn a tactical victory –acknowledged by everyone on here– tonight by Mike Pence, a very solid one as Chris Matthews says for his career going forward, no matter what happens in November– into a strategic opening that Donald Trump could use.
I would add when Hurricane Matthew hits us, if it hits us, the only thing we will remember is Mike Pence won. Tim Kaine lost. Did Donald Trump learn anything?