July 24, 2016


Donald Trump loses battle with Teleprompter in GOP acceptance speech (Brian Lowry, July 22, 2016, CNN Money)

Those consuming this through the lens of TV couldn't see the speech's other major player, but Trump's TelePrompTer occupied a central role in the drama. Clearly committed not to extensively riff or drift off script -- as was his habit on the campaign trail -- the candidate frequently sounded awkward, raising his voice and emphasizing words and phrases ("regime change," "ever") for what felt like no reason.

Setting aside the content of the speech, the structure created problems for Trump that became more apparent as the delivery wore on. He started by rattling off an almost dizzying litany of facts and figures, then turned into sections filled with such a depressing, woe-is-America vision as to create few spaces for obvious applause lines, which seemed to stifle the appreciative crowd. [...]

Ivanka Trump concluded the parade of Trump-branded children who spoke this week, and introduced her father in warm, measured tones. The stylistic mismatch between Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump felt even more striking once her father began to shout whole sentences.

"We can't ignore the presentation," said Fox News' Chris Wallace. "For some reason, he shouted the speech. ... He said each word so slowly that it kind of became an endurance test."

During the pre-coverage, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly said that the text -- which was available in advance -- was "designed for television." Yet if it gave that impression on the page, it actually yielded the opposite effect.

Donald Trump doesn't read much. (Marc Fisher July 17, 2016, Washington Post)

 As he has prepared to be named the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump has not read any biographies of presidents. He said he would like to someday.

He has no time to read, he said: "I never have. I'm always busy doing a lot. Now I'm more busy, I guess, than ever before."

Trump's desk is piled high with magazines, nearly all of them with himself on their covers, and each morning, he reviews a pile of printouts of news articles about himself that his secretary delivers to his desk. But there are no shelves of books in his office, no computer on his desk.

Presidents have different ways of preparing to make decisions. Some read deeply, some prefer to review short memos that condense difficult issues into bite-size summaries, ideally with check-boxes at the bottom of the page. But Trump, poised to become the first ­major-party presidential nominee since Dwight Eisenhower who had not previously held elected office, appears to have an unusually light appetite for reading.

He said in a series of interviews that he does not need to read extensively because he reaches the right decisions "with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words 'common sense,' because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability."

Posted by at July 24, 2016 12:02 PM