August 2, 2016


Donald Trump's Self-Created Pothole : Attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, parents of U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, broaden the character issue in the campaign from being solely about Hillary Clinton (PETER D. HART, Aug 2, 2016, WSJ)

Today, we may be watching the first time a presidential nominee has created his own pothole: by attacking the immigrant parents of a U.S. soldier who died in service to his country. How deeply this cuts and how long this story lasts depends on Donald Trump. He could apologize and the subject may change, but the campaign has suffered a critical wound because this issue speaks to the character of the candidate. This exchange is not something that he can turn back on Hillary Clinton or somehow blame on a staff writer or the media. These remarks are 100% Donald Trump. He said these things, he doubled down, and he owns this attack line.

It has been my contention for some time in the 2016 campaign that the Trump campaign effectively has been carrying a paper bag of water. Each misstep adds more water to the bag. At some point, the bag will rip and the water will gush out. The candidate's back-and-forth with Khizr and Ghazala Khan may not be the instance that rips the bag, but it is significant. It has changed the dynamics of the character issue from being solely about Hillary Clinton to also being very much about Donald Trump.

The Republican primaries were likewise only ever about him.  Too bad he didn't take on this much water early enough to save us from Hillary. 
Posted by at August 2, 2016 2:43 PM


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