Trump’s Strategic Box

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Aside from being stone broke, I want to note another problem Trump has made for himself.

Trump has coyly announced a “speech regarding the election” tomorrow in New York. On Twitter he says it will be about “the failed policies and bad judgment of Crooked Hillary Clinton.” This was the speech that was preempted by the ‘I’m awesome; we’re all gonna die’ speech he gave the day after the massacre in Orlando. It will presumably be a massive anti-Hillary oppo dump presented in the form of a speech.

Here’s the problem.

Trump’s biggest liability at this point is the public’s congealing perception that Trump is an emotionally unstable, erratic liar who may voice certain genuine popular grievances but is just not a safe person to make president. That means that Trump’s biggest priority is to show that he’s normal, sane, balanced – someone remotely suitable to be president.

That’s a tough bill if you’re also trying to dramatically shake up the race or make news.

Even if Trump isn’t nuts and gives a polished, telepromptered speech arguing his plans for a better America and the shortcomings of his opponent that would probably go over like a lead balloon. Are you going to be certain to tune in to the next Hillary speech? No, because she’s normal. You have a sense of roughly what she’ll say. She’s not a trainwreck that is impossible not to watch. Trump is. Unless he gets a lobotomy and gives a stolid and routine speech you might expect from someone demonstrating a temperament for the job.

To put it simply, the kind of drama and over the top style he needs to grab attention and pivot the direction of the race is in fact his greatest liability and what he most needs to change. That’s all of his own doing, the product of a year of impulsive acting out, playing to the emotions of the most aggrieved segments of the electorate. But there it is. He’s in a box.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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