Donald Trump launched his presidential bid with a race-baiting, xenophobic bang, suggesting Mexicans are a bunch of women-raping, drug-carrying criminals. But now that the Summer of Trump is turning into fall, it looks like Trump is trying to turn over a new leaf, promising a “a big fat beautiful open door” in his 1,954-mile-long southwestern border wall, agreeing to eat Mexican food with Geraldo Rivera, and winning the praises of the CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The softening is nuanced and doesn't suggest an earnest effort to make-nice with the still-furious Latino community. Rather it portends a long-term campaign strategy in which Trump tries to have it both ways: blow the dog whistle to rile the nativist extremes of the GOP base but temper his rhetoric to reassure more moderate conservatives who don't see themselves -- or want to be seen -- as racist.
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