Donald Trump: Flip-Flopper
Let’s stipulate at the outset that Kellyanne Conway’s job as Trump’s new campaign manager is to be a better and more artful liar than Donald Trump. When your claim to fame is getting women to support boorish male GOP clients like Todd Akin, Newt Gingrich, and Ted Cruz, one could say you are vastly overrated, if not flawed yourself. Yet the mainstream media can be counted on to give Conway and her ridiculous utterances a free pass simply because she is bashing Hillary.
That being said, it’s hard to walk back Trump's call to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants, as she tried to do this morning on the Sunday news shows. According to Conway now, Trump simply wants to “enforce the law”, which is a long way from what he's said for months, and is a long way from what new campaign CEO Steve Bannon has been demanding on Breitbart.com for years.
Adding insult to injury, the new and improved Trump now says he wants the GOP to be the party of Lincoln once again and be a home for African American voters. This is the same Trump who just last week openly asked his white supporters in Pennsylvania to travel into urban areas of the state to monitor and potentially impede the voting rights of African Americans.
Conway’s public persona since taking over is to turn every question about Trump into an attack on Clinton’s character. This is no surprise. But for Team Clinton, their response should be just as clear. The media campaign for the next 30 days should be to take every statement by Trump and Conway and contrast it with Trump’s actual behavior and the beliefs of Bannon himself. The TV spots write themselves: Trump’s appearance last night asking for African American support should be contrasted with his statements last week asking for whites to travel into urban areas to harass black voters to keep the election from being “stolen”, with the ending question being “Which Donald Trump is the real Donald Trump?” Similar appeals from Conway should be contrasted with Bannon’s well-documented history and online statements of bigotry and harassment, with the same ending question for the audience.
And to cap it off, Conway’s new walk-backs on immigration should be contrasted with Trump’s own statements, again with the ending question of “which Trump do you believe?” This approach will raise questions, even among small portions of his base, about his trustworthiness and his credibility, and can serve as an effective counterpunch to the high-risk strategy Conway has put in place to make Trump someone he isn’t.
One of the major risks in remaking someone into someone they are not is exposing yourself to charges of flip-flopping. In a campaign where Trump and his (newest) team have made the whole election about Hillary's trustworthiness, it seems only fair that Hillary nails Trump to the wall these next 30 days as a flip-flopper who himself cannot be trusted.