Donald J. Trump will become the 45th president of the United States of America.
If Hillary Clinton can stay out of jail and finish off Bernie Sanders, while Trump continues to earn his nickname as the “Teflon Don,” amidst his own party’s attacks, and out-delegate Ted Cruz, the matchup between Clinton and Trump will go the Republicans’ way.
The man is fearless, blunt, crude, unpredictable, savvy, charming, cunning, aggressive, and the list of positives and negatives roll on. He also has no experience. He’s Ross Perot 2.0.
She’s the lady with the resume that hits the floor and the alleged scandals that make voters hit the roof. For what its worth, she should be the trustworthy one when standing next to a billionaire businessman from Manhattan, but the polls say otherwise.
How important is a candidate’s trustworthiness to the American electorate in the general election?
The last elected president that had real trust issues during his campaign was Clinton’s husband Bill aka “Slick Willy” – he did very well as president until he was impeached. Before Bill Clinton, the last president to be impeached was President Lincoln’s successor Andrew Johnson, in 1869. The U.S. went on a 129-year run until President Bill Clinton lied under oath in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit (Nixon resigned before they could impeach him).
Will Hillary Clinton’s untrustworthiness motivate voter hesitation? She’s been caught lying, allegedly stealing, allegedly ordering a murder, allegedly ordering the silencing of Bill Clinton’s alleged rape victims, and the sense of drama and list of allegations roll on and potentially into voter’s minds on November 8. Suffice to say, both Trump and Clinton have their fair share of PR issues.
As it stands, in a hypothetical match between Trump and Clinton, most polls give her a sizable 10-point advantage.
What does Trump do to change that?
It seems like old habits die hard when we’re talking about The Donald. He gave his first major political opponent the moniker of “Lyin'” Ted, now he’s come up with “Crooked” Hillary – he’ll be here all week, folks! Try the veal!
If the past is any indicator of the future, the Republican frontrunner who seems like he moonlights as an insult comic will unleash on a woman whose professional and personal life has been riddled with controversy and alleged scandals, not to mention huge success. Will it work, and will he really unearth scandals that have been dormant for years?
Her success is always spoken of. Here is a short list of alleged scandals that Hillary Clinton has been associated with:
The Death of Vince Foster
“Landing under sniper fire” in Bosnia
The Clinton Foundation
While all of these scandals have been put to rest, with the exception of Emailgate, will that stop Donald Trump from using them against her? And will he be able to rope her into acting unpresidential if he does?
We are talking about the man who used Jeb’s alleged “low energy” as a way to discredit the former Florida governor. If “low energy” is the only thing Trump had to work with on Bush, what kind of mudslinging are we to expect from the man who posted an unflattering picture of Senator Ted Cruz’s wife on social media? And will Clinton take the bate? If Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders got Clinton to get nasty, should we expect cream-corn wrestling at some point?
It should also be noted that the current presidential election is happening during the honesty and anti-establishment movement that has given rise to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. When honesty is the narrative, Clinton is no hero.
Also, will there be any tricks left up the sleeves of the Clinton team when they face off against Trump, or have they used them all unsuspectingly on Bernie Sanders who in no one’s estimation was supposed to do this well – except possibly his own estimation, his wife Jane’s, and the good people of Vermont.
The other challenge that Clinton faces is the odd fact that she is going up against a rookie. Besides some of his idiotic comments, the infamous wall, and his plan to disallow Muslims into the country, there’s not much substance to attack Trump on, except perhaps on the fact that he’s politically inexperienced. Then again, that didn’t work too well on the young African-American senator from Illinois. Clinton’s ’08 loss head-to-head against Obama is another positive for Trump.
Trump loves luxuries and he has a gem in being able to watch the game footage from Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign in 2008 against Senator Obama. Trump could copy and paste every blow landed by the former Illinois senator and expose every Clinton misstep. He can analyze it, break it down, and use it to his advantage. A luxury she lacks.
Within the Republican party, a party that openly disrespected President Barack Obama on multiple occasions, a party that log-jammed him at every chance they got, a party that convinced many of their voters that Obama was the worst president the country ever had, all Trump needs to do for those voters is let them know that Hillary Clinton is the person who couldn’t beat the alleged Kenyan-born Muslim dictator Hussein Obama – how many voters think that way is an unfortunate reality and certainly not enough to hand Trump the presidency.
Is there enough muscle left in the Clinton camp to knock out not one, but two popular anti-establishment candidates in one cycle? Will she be able to convince voters that she is more trustworthy than Trump? Like Obama in ’08, will she arrogantly overlook Trump like she did the young senator and eventual two-term president? Is her message resonating with enough people to get her and Bill back in the same White House they left in shame?
As for the Donald, will Trump be able to keep the gun away from his own feet? Will he be able to survive his party’s attacks and the attacks of a political journeywoman like Hillary Clinton? Will he be able to overcome her knowledge, experience, and ability to win over more female and minority votes? Will he be able to convey his policies, stand by them, and make enough Americans believe he’s competent enough to see them through? Will the author of The Art of The Deal be able to sell himself to women, Latinos, Blacks, and Muslims? Will anti-Clintonites and Sanders supporters vote Trump, and will the numbers of those votes be of any significance?
These are just a few questions that lie ahead for both candidates. One thing’s for sure, the Democrats’ chance to solidify a win in November with Sanders as their candidate against Trump is all but non-existent barring a major Clinton misstep or miracle for the Vermont senator in the home-stretch of the 2016 party nomination.
My projection has businessman Trump becoming President Trump, and here’s how I see it playing out: Trump holds her feet to the fire like no one’s ever done to her before (nothing suggests he won’t) and that’s coupled with the momentum he’ll have from coming out victorious amidst being hit from all sides in his own party’s candidacy. He will convince voters to believe that he is more centrist than right-wing, perhaps even more left than Clinton on game-changing issues. The beauty of his candidacy is that he can basically do or say anything and not come off as a pandering flip-flopper to the degree that Hillary would due to her political past. Her 10-point margin will vanish and the ghosts of Clinton past will come back to haunt her.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]