Michelle Goldberg in Slate frets that Donald Trump’s speech on Hillary Clinton was “unnervingly effective.”
Donald Trump’s Wednesday morning speech about Hillary Clinton’s record is probably the most unnervingly effective one he has ever given. In a momentary display of discipline, he read from a teleprompter with virtually no ad-libbing, avoiding digs at Bill Clinton’s infidelity or conspiracy theories about Vince Foster’s suicide. Standing in a low-ceilinged conference room bedecked with square chandeliers in the Trump SoHo, a lawsuit-plagued hotel and condo development, Trump spoke for 40 minutes without saying anything overtly sexist. Instead, he aimed straight at Clinton’s most-serious weaknesses, describing her as a venal tool of the establishment. “Hillary Clinton gave China millions of our best jobs and effectively let China completely rebuild itself,” he said. “In return, Hillary Clinton got rich!” He added, “She gets rich making you poor,” and called her possibly “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.”
Trump is clearly hoping to reach working-class whites in places like Ohio, where a recent poll shows him tied with Clinton. “We’ll never be able to fix a rigged system by counting on the same people who rigged it in the first place,” he said. “The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power, and in the money. That’s why we’re asking Bernie Sanders’ voters to join our movement, so together we can fix the system for all Americans. This includes fixing all of our many disastrous trade deals. Because it’s not just the political system that’s rigged. It’s the whole economy.” It was a direct appropriation of the rhetoric Sanders used to woo the white working class.
When the speech was over, I spoke to Carl Paladino, Trump’s New York co-chairman and frequent surrogate, who said that he expects the speech to mollify some of Trump’s Republican critics. “They can’t come griping anymore,” he said. “He’s on the teleprompter, and he’s on message. It’s a lot easier when you’re scripted in your presentation.”
Read the rest of the article here.