Breaking: Trump & Galen Miss Debate
Thursday January 28, 2016
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As I write this on Thursday morning, neither Donald Trump nor I will be watching the Republican debate tonight on Fox.
Trump is still pouting over being asked by Fox's Megyn Kelly why he said such awful things about women in the first debate, which he answered by saying more awful things about women.
I am not pouting about anything. I'm doing what I love to do: Going bye-bye on an airplane, this time to Juneau, Alaska for a GOP speech there tomorrow night. I will be on said airplane while the debate is going on and so, no instant debate summary tonight.
Dear Mr. Mullings:
The political world appears to be split on whether this maneuver will help or hurt Trump. I don't know how that can be measured - even after we know the results Monday night. If Trump comes in first it will have been a brilliant move. If he doesn't, then the Professional Punditry will nod gravely to one another as if to say, "See? You can only tweak the noses of the political gods so many times before they return the favor."
Here's what I do know: Donald Trump can not only control the conversation he can create the conversation he intends to control.
In what he considered to be an off-handed remark about immigrants and immigration on announcement day (when they still thought they needed to hire actors to fill in the crowd) exploded onto the 2016 campaign stage and held the spotlight for weeks. Since then, he has carefully and deliberately said something outrageous every few days, or whenever he has sensed the fire from his most recent statement beginning to die down to ashes and embers.
Tonight, every cable news outlet will have a crew at the debate (only Fox will cover it live from beginning to end, of course) but, the other outlets will take Trump's remarks at his event for veterans live. Tomorrow, everyone will sharpen their #2 pencils (or, more likely open the Calculator App on their tablets) and add up how many viewers watched the debate and how many, in total, watched Trump.
Taking bets on who gets the bigger audience.
The public polls are circling one another like water down the kitchen sink drain. It appears - appears - that it is a two-person race on each side. Trump and Cruz among the Rs; and, Clinton and Sanders among the Ds.
We have mentioned on many occasions how bad polls are at predicting results. Especially in caucuses where voters have to go out at night, in the cold, to a certain place and stay for a certain amount of time. This is far, far different than an election where you can stop in to your local polling place before work, after work, on your lunch hour, or anytime during the day or evening until they close and spend, in a primary, maybe 10 minutes entrance to exit.
What, you didn't think it would be cold enough on Grand Avenue in Des Moines, so you had to go to Alaska?
The Quadrennial Caucus Promotion Committee
The five-day forecast for Des Moines calls for a high of 36º and a low of 27º with "intermittent snow showers growing steadier and heavier late."
The weather will be coming in from the west, so it will begin in Sioux City and Council Bluffs (across the river from Omaha, Nebraska) and work its way east. Don't think for one second that the campaigns aren't worrying about whether and where they will need to have four-wheel-drive vehicles available.
Whatever happens on Monday night the Washington-based geniuses like me who were totally wrong about the Iowa results will immediately pivot to "What it all means for New Hampshire."
That's what I like about politics.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to a map of Iowa (so you can see where the reporters are reporting from) and a terrific Mullfoto showing the importance of strategy over tactics.
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