In a column for the Daily Beast, conservative and never-Trumper Matt Lewis made the case that Donald Trump is walking into his four day Republican National Convention armed with nothing but attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and no accomplishments to brag about after over three years in office.
As Lewis noted, the Trump campaign erred by painting Biden as suffering from mental decline which was belied by the former vice president's appearance and highly praised speech. Now the president is being forced to fall back on earlier attacks that never got any traction with voters.
Writing that, "Trump is temperamentally and situationally unable to make the positive case for his re-election—leaving him with just one viable tool in his toolbox," Lewis added, "Trump is going to have to work hard to sell a coherent or plausible anti-Biden message."
That, Lewis suggested, might end up being the least of Trump's problems with a traditional convention setting shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Let’s throw in the fact that Trump won’t get to 'perform' in front of a live convention audience, won’t get to feed off the energy of the crowd, and, therefore (probably) won’t get the kind of bounce that generally comes from accepting the nomination and watching the balloons drop," he wrote. "Indeed, it’s just as likely that Trump’s 'unconventional' convention could go from being merely anticlimactic to being an out-and-out disaster."
Adding to Trump's woes --when he needs to bring non-fans into the fold -- is the fact that the president has decided to feature some guests who may appeal to his base but will turn off swing voters.
"His good choices will be offset if not overshadowed by base pandering in the form of the gun-wielding McCloskys (the St. Louis couple who brandished guns at Black Lives Matter protesters), Nicholas Sandmann (the Covington Catholic kid), and a parade of Trump family members (not to mention that Trump himself will appear each night!)," Lewis wrote.
"Instead of making the positive case for his re-election (which is nearly impossible), Trump’s natural move is to try and disqualify Biden," he continued before warning, "[Trump] going negative is his only real play—which is to say that this week is going to get nasty. Time to buckle up."
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