In his column for the Atlantic, former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum stated that Donald Trump had a chance to help his struggling campaign with a good showing during Thursday’s night town hall but blew his chance with his angry and defensive answers to host Savannah Guthrie’s questions.
Equating the president’s choice to live in a world of his own making with the recently canceled alternate reality show “The Man in the High Castle,” after its 4-year- run, Frum claimed Trump is about to be canceled too after one only season in the White House.
To make his case, he compared the president’s “loud” performance on NBC to Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s thoughtful responses on the ABC town hall that ran at the same time.
Writing, “Toggling between the two was like switching from heavy metal to midnight jazz,” Frum added, “When Trump has to deal with something he doesn’t like—such as Savannah Guthrie’s questions about his debts—he blusters great clouds of defensive words. The words do not form sentences, do not cohere into ideas, do not contain truthful information. But they do form a defensive wall of noise against unwelcome inquiry.”
Contrasting Biden’s calm and receptive demeanor when answering voter’s questions, Frum pointed out that the president instead fumes and raged against his enemies which extended to a tweet his campaign released after the town hall that read: “President Trump soundly defeated NBC’s Savannah Guthrie in her role as debate opponent and Joe Biden surrogate. President Trump masterfully handled Guthrie’s attacks and interacted warmly and effectively with the voters in the room.”
According to the conservative analyst, “At the end of the scheduled time, each candidate was invited to address a broader question. Guthrie asked Trump what he would say to uncertain voters… Trump answered by saying that he would tell the undecided voter what a great job he was doing as president.”
“Trump failed to use his open opportunity effectively. He said nothing to that hypothetical undecided voter that was as forceful as his opening quasi-apology for QAnon, which he praised as a movement strongly opposed to pedophilia. That will be Trump’s most quoted statement of the evening,” he wrote. “What you want to do in Trump world is incite fear, stoke fear, manipulate fear, and exploit fear. That can apparently work—at least with some people, and at least for a limited time. But only for some people, and only for a limited time.”
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