According to a report from Politico's Ryan Lizza, Donald Trump attempt to make headlines and disrupt the last debate with a new revelation about Hunter Biden landed with a thud because his surprise guest had nothing to offer to the press.
Noting the president has been successful in the past about changing the focus of a rapidly-changing news cycle by ginning up new controversies, the president, with the help of his handlers, hyped up an appearance by a former Hunter Biden business partner, Tony Bobulinski, that ended up be long on accusations -- but short on particulars.
"His campaign organized a press conference earlier Thursday at which Bobulinski, Hunter Biden’s former business partner in a failed Chinese investment venture, stood awkwardly in a tight-fitting suit and tie and alleged that Joe Biden knew details about the enterprise," Lizza wrote before explaining what reporters were shown was three cellphones that supposedly included damaging information about the son of Democratic challenger Joe Biden -- but didn't allow them to access the info.
Add to that, the only media outlets that ran with the story -- thin as it was -- were Fox News and the New York Post which is already under fire for pushing a sketchy Biden laptop story that even Fox News wouldn't touch.
As Lizza notes, the entire Bobulinski stunt " fizzled" and just became a Trump sideshow that no one cared about or noticed.
"Even if Bobulinski is telling the truth, that Joe Biden knew about the China enterprise, it’s not clear what the scandal is — he was a private citizen at the time and not yet running for president," Lizza reported. "This isn’t the first time that Trump has made this kind of political miscalculation this year. Before people like Giuliani convinced him that attacking Hunter was the key to a comeback, he was obsessed with defining Biden as a mentally impaired septuagenarian who was so 'gonzo' he had to hand control over to the far left."
As Lizza notes, the Bobulinski attack failed to connect -- just like the laptop story -- "because Trump’s exaggerations and over-the-top allegations bear no resemblance to the available facts."
Pointing out that the White House-manufactured scandal did so poorly that it was hardly mentioned during the final debate, Lizza suggested, "It makes you wonder what Trump could have accomplished this year against Biden if he had focused on what’s front and center to voters and didn’t get so distracted and preoccupied by the sideshow."
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