1. It’s Tuesday, August 2, 2016. It’s 98 days until the election.
2. Here’s what a politician who knew what he was doing would have done: After Khizr Khan gave his impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention, Trump would have either said nothing or that he’s sorry for Khan’s loss.
The story would have been one for Thursday night, when Khan gave his speech, and maybe Friday. By Saturday, we would have been on to something else.
No. Trump decided he had to strike back at a family for whom there’s an automatically powerful sympathy.
Thus, the lead story on The New York Times site halfway into the sixth day of this is about Trump’s five deferments from serving in the military during the Vietnam era.
The lead story on The Washington Post site is about how strategists believe Trump went to far with Khan and his wife.
The lead story on The Los Angeles Times site is a profile of the Khans.
The “Trump-Kahn feud” tops the News section of the USA Today site.
The point is that this whole flap would have been relegated to memory if Trump understood politics.
But he brags that he doesn’t. And as polls show Hillary Clinton continuing to surge after last week’s convention, that gain is being conflated with and accelerated by Trump getting into it with the parents of a slain soldier.
What a dope!
3. Yesterday, I wrote about prominent Republican defections from the party’s presidential nominee.
In retrospect, I should have realized that it won’t be the big names that make the headlines right away.
The big news this morning is that Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican from upstate New York, became the first sitting Congressman to switch sides in this election. He says he’ll vote for Clinton, calling Trump “a national embarrassment.”
Now Hanna is a little more moderate than your typical Republican. He faced a primary challenger in 2014 due to his support of same-sex marriage.
Before him, one of Jeb Bush’s top aides, Sally Bradshaw, said she’s leaving the Republican Party and that she’ll vote for Clinton if Florida is close.
No, it ain’t Jeb or his ex-president relatives, or any other particularly well-known Republican.
But the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. In this case, let’s see who else crosses into the light over the next 14 weeks.