Since Thursday night’s debate, and for obvious reasons, the name many people have been discussing is Donald Trump. Because of his comments regarding Megyn Kelly (which he won’t apologize for), his invitation to the RedState Gathering in Atlanta was rescinded. I believe this was, without a doubt, the right move by Erick Erickson. Since then, the selective outrage from Trump supporters has gone off the charts. Remember, only one debate has taken place, and here we are. It seems quite a while until November 2016, does it not?
Inside the candidates’ circle, however, the focus must be elsewhere. Despite the raucous happenings outside of that group, the one name discussed should be Hillary Rodham Clinton. The presumptive Democratic nominee is the real opponent, not each other. Juvenile infighting and name-calling have been seen before, and we’re already tired of it.
I noticed that during the debate, and in his speech at RedState, Governor Scott Walker focused on Hillary instead of others. Before the Thursday debate, Walker commented on his Clinton-centric plan of attack as reported in Newsmax:
“A lot of folks in the media say they dislike the fighting in Washington,” Walker said. “But they want it to happen.They encourage it, particularly Republican on Republican.”
“What you’re going to hear from us is talking about what we’re for, and what makes us unique, and how I’m the best candidate to take on Hillary Clinton, not what’s bad with the others,” he added.
The Wisconsin Republican explained that while there is “a contrast” between himself and the other GOP candidates, he doesn’t “go after people by name” because the media love the infighting.
And the after-debate reporting shows he met his previously stated goals:
“He didn’t really stand out, and he doesn’t really need to,” said Mike Wagner, a professor of journalism and mass communication and political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In the scrum with nine other candidates, Walker lived up to his pledge to refrain from attacking fellow Republicans. While candidates like Donald Trump, [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] and Chris Christie took shots at one another, Walker stayed out of the squabbles.
And then in his speech at the RedState Gathering on Saturday, he opened with this line:
“I want to spend the last couple minutes of this session talking about one particular candidate. Hillary Clinton. Let me repeat that: Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton. ‘Cause you know, there’s been a lot of talk in the national media about other candidates. We need to remind the American people, as bad as things are with this president, they’d be much worse if there was a President Hillary Clinton. We can’t let that happen.”
I, for one, am glad that Walker, although not a perfect candidate (they don’t exist), is quite focused on Hillary Clinton. That’s not exactly a groundbreaking tactic, but as of right now and with the current climate in a crowded Republican room, it almost feels like it is.
Currently the news cycle is dominated by comments about menstrual blood from an unserious candidate whose sideshow schtick happened to propel him to center stage for the first Republican debate. And this is for president, remember? It’s not for the next reality show. This is the candidate who has praised himself for supposedly bringing the issue of immigration to the forefront. This is odd to me, because I swear I’ve heard others discuss that issue before. Beyond that, his actual discussion of immigration neither contributes much nor makes much sense. At Thursday’s debate, he said regarding building a wall to stop illegal immigration: “It has to be built quickly. And I don’t mind having a big beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally.” That’s not a plan, Mr. Trump. Who is allowed in the door? What is the criteria for those entrants? But people aren’t asking those questions. They are going “oooh” and “ahhh” over how he says things, not on what is being said. And that feels an awful lot like where people’s focus was in 2008 and 2012. All on the superficial, and never on the substantive.
Politics quickly confuses the loudest with the smartest and most capable. This is happening in regards to Trump. As Governor Scott Walker has almost quietly shown, the focus should be on the Democratic frontrunner, because the other name on the ballot besides our nominee come November 8, 2016 will be theirs alone.