Posted by Curt on 7 July, 2016 at 5:12 pm. 4 comments already!


Ed Morrissey:

Bob Corker may have taken himself out of the Veepstakes, but that doesn’t mean he’s taken himself off the short list of surrogates for Donald Trump. “He’s tapped the American psyche in a way that no candidate that I can remember in modern times has tapped,” the Senator from Tennessee told Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe today, and that “it’s his race to lose.” Corker also extolled the qualities of the Trump family and Trump himself, calling the presumptive Republican nominee “one of the most courteous, kind, respectful” people he knows.

That might be a wee bit difficult to square with the public persona of a candidate whose pastime is assigning derogatory nicknames to his opponents and critics, but YMMV:

SCARBOROUGH: Some would say tragedies of this campaign, that Donald Trump is not in front of the camera like he is behind the camera and that he is extraordinarily courteous behind the camera, at least in the ten, eleven years that Mika and I have known him, he — we’ve never seen the Donald Trump in person that he shows the rest of the world when he’s behind a microphone.

CORKER: Yeah. Joe, you remember the — they had a documentary on Mitt Romney six months after the race was over and people watched it and they say, where was that during the campaign? And you know, I think that, again, there has got to be a way during this campaign to humanize him. Whether they do that or not, just for what it’s worth.

Again, I think it’s — I really believe it’s his race to lose. I think the momentum is there. He’s tapped the American psyche in a way that no candidate that I can remember in modern times has tapped and, you know, he’s got a lot of — lot more momentum than I think people see and believe.

Corker notes that Trump hadn’t garnered a lot of resources yet, at least at the point in time in which the two men shared a full day together, but Corker declared himself impressed with the efficiency with which those limited resources were used:

And so, you know, I was with him for like eight hours so, you know — in the early portion of the meeting sharing that, then enables you to really talk more fully and candidly just about the campaign, where they are going, what they are doing.

And I got to tell you, I think Americans would be shocked at how much they are doing with so little. And I say that complimentary. Look, I think it’s his race to lose. I really do. I saw Mark. I know he was on your program earlier today in Raleigh. The reaction of people to him is something that needs to be — people need to behold.

All this may be true, but it speaks to maintenance of base appeal, not expansion of it. That was one of the problems with the Romney campaign, too — the assumption that Republicans could rely on base turnout without having the candidate appeal to a wider electorate. Romney was a candidate who had that potential appeal, but the strategy was to stick to Romney being a “severe conservative” to distinguish him from Obama, and to use national messaging and big events to drive voter turnout rather than work from the ground up to connect emotionally with swing voters.

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