Good News / Bad News

During the final 60 days of the US presidential campaign, the media will be reporting a lot of news. My guess is that it will be good news about Donald Trump and bad news about Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s new team came in and everyone said they would let Trump be Trump. However, he has mostly not been the Trump we knew from the primaries. His wilder statements have been curtailed. He is starting to moderate his views. The media is waiting for major gaffes, and they may not get them, but they are addicted to the Trump story so they will report whatever they can. And it will be mostly positive.

Trump has set an extremely low bar for himself – there really isn’t anywhere go go but up. Anything remotely moderate or statesmanlike that comes out of his mouth will be a win. Any increase in the polls will be a win. It will not be hard to make the tone of the news about him positive.

Clinton has the opposite issue. Almost everything she touches generates negative press for her. The email issue keeps coming up. Despite (or more likely, because of) 3 years of investigations, Benghazi continues to be in the news. The Clinton Foundation is now a target. The issue is conflict of interest (president Trump’s conflict of interest potential is so much bigger, but this is getting no press).

The only thing that has generated positive coverage for Clinton lately is when she attacks Trump, for example calling his politics bigoted. But this means she has to play scrappy, and Clinton is anything but scrappy.  So the news on her is likely to continue to be mostly negative.

Given sixty days of mostly positive news about one candidate and negative news on the other, which one is likely to win the election?

Financial Security in Sports

The other day I read a quote from a professional athlete that had just signed a contract. That previous sentence is actually contains a tautology, because if he was not playing professionally in one of the major sports leagues, there is no way I would have seen an article on him in the news. But no matter.

Anyway, he said something to the effect that he was glad to have signed the contract as doing so gave him financial security. Now this particular individual is not a rookie – he’s a veteran and making millions. Financial security? Really?

The minimum salary for a player in the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League is about $500,000. Half a million dollars.

A professional athlete that works for two years would make at least a million dollars, less say 5-10% for his agent. That puts them in the 1%. It would take over 18 years for the average Joe to make that kind of money.

I am sure a lot of professional athletes don’t even make it to play for two years at the rookies’ salary, and many that do make it don’t manage their money well. But it is clear that there is a huge gap between their definition of financial security and the definition most of the rest of us go by.


Messaging: Trump Dominates

According to the press, the professional Republican political class is bemoaning the fact that Donald Trump has not started spending a bunch of money on political ads. (Some of these folks might be the indirect beneficiaries of such spending, but I am SURE that fact plays no role in their opinions). But why should he spend any money? He is not having any problem whatsoever in getting his message out.

Trump is just dominating. Go to any news website, and 80% of the time the top political headline will begin with “Trump . . . “. From his perspective, it does not matter if the story is favorable or not as long as he is in the press.

The top political headline almost never begins with “Clinton . . .”, in fact there is hardly any Clinton news at all unless it is about her e-mail or some other negative. Clinton has a successful rally or says something about policy? You will never see it because no one will click on it. And clicks are what matters.

Trump has so completely mastered the press that Clinton’s only way to get any message out is to spend on advertising. The money that Trump’s campaign is collecting? Well, a lot of it will probably be spent on hefty consulting fees to his kids and close associates. And offsetting the cost of his plane. And helicopter. And boat. And . . .

Indigo Matters


The rainbow flag is meant to be inclusive, right?

All of the colors are represented.


As anyone that has taken a science class knows, the mnemonic for the colors of the rainbow is Roy G Biv.
Biv = Blue       Indigo      Violet

But none of the rainbow flags I have ever seen show indigo. They only show six colors.

Which brings up the question: Who does indigo represent and why are they excluded?

Trump’s Fraud Factor

It has been three weeks since the conventions and despite numerous ‘gaffes’ by Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is less than 10 points ahead of him in the polls. He and his party have done such a good job of painting her as Crooked Hillary that she really has no chance of pulling his supporters over to her side. Her best hope is that they stay home on election day.

The best way for that happen is to make Trump’s supporters disillusioned. Make them think that he is a fraud and not really representing their interests. And it cannot be the Democrats with this message – it has to be a third party, preferably a Trump supporter or expected Trump supporter or a Wikileaks.

How to show that Trump is a fraud? Demonstrating that he does not pay taxes like you and me is one way. But Trump will not release his tax returns, so that will be difficult. Maybe Hillary can ask Russia to hack Trump’s accounting firm to get his tax returns – no, I don’t think that will work.

How else? Well, Hillary’s team will have to study up on con artists and see what works against them. Conald Trump is appealing to the gut, Hillary is appealing to the mind. If she wants to make Trump supporters disillusioned her team will have to work on his fraud factor and find something that punches his supporters in the gut.