I was Wrong about the First Debate
Upon watching Monday’s debate, I didn’t think that there was anything specific from the interchange that was going to have substantial legs for the press to dwell on into the next week (and least not of the type the Trump helped generate from the Republican convention). However, I totally underestimated the degree to which Trump would be willing to make Alicia Machado a week-long news story. I noted his initial willingness to double-down on the topic on Tuesday, but was still surprised to see how willing Trump was to keep the story alive, culminating in his early morning tweets on Friday (via the NYT): As America Sleeps, Donald Trump Seethes on Twitter
The tweets started around 3:20 a.m. on Friday. Inside Trump Tower, a restless figure stirred in the predawn darkness, nursing his grievances and grabbing a device that often lands him in hot water.
On his Android phone, Donald J. Trump began to tap out bursts of digital fury: He mocked Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe and a popular Latin American actress, as a “con,” the “worst” and “disgusting.”
In a final flourish, before the sun came up, the Republican presidential nominee claimed — without offering any evidence — that she had appeared in a “sex tape.”
While this particular set of self-destructive activities is not quite as bad as his multi-day attacks on the Khan family, they are just another example as to why his line about his temperament resulted in spontaneous laughter on Monday night.
The bizarre thing (well, one of the bizarre things) about this whole scenario is that Trump needs to bolster his position with Latinos and with women, but his impulse is for petty attacks rather than for pursuing his own long-term self-interest (yes, nothing new, but something that is worth continually point out).