Trump talking tonight in Louisiana, mentions Hillary in passing. Crowd starts to boo. Trump motions them to stop, saying “No, it’s ok, no, forget it.” Then to my surprise, he added with a big laugh, “That plays great … before the election.” Throws up his hands and gives his big goofy smile and says, “Now, we don’t care … right?” People laugh and nod and go quiet immediately, and without a pause he starts talking again about his subject, the deal is done, he’s moved on.
I was careful to never watch either Trump or Hillary speak during the campaign. I would read the transcripts instead—I didn’t want to be caught up in the moment. I like the distance. So it’s fascinating tonight to watch him work the crowd.
Look at his ability to mold public opinion above. He is changing his supporters minds, right before our eyes, moving them in two very different and very good directions.
First, he’s taking the bitterness against Hillary out of his supporters. This can only be good for America, and is a further sign that he was serious about not having any personal desire to see her harm.
Second, he’s getting his supporters to stop focusing on the past, and focus on the task at hand. It’s easy to get caught in the past, to try to refight past battles and redress real and imagined past losses.
He wants people to forget about all that and move forwards with him, and look at how sweetly and gently, and yet firmly and without hesitation, he pulls them along in his train.
The master’s touch was the pause and the smile and the rising inflection on the “right”? He’s not telling us what to do. He’s not laying out the law.
Instead, he’s asking us to agree with him that we should not be vindictive towards Hillary and that we should move forwards and not look back, and to their credit, everyone nodded their heads when he said it.
All I can say is, it’s fun to watch the master persuader at work … right?
My best to all, democrats and republicans alike,