If history still matters, August 31, 2016 will mark the turning point in Donald Trump’s march to the White House. Hugh Hewitt, as objective a Trump observer as the right has to offer, spoke with real authority to a stunned MSNBC audience. Thanks, by the way, to Media Matters for transcribing the quote below from last night:
HUGH HEWITT: He provided clarity from the beginning of the day to the end, I think, Steve. It was his very best day of his presidential campaign. Bill Kristol earlier with Lawrence O’Donnell was making, I think, the key takeaway. When you start with the morning, bad news for Hillary Clinton all over the place. Her negatives are down in The Washington Post poll. Obamacare is falling apart. 30 new concealed emails on Benghazi.
Donald Trump goes down to Mexico, has a very perfectly normal diplomatic engagement with the president of Mexico, has a great press conference afterwards, takes questions, which Secretary Clinton won’t take from the press in any setting, and then comes back and gives a very, very sophisticated speech that I think mirrors — I did 170 interviews with active Republican presidential candidates. That was the mainstream policy what he articulated today. We do points one through ten first, and then we’ll talk about the other people. I think it is a softening. I think it was sophisticated and very powerful.
Earlier, Byron York had captured the enormity of Trump’s achievement:
Indeed, it was a big win — a very big win — for Trump. Going into a meeting with the potential for disaster — who knew how Pena Nieto would receive the world’s most controversial presidential candidate or what embarrassments might lie ahead? — Trump came out of the meeting looking very much like a potential President of the United States. Standing beside the Mexican leader in front of a green-gray granite wall reminiscent of the United Nations, Trump presented the picture of a statesman.
For the longest time reporters like York have been wondering if Trump will truly emerge as presidential. Thanks in no small part to the courtly president of Mexico, Trump had a dress rehearsal yesterday on the world stage. Turned out he was in his element. In York’s words:
Less than 24 hours earlier, Trump was reciting “The Snake” before a rowdy audience in Everett, Washington. In Mexico, he looked like a world leader.
Or as Hewitt later said: “This was a 100 percent great day for Donald Trump.”