I watched Trump’s full speech on Orlando just now. Hillary is going to have problems responding. His speech has its demagogic parts, and there are two moments along the way where he teeters into an emotional place where you can see his mercurial mental instability and hysterical side coming dangerously close to the surface, but on balance it’s a very strong speech (and by that, I don’t mean I share Trump’s point-of-view; I mean it’s politically effective).
I can see how Trump could give Hillary more than a run for her money if he sticks with a teleprompter and keeps his cool like this for the rest of the general election campaign. I can see the content of the speech readily appealing to a majority of Americans, as well as the way he delivered it.
Trump just showed his potential for coming across as caring, protective, inclusive, and strong in ways that could capture for him a lot of votes. His desire to defend Jews, Christians, women, and the LGBT community from radical Islamists is clearly sincere, and even moving. When he talks inclusively, keeping everybody, including moderate Muslims, in the same boat, he sounds–dare I say it?–inspiring. He definitely wants to be the good father to those who love America, and that comes across.
As a Hillary supporter, and as someone who thinks Hillary’s general demeanor and approach to terrorism is superior to Trump’s, I’m frankly worried about her ability to fend off this speech. Policy-wise, the speech is incoherent on many levels. But I also think Trump has found his general election sea legs here, much as Hillary did with her foreign policy speech in San Diego last week.
It should be watched carefully by liberals who might be complacent, thinking Hillary’s got this in the bag.