Jonah Goldberg: He thinks Ailes, not Conway or Bannon is behind the shift in tone...
Trump has definitely changed his tone: Really reaching out to African Americans on economic and law and order arguments. Trump is giving some great speeches. Yes, the pro-Clinton media are alternatively ignoring or mischaracterizing them, but this is still a very welcomed change. And what is even more surprising (for Trump) admitting he regrets some of the things he has said in the past.
I assumed part of this was on advice from Kellyanne Conway, only because I have heard her say many of the same things Trump is saying now. While having charitably might be called a mixed reputation with some of his former associates, Steve Bannon is capable of nuance (I have heard him do so on Sirius), but recent Trump doesn't sound like Bannon.
Jonah Goldberg may be right about Roger Ailes. I did not immediately get the Oogway reference, but Oogway was the tortoise master sensei in Kung Fu Panda.
And for the debates and upcoming media exchanges, Ailes's advice could prove invaluable:
Ailes understands, better than most, that debates usually are won or lost not in the sometimes tedious back and forth, but in a single dramatic moment.
Most memorably, right before the Iowa caucuses, he prepped the elder Bush for an epic confrontation on live network television with Dan Rather, who’d decided to devote most of his CBS Evening News broadcast to a scorching interrogation of the vice president concerning his involvement in the Iran contra scandal.
The Reagan administration secretly sold weapons to the mullahs in exchange for the release of American hostages—a violation of U.S. policy—and illegally diverted the proceeds to anti-Sandinista fighters in Nicaragua.
“This is a political assassination about to happen,” Ailes warned Bush as the Rather broadcast approached, and then supplied his client with the killer line.
“It’s not fair to judge my whole career by a rehash on Iran,” Bush scolded Rather at the climactic moment. “How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York? Would [you] like that?”
I also concur with Goldberg, forget about trying to persuade #NeverTrumpers, there are not that many of them and it's not worth the effort. Trump has to peel off at least some of Hillary's assumed support (doing better than anticipated with minorities and women) and get a sufficient number of independent voters in the middle to go for him or he will lose.
Some of my friends think Trump is winning right now. That's not true, he really is behind. While there is still time for Trump to turn things around, it really was not a good month following the Democrat Convention.
For someone like me who wants to see Hillary Clinton defeated, such happy talk from Trump supporters about Trump winning drives me nuts. That sort of self delusion is the road to defeat. I recognize what they fear the alternative of depressing the vote, and that is a legitimate concern, but if you are in the last quarter and one or two possessions down you better wake up to reality and time management.
Alternately, a few will claim Trump is really ahead but the Democrats will use voter fraud to steal it from him. While the Democrats and Crooked Hillary are certainly likely to engage in all sorts of electoral shenanigans which could be a deciding factor in close swing states, as Hugh Hewitt said: if it's not close, they can't cheat. Even if that assumption is true, you must assume Trump has to win by a sufficient margin to over come that threat.
As Sun Tzu said:
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
The good news for Trump supporters and those of us who are #NeverHillary, Trump has already started making changes to turn that around. While these speeches will take a while to move the needle in the polls, they are excellent preparation for Trump going in to the debates with Clinton.
Regular Right Guy: Hillary: Hellooo from Chappaqua
Instapundit: Trump supporters spat on and abused by Democrats and smart move by Trump (and while the media is completely biased, look what Obama is now doing)
Lem's Place: Why Trump should be elected (or alternatively why Uber will put taxis out of business)