GOP consultant Farwell: Trump "not prepared", Clinton has "no message"
Written by  // Wednesday, 12 October 2016 10:18 // News//
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farwell2What gains, if any, did Donald Trump make during the second debate with Hillary Clinton, after perhaps the worst weekend of his Presidential campaign?

This was the overall topic of discussion in the first part of my interview with James P. Farwell, a New Orleans-based national and international Republican political consultant.

During the interview, Farwell (who was the executive director of John McCain's Ad Council when he ran for President, a long-time advisor to Newt Gingrich and a consultant for John Kasich), said he was not going to vote for Donald Trump.

Farwell said that Donald Trump has the ability but "unfortunately the negatives so terribly outweighs the positives" and that it's hard to support a guy who is not prepared on the issues.

The consultant believes that one knows little about how he feels on any given issue and that he just thinks instinctively, is very impulsive. Farwell said, "I think that kind of narcissism is not desirable".

During the interview, Farwell asked himself whether Trump overcame the toxic quality that he said had permeated the campaign from the first debate and the bad publicity over the succeeding 10 days culminating in the controversial and embarrassing tape recording? He also asked whether there was anything that he did in that debate that might have made a difference and can he do anything that will make a difference?

Answering the second question first, Farwell said he did not think anything Trump did made much of a difference. Trump he did reassure his hardcore base and so far, at least this week, the rest of the Republican Party has not abandoned him.

He did not persuade anybody that wasn't already for him (which he said "is a dwindling number") that he ought to be President. Farwell said that up to now people have been saying, well "maybe I don't like Trump that much but I hate Hillary Clinton more”--now the question they're asking is different-- it's really focused on “do I really want Donald Trump to be President?”

Not that Farwell is enamored with Hillary Clinton who he said: "has unfavorables that would sink most candidates". 

"Clinton offered up many opportunities for him to score points on the email controversy", said Farwell. However, although they have different opinions and viewpoints on issues, he said it was transparent that Trump does not know the issues but responds with instincts.

He also felt Trump overreached when he said he would put Clinton in jail which apparently pleased his hardcore supporters, "but it's sort of thing that was a turnoff to most voters".

The political consultant, who had prepped Governor Edwin Edwards during his debate with David Duke, also discussed Trump's body language in the debate. "I thought was a turnoff to women" and showed a man who was completely unsettled and "fundamentally disrespectful".

By comparison, Hillary’s body language and communication during the debate were more finessed. Hillary's not any good at all giving speeches to large audiences she comes across very shrill, but "when you see her talking like a one-on-one interview or small groups she's a completely different personality in this town hall forum", said Farwell. He also added that Clinton seemed "a lot more relaxed using the format was more conducive to her".

Trump does have an advantage, however, Farwell believes. Trump has a cohesive message "Make America Great Again". Hillary does not.

"She has yet to define the rationale for why she should be President other than that maybe choose the first woman or she wants power and things like that", he said. "I want to unite the country" is not a sufficient enough political message.

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 11:53
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