Trump and Clinton Play Chutes and Ladders

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Oh, how Hillary Clinton wishes she were Donald Trump right now.

I mean purely in the media sense, of course. For Clinton, it was just a matter of time until the shoe dropped. The headlines seem like 2008 all over again, with the electoral flushing of the inevitability of her election. Oh, she just can’t get a break. (ATM will leave it to others to decide whether she deserves one.)

All the media, all the time, about her is negative. Polls slipping. Excitement drooping. Campaign stalling. My favorite from the Washington Post: “A summer of Clinton stumbles gives way to an uncertain fall for Democrats.” Past, present and future — all bad. Of course it’s still early and Hillary is still way, way in front of the other wannabe Democratic nominees. Well, except for Bernie Sanders, who’s gotten within seven points in a recent poll.

On the other side is Señor Trump, he of the Mexican-paid wall. The media has no idea what to do. And neither do the other Republican candidates. The media has no idea how to report him. The polls say he is for real but the coverage is somewhere stuck between not taking him seriously and riding the Trump carnival to ratings and clicks.

The other candidates have to be jealous. He goes to war with the darling of the conservative media, Megyn Kelly, and claims he is the one being reasonable. He has the most prominent Hispanic journalist thrown out of his press conference, while a Trump follower, possibly a staffer, literally tells him to go back to his country (Jorge Ramos is a U.S. citizen.) Yet somehow Ramos is on the defensive. Teflon wishes it were this good.

Trump has never been in the public light if it wasn’t at an ego-feeding press event of his making or of a reality show not of his making (he was just the hired firing gun). And even though he has had such a rocky business run, not a substantive story has been written on his ethics or behavior or history. The chances that guy is squeaky clean are about the same as my 14-year-old son actually doing his homework and not finishing the ice cream when he gets home from school.

ATM has never seen the media so confused and hamstrung on how to deal with a story. Trump, his hair and his ego are redefining the norms of political discourse in this country, and the media plays enabler.

Clinton has to be wondering how he is getting away with it while she has become the piñata of presidential politics.

Listen to the Sunday talk shows. Republicans hint and dance along the line of calling for a criminal indictment for her emails — and then Trump, nothing bad.

It’s a like a bad game of Chutes and Ladders. Every time Clinton spins she lands on a chute, sending her further back down. Trump keeps getting ladders that send him ever higher.

The leaves haven’t started changing yet; so all of this is political foreplay. But odds are Hillary wishes it resembled some other board game.

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