Mario, Twitter And Trump

Today’s title is not a law firm, but it could be a new political axiom if the American electorate decides to sit home instead of saving the country this Election Day.

Mario Mendoza was a major league shortstop who managed to stick around for quite a few years because he was a good fielder and an above average runner. He morphed into mainly a late inning defensive replacement and pinch-runner. The reality was that Mario simply couldn’t hit major league pitching. He struggled to keep his batting average over .200. In fact that became the standard of extreme minimum competence and .200 is still known in baseball lingo as the Mendoza Line. Anything below that and you’re really a terrible hitter. For the record Mendoza actually ended up with a .215 lifetime batting average.

Running a political convention, especially when you have secured the nomination going in, is much easier than hitting major league pitching.  In a five session convention at least four of the session should come off smoothly. That is part of how you get a big bounce in the polls coming out of it. The Republicans’ 2016 affair had two sessions on Monday with one each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. All but the Thursday session were a mess and/or ended up in controversy. In fact, Trump’s acceptance speech on Thursday was not well received and destroyed the planned timing of the evening. I’m in a kind mood today so we’ll call Thursday a “base hit”. That means Trump came in right at the Mendoza Line.

Trump, who has a famously almost non-existent attention span, comes off poorly when he gives a scripted speech whether from paper or via teleprompter. If he is looking at notes he looks down too much. He is almost comical to watch when he uses a teleprompter. He stares at the machine. His only head motion is from the screen on one side to the screen on the other. Regardless of what mechanism he uses he is still his biggest enemy. His off script comment are the ones that get him in trouble. If I really wanted to be kind, I’d say he is a really bad comedian; I’m not feeling that kind today.

Trump’s favorite method of communication is Twitter. Twitter limits the user to 140 characters. That is actually perfect for someone like Trump when it comes to political commentary. When you really don’t know what you are talking about 140 characters is more than adequate.

As a humorous aside, Mendoza is Mexican. Had Trump been President years ago there wouldn’t be a standard of performance low enough to measure him by.

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