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She’s back (again) …
In a tweet posted Friday, failed 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tried to score a point on President Donald Trump by mocking his town hall ratings.
Responding to a report from CNN about how Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden’s ABC town hall Thursday had scored a million more TV viewers than the president’s NBC town hall, she snarkily concluded that the American people “are sick of the Trump reality show” and should “cancel it for good.”
Americans are sick of the Trump reality show. Let’s cancel it for good, shall we? https://t.co/9Pqv2Fh364
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 16, 2020
Apparently, she thought that was clever and that she had a point? (“WRONG!“)
Clinton appeared to be under the delusion that Biden’s higher ratings mean that the American people prefer him over Trump. But that’s an illegitimate argument. Why? Because people didn’t necessarily tune in to him because they like him.
As one astute caller to conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh’s program predicted Thursday afternoon, hours before the town halls, there’s a chance some people tuned in to Biden “to watch him finally screw up nationally.”
“At some point he’s gonna stumble, and we need to be able to witness this as a country, and I think a lot of people are tuning in to hope that this is finally it, that he’s finally revealed,” Sue from Tampa told Limbaugh.
“And I just feel strongly that if the numbers don’t show a lot of people watching Trump tonight, it’s not because we don’t support him. We know what he’s representing. He tells us, and he’s told us.”
In other words, she predicted Trump supporters like her would be more inclined to tune in to Biden to hear him stumble and fail — in part because they already knew what the president would say, as they were already familiar with his agenda.
The following day, Limbaugh offered a theory of his own: Perhaps more people had tuned in to Biden’s town hall because he rarely makes public appearances.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if Biden has a little bit of a higher number because they’ve seen less of him. Plugs Biden has been hiding away starting at 8:30 every morning for the past two months. Biden’s put a lid on his campaign,” he said.
“Whenever he makes a campaign appearance, it’s with 10 people. He doesn’t take questions from anybody. He doesn’t engage in any standard, normal operation that you would associate with politics.”
Why? Joe Biden calls ‘a lid’ on the day well before noon, again. https://t.co/XX2D82ccQT
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 24, 2020
The remarks were made before the ratings information was released.
“In fact, what Biden’s doing is the equivalent of running out the clock. Biden is playing the prevent defense. So don’t be surprised if more people watch because they simply haven’t seen the guy and there will be some curiosity,” Limbaugh added.
There’s a third theory as well. This theory posits that more people tuned in to Biden’s town hall because they were eager to see whether he’d be asked about the then-emerging allegations surrounding his crack-smoking son, Hunter.
A day earlier, the New York Post had unveiled bombshell emails showing that Biden had allegedly introduced then-Vice President Joe Biden to a top executive at the Ukrainian energy company Burisma in 2015, only a year before the then-VP pressured Ukrainian officials to fire a prosecutor who’d been investigating that same firm.
Let’s see if this works…. https://t.co/fJQStaInLm
— Jamie (@JmeDubya) October 14, 2020
Of course, Biden wound up receiving zero questions about these emails. Instead he faced endless softballs from former Clinton administration official turned ABC News host George Stephanopoulos.
#BREAKING: As expected, @ABC News and chief anchor/former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos made sure that there was NOT A SINGLE question about Hunter Biden at this #BidenTownHall.
Another example of censorship and collusion.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 16, 2020
The president meanwhile faced so much intense grilling from NBC News host Savannah Guthrie — but not so much from the actual town hall attendees, who were barely granted any opportunity to ask questions of their own — that viewers reported feeling she was “too confrontational” and had acted “like she was debating Trump.”
My focus group overwhelmingly preferred @GStephanopoulos tonight over @SavannahGuthrie as town hall host.
They liked how George gave Biden a chance to answer without interruption. They complained that Savannah was too confrontational and acted like she was debating Trump. pic.twitter.com/HbbuWoala0
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) October 16, 2020
This leads to the final theory, which is that viewers did tune into Trump’s town hall but ultimately chose to switch over to Biden’s town hall because they were bothered or even disgusted by Guthrie’s highly partisan line of questioning.
Either way, while the the true reason for Biden’s higher ratings remains unclear and will probably stay that way, it seems unlikely that the ratings signify some sort of electoral “victory” for the former VP.
Nor does it seem likely that Trump’s lower ratings prove that he’s disliked. Though even if he is disliked, chances are very high he’s certainly not as disliked as Hillary Clinton, aka the woman who just refuses to go away.
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