Promises and Policy, Incompetence and Themes

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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1. Excellent look at party platforms from Julia Azari at FiveThirtyEight. Very good on the texture of the documents. Remember: Promises made by politicians matter, and not just specific policy commitments.

2. Hans Noel at Mischiefs of Faction on the business of the conventions.

3. Melissa Deckman at the Monkey Cage on why fans of Bernie Sanders are unlikely to embrace Donald Trump.

4. Why did the Melania Trump thing happen? My Bloomberg View colleague Megan McArdle on campaign incompetence.

5. Matt Yglesias traces that to Donald Trump’s personal laziness. I think that’s right, but there’s also a piece of it that has to do with party. Many Republican operatives won’t work for Trump, either, because they personally find him unacceptable or because they are afraid working for him will hurt their reputations. So even if Trump was trying hard to run a smooth operation, he’d be losing out on a large percentage of the most talented speechwriters, communications specialists and more.

6. Greg Sargent, meanwhile, makes a good substantive point about how the episode shows Trump’s campaign themes are bunk.

7. Ross Douthat on the end of Dump Trump.

8. Aaron Blake is correct that Trump is personally responsible for the most visible ugliness at the convention.

9. And a useful run-through from Philip Bump about using music's big hits in political campaigns.

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