Editor's Note: Below is a brief excerpt from Hedgeye Potomac Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Capital Brief sent to institutional clients each morning. For more information on how you can access our institutional research please email email@example.com.
“Ideas control the world.”
-James A. Garfield
With the fallout from the RNC’s first day still lingering, Donald Trump’s historic day two moved to right the ship, with key members of the Republican leadership, Trump’s family and inner circle moving into the spotlight. Speeches by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan offered up lukewarm support of the party’s nominee (better than cold, huh?) and largely focused on their agendas for Congress as well as unity without tipping their hats too far in Trump’s direction.
And, in a preview of what to expect this fall, Governor Chris Christie delivered a blistering assault on Hillary Clinton and her record dusting off his prosecutor’s badge. If Trump and Co. execute the next two days flawlessly, a largely unified party could be within reach by the end of the week, but don’t hold your breath. Trump’s formal nomination drew mixed reactions with some delegates chanting enthusiastically, while others shouted in protest - but most left confused due to the lack of focus on the theme of the day - Make America Work Again.
PARTY OF ONE
Going into it’s sixteenth month, Trump’s campaign has been unscripted, unpredictable and undermanned from the start - and the bizarre rollout of Governor Mike Pence and the early missteps of the convention - especially Melania’s speech and ill-conceived response - were bound to happen. Stepping all over her big moment without holding anyone accountable illustrates the level of disorder ingrained in Trump’s world.
The campaign’s lack of organization, infrastructure, and skeletal staff are all symptoms of a much larger problem augmented by Trump’s continued focus on himself.
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE
In a surprise move, Republicans threw a wrench in the works of the financial services community by including a call to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act in their convention platform – a law repealed by President Bill Clinton in 1999. Our view is that the passage is Trump’s attempt to generate populist appeal as well as woo voters who view Clinton is too close to Wall Street and too timid on financial reform.
We would typically discount a platform move of this sort, but with some Republicans hopping on board a Democratic ideal - it’s worth keeping on the radar for 2017.