Having taught leadership, trust, more than everything else, is the most important quality for strategic leadership. Hillary Clinton continues to be polled lower than Trump on trust. Her campaign has been throwing everything at Trump to try to bring him down to her level on trust. Unfortunately the polls for September are showing that she has not gone up while Trump has slowly inched closer. The media have also used all they could have to pin Trump down on the trust factor through politically tainted fact checks for the whole of the last two weeks especially on the birther issue. This relatively inconsequential issue was basically conjured up by the media for the sole purpose of discrediting Trump on trust. The Trump Foundation write up was also strategically released by WAPO to whittle away at Trump’s trust factor.
Unfortunately for the Mainstream Media and Hillary Clinton, they have barely dented Trump’s overall reputation on trust. This is because he speaks from the gut on almost all issues, and even when he knows that he may offend certain groups – which in fact is his main strength and very important for strategic leadership. This aspect of Trump of not being politically correct and saying things as they are, is precisely why Trump has made it this far. It directly connects with the middle class voters who are frustrated with the lack of progress in their livelihood in the last 20 years. The negative aspect of gaining the trust factor through gut instincts is that he could be portrayed by the media as unpresidential or lack the temperament to lead as President. The media has successfully created the notion that a President must be scholarly and eloquent in his speech. He must be persuasive and convincing rather than brash, aggressive or dismissive.
Trump as a businessman has had extensive experience in closing deals, and as suggested by his friends can be extremely charming if he wants to be. He is therefore likely to be himself tomorrow, defending his reputation, while trying to maintain his disposition as a deal maker. He will be keeping an open mind and occasionally agreeing with the moderators and Hillary on issues like the importance of trade and the need to do something on the inner cities. However, he is going to show why his policies will always put Americans and Lan and Order first.
Hillary Clinton on the other hand is extremely vulnerable because she is not debate smart like Bill Clinton. She is likely to make one or two major mistakes that will stay with her for the next two months. She knows that she needs to attack Trump to improve her numbers amongst undecided voters. Unfortunately the email controversy continues to drag down her numbers and the Clinton Foundation’s past activities are not going to help either. Her income of $100 million in the last 8 years seriously undermines the trust factor.