Donald Trump tried to dominate the news cycle Thursday. He really tried. He called his Democratic opponent "Lyin' Hillary" and then again "Crooked Hillary Clinton." He even got endorsement holdout Paul Ryan to finally say he would vote for Trump (to say nothing of actually endorsing him).
But frankly, none of his media bait won the news day. That belonged to Hillary Clinton, who tore The Donald limb from limb in her "foreign policy" speech.
Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different, they are dangerously incoherent. They’re not even really ideas. Just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies.
Really, we hadn't seen anything like it thus far in the 2016 election cycle. Though Hillary has indicated numerous times that she's champing at the bit to debate Trump, the big question was whether she could go toe-to-toe with him without seeming small or cheapening herself—the way "Little Marco" Rubio did when he started fixating on Trump's "hand size." It's the very reason that Jeb Bush, and basically the entire GOP field, stayed away from attacking Trump until it was far too late.
Trump also consistently upstaged his rivals. He went to New Hampshire to hold a news conference within spitting distance of Jeb Bush's town hall, calling Jeb a "low-energy person"—a jab that stuck to him like Shrink Wrap for the rest of the race. He went to Ted Cruz’s rally against the Iran nuclear deal last fall and stole the show, promising that there would be “so much winning” if he got elected, people would get bored with it. And just as Jeb prepared to hold a rally in South Carolina with his still popular brother (and lifeline) George W. Bush, Trump showed up and renewed his threat to sue over Cruz's citizenship eligibility. In every instance, the klieg lights turned toward him, drowning out his rivals.
But Clinton avoided all of those pitfalls this week. She towered even as she skewered Trump's background, acumen, and mental stability. Her charge that he's a "fraud" who’s scamming America was downright sticky. Her suggestion that he's a mad man who might blow up the world because of his "very thin skin" resonated. And her quip that she doesn't "believe him" when he says he knows "more about ISIS than the generals, believe me," impugned the entire basis of his candidacy. You either believe him or you don't, cuz god knows there's no there there.
Far from dominating the news cycle, Trump sputtered in the face of a sustained attack from a woman (horrors!) who rolled over him like an upfitted humvee. Paul Ryan's tepid embrace of Trump was a footnote on the day, and Trump’s retaliatory tweets were laughable. After all, who cares what a mad man says?