Will Hillary Clinton be overshadowed by guests at her own party?

Washington Examiner

Originally Posted: July 27, 2016

The final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is supposed to be all about presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but she is in danger of being overshadowed by guests at her own party.

By scheduling former President Bill Clinton to speak on Tuesday and President Obama to address the convention on the eve of her acceptance speech, Clinton and her running mate, former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, must now compete with two of their party’s most celebrated public speakers.

“Hillary Clinton is not a good speaker,” political commentator Jon Ralston told the Washington Examiner’s media desk. “She has to worry about being overshadowed by two of the best speakers her party has ever seen.”

“She is just not a dynamic speaker,” he added. “I’ve seen her when she gives pretty good speeches. But generally she … is just not nearly as dynamic as either Obama or Clinton.”

J. Matthew Wilson, a professor of political science at the Southern Methodist University, agreed, and told the Examiner separately that the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential ticket stands a good chance of being outdone by guests at the convention in Philadelphia.

“Neither Hillary Clinton nor Tim Kaine is renowned as a particularly powerful orator,” he said, adding, “There is definitely a danger that Obama and Clinton overshadow Clinton and Kaine, particularly given that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are both regarded as good speakers.”

“Hillary Clinton does not have the rhetorical gifts of either the two former presidents. And that’s a comparison some people will draw,” Wilson said.

Bill Clinton spoke Tuesday evening at the Democratic convention, and delivered a lengthy address in which he praised the former secretary of state as a progressive trailblazer.

Though his prepared remarks drew some mild media criticism, they provoked deafening cheers and applause from the audience inside the Wells Fargo Convention Center. READ MORE

Dedman College faculty expert recap of day 1 and 2 of the Democratic National Convention


SMU Associate Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson analyzes the Democratic Convention on FOX4 Tuesday – Friday of this week at 7:20am. More detailed comments from SMU experts can be found here.

Here are the Fox4 highlights from Day 1 and Day 2.

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State officials work to shut down casino-style gaming in East Texas

Star Telegram

Originally Posted: July 26, 2016

For the Alabama-Coushatta tribe, this could become a case of deja vu.

In 2002, a casino the Indian tribe operated in East Texas was closed by state officials who successfully argued that state law trumps national Indian law — and casino gambling isn’t allowed in Texas.

The tribe reopened a casino-like facility two months ago, after national Indian and federal officials ruled that the tribe can oversee gaming at its 10,000-acre reservation south of Livingston, about 240 miles southeast of Fort Worth.

Now, court documents filed in Lufkin’s federal court show state officials have made the first move to again shut the gaming down.

“This certainly was expected,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “The Indian tribal leadership has attempted to fine tune, or tweak, the types of games they offer in order to satisfy the political officials in the state of Texas this time.

“I don’t think they’ll be successful,” he said. “State officials have always been reluctant to allow gaming in the state because they are so deeply concerned about our morals.” READ MORE

Matthew Wilson, Political Science, in USA Today commenting on Hillary Clinton’s choice for VP

USA Today

Originally Posted: July 23, 2016

“It’s a good pick. It’s a safe pick,” said Matthew Wilson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, of Kaine. “Kaine doesn’t have many vulnerabilities or weaknesses. He won’t fire up the liberal base, but Hillary Clinton thinks Donald Trump will do that.” READ MORE

In defiance, Cruz perpetuates image of fractured GOP


Originally Posted: July 21, 2016

The unity that leaders in the Republican party were struggling to present to voters in this election cycle took a major blow Wednesday at the hands of the man who had once pledged to be the candidate they could coalesce around.

Ted Cruz stuck to his guns on Thursday, remaining adamant in his refusal to endorse Donald Trump, regardless of how damaging it may be to himself, or the party he is a part of.

In reacting to Cruz’s speech, Matthew Wilson, an associate professor of Political Science at Southern Methodist University, noted it brings back certain perceptions people have had about the Republican Party.

“It certainly reinforces the sense that the party is divided, that there are still significant doubts about [Trump’s] commitment to conservative principals and that’s not the message of unity that the party would ideally hope to project coming out of Cleveland,” Wilson said. READ MORE

Trump’s acceptance speech sets everything right


Originally Posted: July 22, 2016


Matthew Wilson


Trump kept surprises to a minimum during his acceptance speech, says Wilson, focusing on red meat instead.

“Trump didn’t pivot, he doubled down,” Wilson says. “His most powerful lines were about being a champion for forgotten working people. He is what he is, and the message and tone aren’t changing. We’ll see if it works.”

Wilson added that it was, “Interesting that Trump explicitly reached out to both gays and evangelicals,” but noted most of the speech focused on fear, not hope.

“Trump is betting that Americans are uneasy and looking for more acknowledgement of their anxieties than soaring, optimistic rhetoric,” Wilson says. “One of the songs playing in the hall after Trump won the nomination was ironic … ‘You can’t always get what you want.’” READ MORE

Matthew Wilson, Political Science, on Trump’s upcoming speech


Originally Posted: July 20, 2016

Trump To Take The Spotlight

The Republican Nominee for President takes the stage at the Republican National Convention Thursday Night. We asked Matthew Wilson at SMU what we can expect to hear from Donald trump.

He says to not expect the conventional political speech form Trump because there is nothing conventional about him.

Wilson says Trump needs to show a more approachable, humanistic side of himself to help get him over with Republicans who are not ready to support him. LISTEN

Texas GOP leaders haul in campaign cash

Houston Chronicle

Originally Posted: July 18, 2016

AUSTIN – Texas’ most prominent Republican leaders are building big – in some cases enormous – political war chests more than 18 months ahead of their next election.

From Gov. Greg Abbott to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to Attorney General Ken Paxton, statewide officials are flush with millions of dollars in the bank well ahead of the 2018 re-election season, new records show.

The lone exception: Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, whose first term in a statewide office has been marred by controversy. Miller’s campaign reported just $63,000 in the bank, by the far the lowest of any statewide official.

New campaign finance reports released over the weekend show just how much money Republican state leaders have banked since taking office last year.

Abbott has amassed $28.6 million, easily surpassing the $20 million in campaign cash he had when he launched his last gubernatorial bid. Patrick, who as lieutenant governor is considered the state’s second-most powerful politician, has nearly $9.3 million in the bank.

Far in advance

Statewide officials will not be on the ballot again until the March 2018 Republican primary. Most are expected to cruise through that process uncontested, leaving the real election test more than two years away.

But some could draw opponents in the primary that could require substantial spending to thwart, said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University. READ MORE

Trump taps Pence as running mate via Twitter

SMU News

Originally Posted: July 15, 2016

Pence safe but “lacking sizzle” — says Matthew Wilson, an SMU associate professor of Political Science.

A series of Thursday leaks that Donald Trump would name Indiana Gov. Mike Pence his running mate and an announced 11 a.m. introductory news conference was derailed overnight by a terrorist attack in Nice, France, eventually leading Donald Trump to formally announcing his vice presidential pick with a 9:50 a.m. tweet.

“It was an unfortunate confluence of events, with the deadline for Pence to withdraw from the governor’s race today that forced their hand,” Wilson says. “It would have been unseemly to do a big kickoff event with the attack in the background, but if Pence dropped out of the governor’s race, that would have served as an announcement as well. The Twitter announcement is a bit odd. They could have made a subdued statement letting people know Pence is the running mate, but they’ll defer a bigger event until later in respect for the people killed in Nice, but it turns out Trump loves Twitter, so he went ahead and did that.” READ MORE

It’s almost convention season. Many Dedman College students and faculty will be in Philadelphia & Cleveland


Originally Posted: July 14, 2016

Convention Experts: GOP hopes to avoid catastrophe in Cleveland
Democrats aim to keep Philadelphia focus on Trump

DALLAS (SMU)When the GOP meets in Cleveland July 18 and the Democrats gather seven days later in Philadelphia, SMU’s expert faculty will be available to discuss every aspect of the ongoing election battle from inside and outside these unconventional conventions. Several will be on site for both.

How do Millennials see the political landscape? SMU students also will attend the conventions in a variety of roles and are available for interview before and after their trips. READ MORE