Both major parties are rapidly turning to the general election now and hoping to unify their bases. But the real race is for the center – all those independents who will decide the vote and who pretty strongly dislike the presumptive nominees. So load up, gas up, and release the parking brake. Here are my three things to watch this week in politics.
TRUMP’S TRUMPET – Up until now it has all been skirmishing; this week Donald Trump will floor it in his attacks on Hillary Clinton. In a widely anticipated speech, Trump is expected to rip her character, her decision making, and her trustworthiness – laying out what could be the battle plan for the Republicans all the way to November. Watch to see if he uses a teleprompter. Without one he can be fiery, but if he sticks to a script that could be a sign of something GOPers have prayed for and Dems fear– a more disciplined, focused and potentially potent candidate.
WORKING IT – Clinton has issues in the Rust Belt where her stance on trade deals has alienated some working folks. Trump has responded by saying he’ll target Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. That may explain why she’s heading to that part of the country this week, hoping to shore up support. A little good news for her camp: the largest labor union, the AFL-CIO, is expected to endorse her this week. May not help, but certainly won’t hurt.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN – The polls say plenty of Americans are not big fans of President Barack Obama’s home game, but on the road he is a two-time champion. We’ll find out if he still has the power to turbocharge a campaign when he hits the trail to help Clinton. What to watch? Presidents have a way of overshadowing the pols they are trying to help, and if she feels too much shadow they could wind up working mostly separate stages until the fall.
CNN’s Tom Foreman is the author of My Year of Running Dangerously