After a year away in Ireland, I’m back home in the US for two full days now. Today I’m in Miami hosting a tech conference. Inside it’s the bright lights of the studio.
Outside it’s hot. It’s muggy. Thunderstorms are darkening the beach. The rough weather seems to reflect the mood of the latest presidential election news reports.
At the moment, CNN is interviewing Florida Governor Rick Scott about the state’s efforts to contain the Zika virus with 15 confirmed cases in a single neighbourhood. Scott, a Navy veteran, also happens to be a Donald Trump supporter, and as such is also being asked how he feels about the Republican candidate’s escalating feud with the family of slain US Muslim soldier, Humayun Kahn.
Scott tries at first to avoid answering the question by bringing up Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the economy. When pressed, he reaffirms his support and adds that Donald Trump is a friend to those in the military.
This, as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a group of families who also had service members killed in action are blasting Trump on another channel and demanding he apologize for his remarks.
Next, the topic around the candidate in question shifts as this breaking news comes across: Trump is refusing to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain in their re-election campaigns.
During the primaries, Ryan and McCain have had their share of disagreements with Trump and now, analysts say on air that Trump is getting his retribution. According to them it’s personal.
And it’s this string of behaviour that has turned Sam off from the presidential candidate for whom he was once planning to vote.
Meet Sam from Minnesota.
Sam is from Minneapolis but he’s here with me in Miami as the director of the on-line conference I am hosting. He heads up his own event production business with ten employees. He considers himself socially progressive and fiscally conservative.
He voted Republican in the past two elections and was preparing to vote the same way in November.
“I was impressed with Trump’s speech at the Republican convention,” Sam told me today. “He talked calmly. Slowly. He seemed to be reading the teleprompter. I listened to it on the radio and I thought he did a good job.”
Then came Trump’s string of polemical comments. The Khan controversy plus Donald Trump’s answer on Monday to a USA Today newspaper reporter that he would like to think his daughter Ivanka would find another career or find another company if she encountered sexual harassment on the job.
Sam has an eight-year-old daughter.
Trump’s verbal thunder has destroyed the calmer presidential image Sam thought he heard portrayed during the Republican nomination acceptance speech.
“Now I have no time for him,” Sam told me.
He wouldn’t say whether he would vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton instead. Only that he, unlike Florida Governor Scott, would no longer support Trump.
It’s been a stormy couple of days in South Florida – and for Donald Trump.
Copyright 2016 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.
I’m so grateful you are reading my essays. I train, consult and speak about leadership, better communications, business and life empowerment. In August I’ll be writing about my experiences back in the US during the US presidential election. Please reach out to me directly to support you or your organization via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and at GinaLondon.com