First, keep pummeling Hillary. The only presidential candidate in history to run while under federal investigation, Clinton has benefited from chummy relationships with media pooh-bahs who have successfully shielded her for decades. But the former first lady has a thin skin and a glass jaw; she’s never faced sustained, fearless criticism before and doesn’t handle it well.
Her brazen defiance of federal regulations, State Department protocols, national-security concerns and espionage and bribery laws make her the tomato can of candidates. Heck, the guy who set up her private e-mail server just took the Fifth 125 times in a deposition. Think he’s got something to hide?
Second, learn a lesson from John McCain and Mitt Romney. The Maverick was a media darling until he had the effrontery to run against The One in 2008, while Romney was transformed from a successful Mormon businessman into a rapacious ogre. Overwhelmingly Democratic and partisan, the media votes with its pens and cameras every day during campaign season.
Much of Trump’s early appeal derived from his combative relationship with reporters, whom he not only doesn’t fear but treats with overt contempt. He should keep doing it. As Churchill said about the Germans, “The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet.” So’s the media. Like Hillary (who largely shuns the press), Trump should control his availability, answer the questions he likes, turn around the questions he doesn’t, and leave.