Last night, Donald Trump released on Twitter what is possibly the strangest presidential ad of all time. It's a breakdown of how long his acceptance speech at last week's Republican National Convention was ("75 minutes total speech time"), followed by a measure of "total applause time" (24 minutes) and "33 percent time spent applauding." In case you're wondering, the ad itself runs 28 seconds, uses a generic music clip, and ends with Trump mouthing "I will fight for you" from the stage at the RNC.
Trump's speech at the RNC went on for a long time (it felt longer than an hour-plus-change in the actual arena), causing me to wonder if a Trump presidency would usher in an era of Castro-style orations by our leader. Now we have another concern altogether: First the speech, then the self-adulating statisitical breakdown. What comes next, commentary on dad's greatness by the kids?
I've long been a fan of attack ads rather than self-promotional image ads. The main reason for that, as Reason explained back in 2006, is that attack ads actually contain far more information than fluffy images of pols. Read more about that there. As a free-speech absolutist (unlike Trump or Hillary Clinton), I'd never suggest trimming political speech, but if there was one law I'd push on the subject, it would be that candidates can't talk about themselves in the commercials they produce.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016