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The Lid: A Tale of Two Campaigns

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Donald Trump is denying reports that he repeatedly posed over the phone as a fictional publicist. Maybe he should just roll with it, though. Imagine the 2017 headlines! “Humiliated Mexico Agrees to Pay for Wall After Falling for ‘Is Your Refrigerator Running?’ Prank Call.”

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‘16 from 30,000

We’re just 10 days into the almost-but-not-quite general election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and it’s already evident how nasty and frenetic the next six months are going to be. And perhaps the most striking thing about the matchup is how Trump’s style is forcing a war that - at least right now - is being fought at two completely different paces. Take today, for example: On one side, Clinton is being forced to respond to a Wall Street Journal story that alleges that the Clinton Foundation helped “friends” secure a financial commitment for their for-profit company. On the other side, Donald Trump has in the past 24 hours disavowed the racist comments of his former butler, insisted that he never posed as his own spokesman despite previously copping to doing so, and told a network news anchor that it’s “none of your business” what he pays in taxes.

Each of these are stories that, in a previous election cycle, would have taken up weeks of news cycles. But the rhythm is vastly different for the two camps. Clinton is getting the kind of traditional coverage that most general election candidates would get , while Trump’s is unlike anything we’ve ever seen with a nominee before. That’s because he zooms from outrageous story to outrageous story so fast that his latest controversy always consumes, normalizes and erases the previous one.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

“Lots of people use pen names. Ernest Hemingway used one."

  • Donald Trump, quoted by Newsday in 1990, after acknowledging in court that he had used the alias “John Baron.”

WEEKEND SKED

Bernie Sanders campaigns in Kentucky.

Paul Ryan will give the keynote speech at the Wisconsin State GOP Convention on Saturday.

Donald Trump and Vice President Biden will both attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Pennsylvania. Trump’s daughter and Biden’s granddaughter are among the graduates.