Some of you people who are bemoaning the lack of thrilling candidates are Democrats who are too young to remember Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.
And I'm sure the Clinton campaign has plans afoot to use surrogates to go after Trump viciously once the general campaign gets underway. No point in doing it yet. Why bother showing her hand before the convention? As I said upthread, if she's as smart as I think she is, she already has a call in to James Carville. Trump will be portrayed relentlessly as a buffoon, a bully, and a loser. Many have made the observation that watching him is like watching a reality show. I think that could be readily mobilized to go after him. If people are laughing at him and seeing him as pathetic, his calculated efforts to play on hypermasculinity will collapse.
The Republicans didn't take Trump seriously early on, and they never fielded a candidate who could get a handle on him. He was like a bar of soap to most of the field during the winnowing process, and I think a lot of that had to do with the aura of inevitability that Jeb! had swirling about him. Clinton won't make that mistake. He's directly in her sights and the campaign will probe relentlessly until it finds the weak spot. I don't underestimate Trump at all, but I also think he has not yet seen a truly well designed negative campaign unleashed on him. It's starting now but the main themes needn't be settled until after the R convention.
Yes, with the Dem convention, the major surrogates can campaign for Clinton -- and imagine the impact of both Obamas, Biden, and more. They will bring out the crowds to appease the media, which have been mystified by the Clinton campaign's approach to this point, without massive (and massively expensive) rallies. The lack of spectacle mystifies media, which deems it as meaning lack of "excitement" . . . while millions more voters have found their excitement in going to the polls for Clinton.
Whether massive Trump rallies are the reason that his voters have gone to the polls is unclear, but I suspect that he likes them as much as does Sanders, so Trump will continue with that approach -- but with his surrogates from the Duck dynasty? We will see if the lack of political-powerhouse surrogates and support continues, too, and can compete for media attention.
Possibly so, though, since we repeatedly have seen tv media prefer to ignore a Clinton speech while broadcasting an empty podium awaiting Trump.
As for the negative campaign ahead for Trump, some of the Clinton commercials to date (not seen in most states, as that campaign appears to have carefully managed its monies for the general campaign ahead) are good. But again, that's the reaction of a middle-class, middle-aged woman voter -- the demographic that most goes to the polls -- for whom the appeal of rock-concert-style rallies waned many decades ago.