PHILADELPHIA — Here in the hall at the Democratic National Convention, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine’s speech wasn’t going great. His dad jokes were getting only dutiful cheers, he was interrupted by occasional “NO TPP” chants, and his biggest applause line was a mention of Bernie Sanders.
Then he busted out his Donald Trump impression.
On the merits, the impression isn’t that great. Kaine’s Trump sounds a lot more brutish than the actual Trump, who often sounds like the fastidious hand washer he is. (Kaine’s Trump could probably beat the actual Trump in a fistfight.)
But that’s not the point. The point is that now, every time you hear Donald Trump say “believe me” — and he says it a lot — you’re going to think of Tim Kaine as Donald Trump saying “buh-leeve me.”
And among the people who’ll be reminded of it is Trump himself. It’s the kind of silly insult that can sometimes get under his skin even when more serious criticism gets brushed aside (by his tiny hands).
But whether or not Trump is annoyed by Kaine’s impression, Trump now knows that “believe me” is associated with Donald Trump. And Donald Trump, as we know, thinks that attention to Donald Trump is never a bad thing.
So it’s entirely possible that Tim Kaine (and the Clinton campaign) just baited Trump into saying “believe me” even more often — making it a self-aware catchphrase like “Crooked Hillary” and “build the wall.” And if he does that, it’ll only remind America all the more that “buh-leeve me,” according to Tim Kaine, is a tip-off that you shouldn’t believe him.