There has been an undercurrent to this race and to many political races in recent history that is about as subtle as a brick to the forehead -- voters' desire for an "outsider" candidate. As this somewhat dated, but nevertheless excellent piece from the New York Times points out:
In recent campaigns, the outsider ethos has become so powerful that, for a certain kind of candidate, lack of experience in Washington — or in politics altogether — translates into a defining virtue.The unfortunate nature of the outsider candidate is that they often falter when it comes to discussing issues of political import, you know, because they we too busy running pizza chains, starring in movies, or wrasslin' to learn the how to be a politician. That's not to say that these outsiders can't do great things once on the inside, but it does mean we shouldn't act surprised when we find that they have past indiscretions, mis-label continents as countries, or can't remember their talking points. Or as the article so eloquently puts it:
There’s a tension, often irreconcilable, between our romantic vision of the outsider candidate, on one hand, and our basic threshold for credibility in those who govern, on the other. Sure, we want colorful, outspoken characters who aren’t part of a corrupt political system. We just want them to be tested, scandal-free and ready to govern at the same time. Is that so much to ask?I think that the proverbial "Mr. Smith" is nothing more than a nice story and we should stop deluding ourselves into believing that just because a candidate has been successful in one industry (e.g., entertainment, business) he or she can replicate that success in the political arena. And we certainly need to stop assuming that these other industries and their participants, on account of not being politics or politicians, are corruption-free.