Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Smartest Thing Hillary Clinton Could Do

Two points are inarguable:

1. No one who likes Donald Trump will have their mind changed by anything Hillary Clinton has to say.

2. No one who dislikes Hillary Clinton will have their mind changed by anything Hillary Clinton has to say.

There's nothing for her to do. It is not in her power to increase his negatives or her own positives. For those rubbed the wrong way by her love-it-or-hate-it voice, six months of Clinton grinding over what a prick Trump is will only work against the intended narrative. And in the course of those six months, she and Bill will commit many unforced errors. All while Trump trolls the bejesus out of her (America's brashest troll meets America's tightest coil).

This election is Clinton's to lose. She's got as strong a margin as she started with (and feebly squandered) against Obama and Sanders. So the smartest thing Hillary and Bill could do would be to rent a nice house in the south of France until November, and disappear. Not say a word. Let her proxies (not Bill) snipe at Trump. Let Trump be the only candidate committing unforced errors. Give him the total spotlight he craves. Let the nation experience nothing but wall-to-wall Trump for six months. Let Trump undo Trumpism.

Also: hand over $100 million of her titanic campaign funds to Adam Chodikoff. He's the Daily Show producer with the prodigious memory who dredges up those gotcha clips showing politicians directly contradicting themselves. Let Chodikoff do nothing but put produce viral clips of Trump lying and self-contradicting. Have him go through every iota of Trump on tape and work wonders. And fund him to plaster the airwaves with that stuff, sans comment. Let the public burn out on the country's most despised public figure without assistance - without a word! - from the country's second most despised public figure.

Either check out the comments, below, or else see them replayed in this followup.


Steve said...

I completely agree that her focus needs to be on her message and not engage with Donald Trump. In the debates (despite your recommendation, she should attend), she should make it clear that it will not be a debate but a conversation. She should explain how we got to where we are on issues like health care, the economy, foreign policy, and how she intends to go forward.

A good deal changed to the state of the Democratic Party in 2008. The focus before then was reaching the independents and perhaps sympatico Republicans. In 2008 and 2012, the focus was soley about getting out your own vote. Stop convincing others, just get your own people to the polls. It was practically a miracle in this time period that states expanded voting rights by adding additional days and hours for voting. This completely backfired on the Republicans as African Americans proved far more likely to take advantage of early voting than the rest of the population. The most important stumbling block will be in states that have made efforts to curtail voting rights. Republicans have learned from their mistake, and have been in high gear to roll back voting rights.

Jim Leff said...

She can't win a debate. If she fails to really vigorously return his attacks and just wonks out on policy, she'll not only disgust the un-winnable Trump supporters, but she'll anguish her own supporters, who emotionally want to see someone stand up to Trump. But almost no one but the most died-in-the-wool Clinton supporters want to see her snarl at him. She just can't get away with it.

The smug, oily way she speaks about him almost (almost!) makes him more appealing to a centrist/moderate like me. The best analogy I can make is to the scene in "Bowling for Columbine" where Michael Moore badgers Charlton Heston. I hate Heston's politics on guns, but in that scene Moore made himself so stridently, obnoxiously sanctimonious that I was moved to sympathy for Heston (though certainly not his politics). I think Clinton, and the button she pushes, does the same for many people (especially independents like me). She's absolutely not the person to carry an anti-Trump message. She's the worst possible person for that, and will exhaust and dismay even left-leaning voters who aren't bought-in to Hillary-ism. The more she talks, the more she loses them. That's been demonstrated time and time again.

At this point, blessed with her third (out of three) seemingly un-closeable lead in a national election due to a seemingly weak opponent, she has nowhere to go but down. Not one thing she does, not one word she says can help her in this election. My posting is not a wry "modest proposal". It's quite clearly her best bet.

Consider at least this: Bernie supporters are WAY more likely to vote for Hillary-as-an-abstract-symbol than Hillary-as-an-actual-person. She's not going to "grow" on them. She doesn't "grow" on people. That's just not her forte.

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