What Bill Clinton Should Have Said—And Trump Shouldn’t Have
In a rather surprising admission, Barack Obama said that Hillary Clinton is much more qualified then he was when he ran against her eight years ago. And though he apologized for it afterward, he said she was more qualified than Bill Clinton was in 1992, as well. That kind of admission makes one’s message so much more effective. Bill Clinton also delivered a powerful speech, but it lacked one thing.
He didn’t address the “elephant in the room.” And that elephant will continue to be a Republican because of it. On another page, I noted that Cruz crashed for lack of one simple word: “Republican.” If he had told the convention to vote “Republican” up and down the ballot, he would have been a hero—without specifically endorsing Donald Trump.
Bill Clinton began his speech with, “In the spring of 1971, I met a girl.” Knowing Bill’s history, the natural response of most people was, “which one?” And that was the “elephant” Bill should have addressed. It wasn’t enough to talk about Hillary as a “change-maker,” which he repeated many times. Hillary’s problem is not that she’s not seen as bringing change. In fact, as the architect of the universal health-care plan in 1993-94, the question is, will we like the change she brings?
And that question highlights part of her “trust” problem. “Hillarycare” failed. Does she have the drive and dedication to bring about the change we need? That is where Bill Clinton could have stomped out a lot of doubt, as well as stifling the “elephant.”
All Bill would have had to do is simply admit, “Lord knows, I’ve made mistakes.” The audience would have gone into an embarrassed hush, and he could have continued, “heck, YOU know I’ve made mistakes. I haven’t been disciplined enough. I’ve done some dumb things. And I’m still doing them. I hear that a friend is in the same airport as me, and I want to go say, ‘hi.’ Sometimes I don’t think before I act.”
“I’m not as bad as Donald Trump in that regard. He’s a Wildman. And when he screws up, he blames other people, and worse, doubles-down, to make matters worse. I’m bringing this up because Hillary is not like that. She stood by me when I have screwed up, and she doesn’t make those kind of mistakes. She’s clear. She’s steady. She’s dedicated. And she’s focused, Donald and I could learn a lot from her.”
Bill had nothing to lose. He can’t run for anything now. And those words would not have said anything new—except offering contrition—and taking Trump down a peg, too.
And it would be true. Trump shoots from the hip, and shoots his mouth off, and often shoots himself in the foot. That was evident regarding last week’s Dem convention. Trump felt that he, personally, had to reply to everything. His thin skin may be his undoing.
For instance, Trump felt that he had to attack Retired General John Allen.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Friday called retired Marine Gen. John Allen a “failed general” after the highly respected military veteran delivered a forceful endorsement of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, earlier this week. . .
“He was the general fighting ISIS. I would say he hasn’t done so well, right? Not so well,” Trump added, referring to the Islamic State terrorist group. . .
He also criticized Allen on Twitter Friday morning: “General John Allen, who I never met but spoke against me last night, failed badly in his fight against ISIS. His record = BAD #NeverHillary.”
Usually, the military tends to be favorable to the Republican Party, which is usually more hawkish, but this year, it’s Trump who has praised Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Un, and other dictators—attacked our allies, as well as former President George Bush—and suggested that our soldiers got rich skimming money meant for Iraq.
Most people seem to think that the most powerful speaker during the entire Democratic convention was the father of a fallen American soldier, as noted in Britain’s Guardian.
Donald Trump has given his first response to Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim American soldier who died to protect his unit. Khan addressed the Democratic national convention this week, rebuking Trump as unpatriotic and selfish as he did so. . .
“Have you even read the United States constitution?” he asked of Trump.
Khan also noted that Trump’s proposals, which include a return to torture and the killing of families whose relatives are suspected of terrorism, would violate basic principles of the constitution. . .
“Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America – you will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
The man lost his son (here are some facts about him).
He talked about all the souls at Arlington Cemetery, who sacrificed their lives for our country. What was Trump’s response? Trump’s first response is always, “I never met the man.” But how did Trump respond to the father’s sacrifice of his son for our country? (The son who was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his actions in Iraq.)
Donald Trump has rejected the claims of a father of a fallen Muslim war hero and Democratic convention speaker who said that the GOP’s presidential nominee has “sacrificed nothing” for his country.
“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard,” the business mogul said. . . Trump added that he has created “thousands and thousands of jobs.” When pressed whether creating jobs is a sacrifice, Trump said, “I think those are sacrifices”. . . “I raised and have raised millions of dollars for the vets. I’m helping the vets a lot.”
Trump’s claims about how much he has donated to veterans’ groups have been heavily scrutinized.
OK, so Bill Clinton missed an opportunity—an opportunity to say what America really wants and needs to hear—for his sake, as well as for Hillary’s. Meanwhile, Donald Trump takes every opportunity to speak out. That’s what most people like most of all about him—his candor. But there are clearly times when he should think before he tweets.