We keep hearing that Donald Trump will “pivot” to a more conventional style for the fall campaign. It reminds one of when Romney said he was like an Etch-a-Sketch®—which could be shaken and turned into something completely different. We thought we saw that at first, when Trump started using a teleprompter, and saying what he was told to say. But that didn’t last long—and his supporters were ecstatic.
Nope. Trump will be Trump. And that’s Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare. They will run very different campaigns, and we’ll see if Trump is really changing politics forever.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Sunday enter the final 3 months of an extraordinary presidential campaign. . . But any suggestion that the two campaigns are similar in their strategies is belied by almost everything they are doing.
“The Clinton strategy is to run the traditional race,” Republican strategist Russ Schriefer said. “Develop a ground game. Do your data and analytics. Run television ads. Do policy speeches. Meet with different interest groups that add to your coalition.”
By contrast, he said, “the Trump campaign is going to continue holding big rallies and tweeting.”
Democrats left Philadelphia thinking they had the more effective convention. But Trump’s advisers were far less impressed. They pointed to liberal protests as evidence of Democratic disunity, and they said Clinton did not do enough to make herself likable and trustworthy to skeptical voters.
The Trump team also argued that Clinton sent a mixed message by trying to project continuity with Obama’s policies while also portraying herself as, in the words of former president Bill Clinton, “the best darn change maker I’ve ever seen.”
As noted above, Clinton has been, and will be, running a traditional campaign. But consider that with all the money she’s spent, she is still fighting off a novice who can’t seem to keep his foot out of his mouth.
So far , Clinton enjoys a huge advantage in television advertising. Her campaign and its allies are outspending Trump and his backers on the airwaves $57 million to $4 million, or 15-1, according to an analysis by NBC News in mid-July, as the conventions were beginning.
“We’ve been using the Trump method of media and husbanding our resources,” Manafort said, adding that Trump will start advertising in coming weeks.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), one of his party’s top strategists, said: “So far, they’ve essentially left the airwaves to the Democrats. I’m not critical of that, because it’s worked. They’re in a competitive race. But I don’t think you can do that all fall. You have to be continuously on the air in some of the se battle ground states.
OK, so we’re not likely to see a different Trump in the fall election. He’ll continue to shoot from the hip, even when he wounds himself. He’ll also continue to play the victim—everybody is always so mean to him! That’s what his supporters identify with—so why change it?
Surely, however, Hillary, the woman everyone loves to hate, will finally unveil the sweet girl that Bill saw in 1971 right. Not so much. The National Review correspondent went to the Democratic convention, and she thinks we’ll continue to see the same-old/same-old.
My God, She’s Running as Hillary Clinton
Considering how much I’ve gotten wrong this year, indulge me for a moment to say I got this one exactly right. For years now, I’ve been writing that there is no new Hillary, that she’s the woman who tells you “there’s no eating in the library,” and that no matter how many times we’re told she’s been “reinvented” and “reintroduced” the dog food still tastes the same. It’s Hillary all the way down. . .
Hillary Clinton needs the “woman card” precisely because she’s transcended identity politics. People don’t see Hillary Clinton as the manifestation of a category, they see her as . . . Hillary Clinton.
Barack Obama was a blank slate for most Americans, so his status as the first black nominee and president was inextricably part of his identity. Hillary Clinton is a known quantity. She’s Nixon in a pantsuit. She’s been a tedious, grating, cynical, corrupt presence in our lives for nearly three decades.
The Democrats have a similar strategy to O.J. Simpson’s lawyers. As a celebrity, Simpson was not particularly known as a black man. It was only when the facts weighed against him in a court of law that the lawyers had to reinvent his racial identity in order to evoke racial solidarity among the jury.
That is a bit harsh, but it’s at least partially true. Everybody knows Hillary. She’s awkward and doesn’t know how to relate to “people,” although she’s said to be very human, one-on-one. We don’t see that. And after a whole life of feeling under attack, by the “vast rightwing conspiracy” and others, it’s not surprising that she’s uncomfortable to the point of being paranoid.
Maybe playing the “woman card” is the best shot she’s got.