Can you fight fire with fire?

Got an interesting complaint from a frequent reader: he disagrees with our Morning Line assessment of the Republican candidate in the coming Presidential election in the United States. He thinks the odds should be even between the two candidates. His reasoning is that Hillary Clinton has failed to answer Mr. Trump’s claims about her. Frankly, it would be interesting to hear just how the reader thinks she can answer them?

It is a classic political conundrum. How do you deal with a negative? How do you explain that you never have beaten your wife?

The Republican candidate is like a kid in a candy store who is already on a sugar high. He thinks he can get away with anything. The more outrageous the claim, the louder his clack cheer him on.

The problem is that Trump is not a politician. He has none of the constraints of a politician. He also has no idea of what the job is like to be President. And he is quite unlikely to get the job the way he is going about it. He has enraged Hispanics, demeaned blacks, denigrated women, denounced Muslims and insulted veterans. And his campaign team is furiously trying to use social media on the Internet to try to backstop the damage.

Hillary Clinton in the meanwhile—who is very much a politician—is faced with what to do about it. Her problem is that she cannot answer some of the outrageous things he says about her, as that would give his claims credibility.

What she finally tried recently was to suggest that a portion of Mr. Trump’s supporters might be ultraists. Only she called a spade a spade and the bigots ‘bigots’ and a politician cannot do that. Even though Trump pitches most of his campaign to the bigots among us, a politician never attacks another’s supporters. It is based on the faint hope that the idiots might change their minds and vote for her.

It was obvious at the time of that speech that she might not have been feeling too good and she gave it to those Trump supporters (and bigots) with both barrels. And she was roundly criticized for it.

The best advice for Hillary Clinton is to let her very capable back-up team of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama deal with Trump’s foolishness. Her role is to look and act presidential. She has to solidify her base vote and pace herself carefully so as not to make herself sick again. Americans like to vote for a healthy President.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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