Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’

We needed to hug Trump’s ‘Deplorables.’

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

In the heat of last fall’s U.S. election, Hillary Clinton foolishly claimed that half of Donald Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables.” These were the obvious Trump supporters who were vocally responding to his speeches that pandered to racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic mind sets. Instead of offering our hand to these people, we scorned them. And we strengthened their determination to vote.

But what was more serious was that by ridiculing these disreputable supporters we quieted the Republican voters who did not want to be identified with the deplorables. We made many of them hide their vote. We were getting all kinds of signals that there was a below-the-surface vote for Trump but it was not volunteering any information. There was actually a school of thought that said these people were turned off by the Trump campaign and less likely to vote.

It is a shame that we have to place the blame on Hillary Clinton. We respected her as a strong and resilient politico but she failed to read the voters in that election. She failed to understand the appeal of her main Democrat opponent Bernie Sanders. Sanders saw the problem that Clinton was ignoring. He saw the demand for change. Clinton had to co-opt Sanders, not ignore him. She ignored the Sanders supporters until it was too late.

Hillary’s major error was in failing to surgically remove a slice of Republican supporters and bring them over to her side. Thinking she was secure with her dominance among women, blacks and Latinos, she left the Republicans alone. She left them no alternative but to vote for Trump.

And she let Trump get away with the big lie of “corrupt Hillary.” To not understand your opponent’s strategy is the most serious mistake a politico can make. The Clinton campaign team had to turn that lie back on Trump. It had to circle back on him. If the lie was black, the response had to be white. It is something like tagging it back to him as “Corrupt Hillary; Bankrupt Donald.” It is the same with his slogan “Make American Great Again: And Greater with Clinton.” By giving the response the same weight as what he is saying, you are taking its uniqueness away from him.

The most serious failure in the Democrat’s campaign was the failure to capitalize on the most obvious opportunity. Mr. Trump was so clearly running against the Republican Party, all that needed to be done was widen the cracks. Just think about the difference in the outcome if the bad guys had been the Republican Party instead of Donald Trump.


Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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Can you fight fire with fire?

Friday, September 16th, 2016

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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Gratuitous advice on snapshots in time.

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

You know that you get what you pay for but this advice is free anyway. You should try not to get your knickers in a knot every time a poll is announced that says the Republican candidate might win the presidency in the U.S. As horrifying as the thought might be Canadians are resilient and we can handle it.

And remember that polls are just another opinion. They are based on limited information, suppositions about voting intentions and some braggadocio. The only poll that will count is the one taking place on election day. Even if things go south then, you can always take solace on election night in the belief that the voters usually get what they deserve. Not that we should be over confident. Canada would not come off unscathed by a Republican win either.

But we can always come back to the morning line. While Babel-on-the-Bay has redefined its morning line on the Republican candidate to a 4 to 1 bet, we are holding firm on Hillary Clinton at 2 to 1. Despite the ups and downs of the pollsters, the two candidates can change positions every few days without upsetting the end result.

The immutable facts of the election are that some Republican voters will refuse to vote for their party’s candidate. Some will stay home. Some will not vote for the Electoral College that chooses the President.

And the sad news for the Republicans is that many of those angry, ignorant, irrational white men who say they are going vote for the Republican candidate are going to forget to go to the polls on election day. Going to vote is just not one of the important things on their agenda. And the Republican Party has better things to do than help turn out the vote for a candidate who might only embarrass them.

Conversely, many Democratic voters will declare a holiday on November 8, 2016 and will vote as early and as often as they can. There will be a preponderance of women voters. They will not all be fond of Mrs. Clinton but they sure as hell do not want the alternative. They will be joined by many Latino voters. They have a special incentive to vote. They know that walls do not make a friendly border. And every Muslim who has a vote will want to exercise it as a protest against bigotry. Other people who have known or witnessed bigotry and racial strife in the United States of America might want to join them.

But it is always that element of the unknown that makes for a horse race. We are always best to prepare for the worst and to hope for the best. God help us.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to