“What is the word that comes to mind when you think of Hillary Clinton?” was the question posed by the pollsters at Quinnipiac University a short time ago. A host of answers was the result from the 1563 respondents. Here is what is called a “word cloud” a pictorial representation of their collective answers:
The more often a word comes up, the larger it appears in the graphic. Leading the list is, understandably, “liar”. The Weekly Standard highlights others:
Following closely behind is “dishonest” (from 123 people), “untrustworthy” (93), “experience” (82), “strong” (59), “Bill” (56), “woman” (47), “smart” (31), “crook” (21), “untruthful” (19), “criminal” (18), “deceitful” (18), and quite a few more, not very many of them complimentary.
The Weekly Standard has mocked word clouds in the past but based on this graphic seems to be revising its opinion. As the mandarins there should, because it should be the goal of all Republican campaigns to create and shape word clouds that help defeat Democrats. They should embrace wordclouding as a political strategy.
We should face reality: America has an epidemic of attention-deficit disorder (not the medical variety). Americans have short attention spans -- how else could Barack Obama been elected and reelected despite a history of lies and broken promises (some broken almost immediately upon making them)? Americans do not have time or inclination to pour over position papers or linger over the history of candidates. Politics has been taken over by social media, Facebook postings, political cartoons, You Tube videos and Tweets. Campaigns should respond to this new world -- not because it is worthwhile or respectable but because it can be a pathway to victory. The goal going forward should be to “seed the clouds.”
Charles Krauthammer is probably correct: Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016. So it would behoove opponents to be focusing on campaigns to run against Hillary, beginning yesterday.
The threatening word cloud hanging over Hillary’s candidacy was achieved despite a sympathetic liberal media doing her bidding. Certainly she is a very weak candidate. The email controversy is the latest outbreak of self-created problems. But there are no reasons to rely on this cloud hovering over her going into November next year; clouds move and Americans do suffer from attention-deficit disorder. The Clintons have always relied on getting over the next news cycle and people forgetting and moving on. The Clintons routinely dismiss criticism as “partisan attacks” and “old news.”
Republicans should not allow this past practice to work again. Commercials, Facebook Postings, Tweets, speeches should highlight key words over and over when it comes to Clinton and other potential Democrats. After all, Barack Obama did this quite early to Mitt Romney by applying the Alinsky rule of politics: pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it. The image of Mitt Romney became fixed: liar, plutocrat, the world’s first human carcinogenic, dog abuser, gay-bashing bully, greedy and other assorted calumnies. Barack Obama’s adviser’s brainchild was a strategy dubbed “low voltage.” The theory goes like this: Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness.
Turnabout should be fair play since, after all, Hillary Clinton is also an Alinsky acolyte and she already seems determined to run a scorched earth campaign (Republicans are terrorists misogynists, xenophobes who would put Hispanics on boxcars like the Nazis, and, of course, racists).
The Republicans have a target-rich environment when it comes to Hillary Clinton because she has been in the public eye for so long and made so many mistakes. The most potent tools are her own words. Years ago, I suggested -- if not pleaded -- to the Republican Party that they use the myriad insults Barack Obama has hurled towards Americans in campaign ads against him but to no avail. But hope springs eternal.
The following are sample suggestions and I leave it to readers to pile on with their own favorites:
Dead Broke -- and follow this with a picture of her Chappaqua home and tax returns-that house could be a symbol for income inequality
Hillary Clinton can’t name her top accomplishment as Secretary of State, and neither can plenty of other Democrats
Her changing accents depending on her audience -- can anyone say fake and condescending? Here is a YouTube compilation.
Her financial and other rock star-like petty demands when appearing before college audiences while decrying the costs of college education.
This was a juvenile gimmick based on an American office supply commercial unknown to Russians. The prop for the picture was stolen, and was presenrted with a botched translation, making Hillary look foolish):
Here is one with Jimmy Kimmel from 2008, but there have been many more forced and fake laughs since then )
HillaryCare (before there was ObamaCare there was her super-secret HillaryCare that would have been even worse than Obama -- and she screwed up that plan, too)
Despite calling for “toppling the one percent,” Hillary lives in the upper echelon of that group. She hasn’t driven a car since 1996. Eating fast food with the common folk won’t change that image. She is a hypocrite.
Recall the phony excuse, and “What difference at this point does it make?” over the deaths of Americans serving their nation
What do you mean, like wipe “with a cloth?”
Treating classified material so cavalierly is a disqualifier for the presidency-and what was she hiding? Washington Post: a number of Hillary’s statements appear to be false”
Why did she make this nasty figure a key confidant?
(Hat tip: William Safire, published in 1996 in a column aptly and presciently titled “Blizzard of Lies”)
She is still a bad liar, as Jonah Goldberg writes, despite years of practice.
Yes -- she was
“I would go even further” than Obama on immigration
(Why not? Just checking if you are still reading)
Cronyism, Clinton Cash and The Clinton Foundation
A faux charity that served as a place to stash campaign operatives and allow donors to curry favor with a Secretary of State and potential future president. Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Government and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” can be plumbed for scoops (here are 21 of them).
$26,000 a minute income for...what? How does that comport with Hillary’s call for “Fair Pay”?
Politicians, similar to newscasters, need to have a good Q (likeability) factor to win elections. Hillary is, contra Barack Obama’s weak concession, not likeable enough. There is an “ick: factor at work, as noted by John Podhoretz. That should be made clear to Americans.
The Clintons have been scandal machines for years. Hillary’s 15 biggest scandals have been compiled by Sarah Westwood at the Washington Examiner. There is a surfeit of material that can be recycled and presented in compelling ways over the next 16 months. These can’t just be wiped from servers.
Republican control of Congress can be used to call for hearings and probes into her questionable conduct and terrible record as Secretary of State. That will keep the low voltage running -- and amped up if possible. Hillary has cooperated by stonewalling and obfuscating about all her mistakes and questionable actions and then has the gall to accuse Americans of not being smart enough to understand what has transpired. If the Clinton game book included honesty and straight talk these scandals would not persist and provide opportunities for opponents.
Political cartoons should be used because they are effective tools and often are amusing and entertaining -- and people want to be entertained (Donald Trump). One place to look for inspiration and material would be the work of Michael Ramirez, probably the most brilliant political cartoonist in America. Here is one of his latest on Hillary Clinton, mocking the logo of her campaign-and her:
Of course, the Clinton campaign will play the gender card. That should not dissuade wordclouding Hillary Clinton. Her popularity among women has been declining precipitously, anyway . Maybe they can be reminded of her contempt for stay at home women who bake cookies.
Hillary Clinton will stop at nothing to win and those who oppose her and care about America should start planting seeds for wordclouds to hover over her campaign and hopefully play a role in her defeat. The campaign to defeat her should be as relentless and systematic as hers will be to win.
Let the seeding and the wordclouding begin.