Hillary's chronic lateness to campaign rallies is taking a toll
Like her husband and President Obama, Hillary Clinton has a very hard time showing up on time. And people are starting to walk out of her events when they get too tried of waiting. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, treats his audiences with respect and is usually on time. Noticing this is not Fox News or the Washington Times, but CNN’s Brianna Keilar and Dan Merica.
At 3:30 p.m. Friday, one hour after Hillary Clinton was scheduled to take the stage at the gym at Broward College here, Vikesh Patel and three of his classmates left without catching a glimpse of the Democratic front-runner in this key Florida county. She was running late from a fundraiser.
"We've been here since one o'clock," said Patel, who doesn't know much about Clinton but whose parents have followed her and her husband for decades.
He and his classmates were also going to work the rally into a paper for a speech class they're taking.
"I guess we'll have to go see someone else give a speech," Patel said.
In the back of the gym, another student, Nichole Zapata, was rethinking her decision to bring her grandmother to see Clinton speak.
"This is not a good impression," said Zapata, an undecided voter who plans to vote in 2016. "Hopefully she can win me over once she gets here, if she gets here. Not doing too good, though."
I am one of those sticks in the mud who believes that showing up late indicates disrespect. I am the type of person who leaves 30 minutes early, just in case there is traffic. In decades of frequent flying I have never missed a plane, and done far too much time waiting at the gate or in the Red Carpet Club. It is a matter of values to me, and I feel pretty strongly about it. Call it OCD if you wish, but I abhor tardiness. Not everybody does, but a lot of people feel this way.
Hillary just can’t help it. It is chronic and it is having an effect:
In Baton Rouge last week, Clinton ran an hour late for her organizing event. The same day in Little Rock, she appeared more than 30 minutes after the crowd in a sweltering gym expected her.
The next day in Des Moines, Iowa, she walked on stage 40 minutes late in another gym where campaign staffers had carted in fans and bottled water to cool the overheated crowd.
And at an event on substance abuse Thursday in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Clinton was 50 minutes behind schedule.
Somehow or other, she did manage to show up on time for the live broadcast of Saturday Night Live. But we don’t know if she was on time for the rehearsals that precede the broadcast itself. The broadcast attempted to humanize her. And I am certain that among low information voters it will work some magic. But the thing about a presidential campaign is that it keeps offering oppoetunities for candidates to show their true colors.
I can’t imagine Hillary cares enough about the people who turn out for her rallies to change her scheduling practices. Little people have always been at best props for her to use.