Liberal New Republic provides helpful advice to Trump campaign
Eagle-eyed James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal spotted an inadvertent bit of help for the Trump campaign buried in the midst of what was meant to be an article supportive of Hillary. You see, Hillary faces a potentially huge problem: she needs Obama-like levels of turnout and support among African-Americans, but she has an embarrassing track record from her 2008 campaign against Barack Obama.
One of the few liberal pundits not in a full-blown panic is Jeet Heer of the New Republic. “There is no reason to panic,” he insists. “After all, the Democratic primaries were much nastier in 2008, and yet the party won the White House.” Of course no one remembers that far back, so Heer offers a history lesson:
The problem in 2008 was the racial tinge to [Mrs.] Clinton’s last-ditch defense: that Obama was a doomed candidate because of his alleged inability to win over white voters. On May 8, she argued that “I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” and cited an article whose findings she summarized thus: “Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.” The contrast between Obama’s base of black voters with the “hard-working” white Americans supporting Clinton, made on the eve of a primary in West Virginia, carried clear racial overtones. . . .
[Mrs.] Clinton’s rhetorical strategy of insinuating that Obama was too black to be president was echoed by her campaign. . . . Perhaps the most disturbing comment . . . came from Hillary Clinton herself, who in late May 2008 justified staying in the race by saying, “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.” This came after months of worry that Obama, as the first black candidate with a serious shot at the presidency, would be a target for assassination. Two weeks later, on June 7, she finally suspended her campaign.
As Taranto notes, few people red the New Republic anymore, but the Trump campaign can certainly remind black voters how Hillary once prized “hardworking” white voters and claimed they were the basis for her victory.
Needless to say, she has lost them this time around.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky