Desperation drives campaign strategy of demonizing Trump supporters
This week could be the point of no return for the faltering Clinton campaign. The elitism that is a defining characteristic of the contemporary political establishment has lured the campaign into a strategic blunder. They are in a panic with Trump closing the polling gap in battleground states.
So as panicked people sometimes do, the Brooklyn Brain Trust made a decision from the gut. They are scared of the Trump supporters, and they presume that their voters are, too. So scared that it makes sense to them for Bill and Hillary Clinton to publicly disparage a substantial fraction of the American public.
How else to explain Bill Clinton disparaging “coal people”?
“We all know how [Hillary’s] opponent has done well down in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky,” the former president told the crowd at the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum. “The coal people don’t like any of us [Democrats] anymore.”
But last night’s “basket of deplorables” speech by Hillary Clinton to a wealthy gay and lesbian group should become a catastrophe.
It is really stupid to use such a colorful and original expression when insulting voters. “Basket of deplorables” fits on a bumper sticker. And the root word “deplore” projects the speaker’s superior status. Elites “deplore” so many aspects of the common folk in America. And the common folk know it. That is why resentment of the elites is such a powerful driver of politics this cycle.
This gaffe, if properly exploited by the Trump campaign, will drive turnout. Frank Luntz is ecstatic on Twitter, calling it Hillary’s 47% moment.
Tonight, Hillary Clinton just had her "47 percent" moment.— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) September 10, 2016
Expect poll numbers to get even tighter after this one. #Deplorables
Ann Althouse makes an excellent point:
Panic. What to do?
One new goal for Clinton now, aides said, is to spend more time trying to connect directly with voters by sharing a more personal side of herself....
That's a "new goal"? That's exactly what she purported to be doing when she announced her candidacy in spring 2015. I don't think there is a more personal side.
So they let Hillary be Hillary and spend more time in the public eye. Of course, history shows that Hillary’s popularity goes down in proportion to her visibility. The more she is in the face of voters, the less popular she becomes. The apotheosis of her popularity in the polls was when she was flying around the world as secretary of state and constantly lauded in the media as “effective.”
Panic drives a lot of mistakes, as we have just seen with the Clinton camp. They are prisoners of their own self-image.