Friday, July 29, 2016

America's Choice: Hope and Change or Crippled America?

After watching the Dems extremely well done conventioni this week-the only minor hiccups were a few booing Berners-it seems to me that the stakes of this election are clear. 

First of all, let's be clear what this election is not fundamentally about. 

It's not as the Right might want it, a referendum on Hillary Clinton's trustworthiness. 

Howard Finneman:

"Clinton came into the convention with toxic poll numbers on honesty and trust. Robby Mook, her campaign manager, said on Monday that improving those ratings was a main aim ― if not the main aim ― of the convention."

"Thus, the long line of personal testimonials to Hillary’s character and personal qualities, a witness-by-witness trial by TV narrative."

"It has taken a quarter-century in the limelight to create and anneal the hard image of Hillary Clinton. It is a difficult thing to ameliorate at this point, and she will never be universally beloved, but it is worth the effort. She is loathed to a frightening degree by Trump supporters ― there is more than a little misogyny involved ― and reluctant Democrats will be important for both campaigns."

"The best way to improve her character numbers is to put her in personal, small-group settings, rather than having her shout slogans in large arenas. How to best do that is up to the media consultants to figure out. That’s why they are paid the big bucks."

Interesting that after Fineman rightly points out how much of the Hillary hatred is misogynistic, he then arguably engages in some of his own: Really? She's the Democratic nominee for POTUS and you're still telling her to stop the shouting? Isn't that what Bernie did?

Speaking of Bernie, I think this is part of what is up Fineman's bonnet. He still thinks the Dems made a mistake by nominating Hillary not Bernie:
"It’s Still The Economy, Stupid."

"James Carville’s slogan in the Bill Clinton campaign of 1992 still applies, even at a time when national security, terrorism, crime and policing dominate the news.

Sanders understood this better than Clinton did, and his campaign of sweeping promises on jobs, health and education nearly won him the nomination. Instead, it pushed Clinton and the Democratic platform toward making the same commitments."

"But Clinton has yet to show that they are part and parcel of her own vision, and that her own career in social work and politics reflect that vision."

"Why is it the economy? The economy is still fairly strong if not spectacular. Fineman has this Left wing populist idea that the Dems have to run like Bernie Sanders to win. But that's an ideological fight-that not everyone agrees with. Hillary is running a 70-30 strategy, a 1964 LBJ strategy. "
"By nominating a sociopath, GOP has enabled Hillary to push progressive agenda while expanding Dem party."

In my view what this election comes down to this: How do Americans feel about having voted twice for Barrack Obama? Do we have buyers' remorse as the Right insists we do?
This idea is the basis of Trumpism: that the President has destroyed this country as he doesn't really love it, as he's a Muslim socialist from Kenya. 
Fineman was on Chris Matthews last night-you can see that Fineman is bullish on Trump as he likes his 'populism.'
Meanwhile Matthews argued Trump's talking points: that Obama is clueless because two thirds of Americans say the country is on the wrong track. 
But this tells us little without any followup questions. Why do they think that? Maybe they think that because of the rise of Donald Trump, we don't know. 
Then again, Americans have been telling pollsters this basically for the eight years post the financial crisis. 
Nate Cohn-who knows a little about political science-says that more important than this is Obama's strong approval numbers. 
It was striking the other night to hear conservatives like Nicole Wallace-a high ranking George W. Bush aide-said that after hearing Obama's speech she felt proud that he had been our President even though she voted against him twice.


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