Giddiness Over Trump, With Caveats
With the GOP doing the unthinkable and handing Donald Trump their nomination and control of their party, Democrats and Hillary Clinton should be giddy tonight. And I still think the giddiness is warranted. But Hillary needs to confront some realities and adopt some changes.
First, Bernie Sanders is committed to winning California at all costs. Bernie is better organized in this state and has been on the ground much longer than the Clinton campaign. I think he will win California. If he does, you can count on a full-scale war up until Philadelphia. Make no mistake: no matter what he says, he and his supporters are committed to taking her down, no matter what it does to the party in November. I can attest to this from my own personal interactions with them.
Hillary needs to accept that and deal with it. And one way to deal with that, is to show him some respect, but to also start referring to Bernie and Trump in the same sentence. Both Bernie and Trump share some inconvenient truths: they are both committed to her defeat, both aren’t Democrats, and both are wholly unqualified to be president. As such, in her messaging, she should start referring to them in the same sentence.
Also, with two very unpopular people in the race, Hillary needs to accomplish the near-impossible, which is to avoid getting in the gutter with Trump while trying to improve her favorables. This would mean eliminating to the degree possible the things she does in her mannerisms that drive detractors crazy. She needs to present herself and talk like the levelheaded adult in the room, without screaming and without condescension, but keep drawing the distinctions with a boorish disaster like Trump. But she also needs to point out that she may not always agree with Sanders on things like the minimum wage, and somehow find a way to put herself between the two of them. And again, she needs to remind people that the only thing standing in the way of the nation’s first woman president is Trump, and Bernie.