Getting Back In the Game
by Deacon Blues
Hillary Clinton finds herself in a fix, and her campaign is responsible for how she could have frittered away a 10-point lead in August to half that now in the only national poll that has any relevance. Donald Trump’s brilliant campaign to be on offense all the time with a fusillade of lies too many to count, in order to keep any negative stories from getting traction, was aided and abetted by both the Clinton campaign and the media.
Team Clinton made the mistake of leaving the battlefield in August to raise money, instead of staying on offense with an economic argument and narrative against Trump. For its part, the media chased the faulty Associated Press story about alleged and nonexistent “pay-to-play” with the Clinton Foundation, and then chased the faulty “missing FBI emails” story that only the Washington Post noted was only about one actual email. The media’s mishandling of these “revelations” only played into Trump’s attack campaign of lies, allowing him to grab news cycles where he drives the media to look away from Trump himself. Then Team Clinton added insult to injury with the self-inflicted wounds over the “deplorables” comment and then the mishandling of Hillary’s pneumonia, and presto-chango, you’ve managed to stumble your way into a potential loss. Well done.
But sometimes things drop into your lap. Yesterday, Ford Motor Company made the tone-deaf announcement that it will be closing down all domestic small-car production and shipping it to Mexico over the next three years. This is a tailor-made opportunity for Donald Trump, and he has started seizing it. Hillary needs to get back onto the economic battlefield on this issue, and point out the following:
1. In light of this decision, she and Bernie Sanders are in agreement that NAFTA should be renegotiated;
2. She needs to remind Ford that the American taxpayers saved the auto industry.
But she can also go farther. The good news this week on rising wages clearly indicates that blue-collar and red-state America are being left behind, areas that are the core of Trump’s support. Hillary can use every day between now and the first debate to hammer home the message that the economic recovery needs to spread to blue-collar and rural America, and that unlike Donald Trump’s tax plan, her economic plan is actually focused on Main Street and not the wealthy.
And then she can remind audiences that House and Senate Republicans have had 7 years to help rural and blue-collar voters, and they've been AWOL.