Monday, September 19, 2016

The Clinton Error of Personality

I'm voting for Hillary Clinton. One of the most frustrating traits about her, though, is her ability to make the same mistakes again and again. A year ago, David Plouffe and other Obama aides warned the Clinton campaign that they were about to mess up again like they did in 2008 when they built a presidential campaign around the concept of how cool it would be to elect someone like Hillary Clinton rather than finding a big issue. Obama beat her because his slogans were about the crowd, while her slogans were about joining her team, which meant you had to like Hillary Clinton. As a person, she has always had high negatives for her personality but is given positive marks for her ability to tackle particular issues. The logical choice would be to then pick an issue and not make the campaign about 'liking' or trusting Clinton.

Then the Clinton campaign went with the slogan 'I'm with Her' and proceed down the same path.  Her operatives have based a campaign around Hillary Clinton, who now has extremely-high negatives facing an opponent whose entire platform is built on all personality and no substance.

Clinton can't separate herself from Trump in the polls because the news cycle is focused on the individuals and what they're saying, instead of the issues. She's playing into Trump's hand on this. It's as if instead of 'Hope" and "Change," Obama ran with the slogan 'Back in Black' or "Go Cool.'  He would have made the campaign about himself rather than inspiring young people to get involved in the campaign and fit in where they could get in.  The best elements of the most successful Democratic presidential campaign in history incorporated others, and used the youth.

The youth feel stuck on the outside of the Clinton campaign and the only tool they have is to make voters so scared of Trump that they'll be motivated to go to the polls. This is a really really shitty strategy for young left-leaning voters because they are less motivated by fear than older people and conservative people.

Despite all these missteps, Clinton still has a fairly good chance of winning. But because her campaign has not staked out any issue and created an entire slogan about their candidate's gender, we have watched an entire election cycle get squandered. The DNC also lost a chance to recapture the House and maybe even the Senate. And everyone suffers because Clinton camp continues to misunderstand what motivates people. 

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