Great news on the polling front from Quinnipiac. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are basically tied in crucial swing-states of Pennsylvania and Florida and Trump leads in Ohio. National polling is essentially useless since we do not have a national election, but rather one based on electoral college votes.
There is a certain smugness on the part of Clinton supporters since the “most qualified candidate in history” could not possibly lose to an ignorant and bigoted clown. That clown vanquished a “deep and talented bench” of Republican candidates, setting aside for the moment that that assessment is as valid as Clinton being the most qualified in our history. (You don’t have to go back to Washington, Jefferson and Adams for comparison purposes, just go back to George H.W. Bush.) For anyone who saw Bill Maher a couple of weeks ago, Rob Reiner was the embodiment of liberal smugness.
Clinton is a seriously flawed campaigner. A theme we will see regularly over the next six months is that she appears to have a seven-second delay before answering a question. She is evasive and defensive even when she apparently does not need to be. She parses her answers in a way that is reminiscent of another Clinton. And while she has said ludicrously she cannot be a member of the Establishment because she is a woman, there is no one in either party who more typifies the Establishment.
Each of these flaws is in display when she is asked about releasing the transcripts of the three speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs for $225K a pop. Her too-cute response was that she would do it when all the candidates do. So if Donald Trump says he never gave such a speech – or, even better, did so and releases the transcript – what does Clinton then do? Her evasiveness on this issue effectively removes from the table Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.
Update: I missed this from yesterday’s Times: “’So you’ve got to ask yourself, why doesn’t he want to release them?’ Mrs. Clinton said with a slightly dark edge to her voice.” It’s going to be a long, long six months, and not just because the “paper of record” is using phrases like “a slightly dark edge to her voice.”
Alex Pareene writing in Gawker observed that the Clinton campaign’s branding of Trump as “Dangerous Donald” only reinforces Trump’s basic message and is counterproductive. A significant chunk of the electorate wants someone who is dangerous to the established political elite and “wisdom”of Washington. “Don the Con” would be a more effective moniker.
Let’s not forget that the most disastrous President in United States history was reelected because he faced that year’s “electable” candidate John Kerry.