Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hellery's low profile allows Trump to catch up

Anybody heard from Hellery Clinton lately? Since the gooey clusterfuck of the Democratic convention, Crooked Hillary has barely opened her mouth. She's been off the campaign trail for at least a day for unspecified medical treatment -- a case of lockjaw, perhaps -- and when she does appear hasn't said much except to call Donald Trump a racist.

Walt guesses that La Clinton's advisers are telling her to keep her head down, pending the release (set for September 13th) of more e-mails about Libya. What about the Clinton Foundation and the millions the would-be First Couple have made out of that? Let Bill handle those questions. He's the one who says he'd sooner have a root canal than give up that little money-maker. What about policy? Hellery assures us that she'll continue the fine work of the Prez and her husband. Trust her. That's all.

Counselling Mrs Clinton to STFU and run on the family name may prove to be a bad call. Her silence leaves the field wide open for The Donald, who has something to say about anything and everything. Mrs Clinton took a pass on the invitation of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to visit his country. Mr Trump said he'd be there like Jack the Bear, thus scoring a tremendous PR coup. What he and President Pena Nieto said to or about each other doesn't matter. There they were, on the same platform, looking presidential and speaking calmly about the main issue in the US election campaign. Score one for the Donald.

Meanwhile, Hellery stands quietly, like a cigar store Indian, trying to appear above it all. And, according to an article by Aaron Blake in the reliably liberal Washington Post, "A record number of Americans now dislike Hillary Clinton".

As of Wednesday, Americans' views of Bill's surrogate hit a record low. A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed 41% of those polled had a favourable impression of Hellery, while 56% had an unfavourable one. That's the worst image she has had in her quarter-century in national public life. If it weren't for Trump (Mr Blake writes), Mrs Clinton would be the most unpopular major-party presidential nominee in modern American history.

Perhaps most notably, La Clinton's image has declined significantly from just a month ago. After the Democratic convention, Americans were about evenly split: 48% favourable and 50% unfavourable. (That's the Washington Post's idea of an even split. If the election turned out that way, Hellery would lose!)

Mr Blake can't figure out what might have caused Mrs Clinton to fall further than ever before. Perhaps (he writes) she simply got an extended bounce after the Democratic convention that has finally faded. It's also possible that adverse headlines last week about the Clinton Foundation and thousands of newly discovered emails from the private email server Clinton used as secretary of state reinforced why views of her had been worsening prior to the July conventions. (Ya think?!)

But it was clear long before the convention that Mrs Clinton was headed in the wrong direction, setting new records for her unpopularity. Her image has been on a downward trajectory since her tenure as Secretary of State ended in 2013, and the decline continued through the primary campaign. That the race downhill to the presidensity is still competitive is due to Mr Trump's image, compounded by Mrs Clinton's "personal problems". At the moment (Mr Blake concludes), the voters who will determine the next president don't like her much more than they like The Donald.

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