Donald Trump’s recent decline in the polls has been traced to his reactions to the Democrat’s National Conference. Hilary Clinton’s speech was one important and damaging blow before the Kahn family’s interventions
I first heard Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech as she was making it, and late into the night European time. This gave me benefits of live radio (BBC5) as well as its drawbacks.
I missed the opening few minutes, but then listened to its ebb and flow uninterrupted by commentary. (Except for one brief period when two American voices assessed the impact of a pre-announced demonstration and walk-out by Californian delegates supporting Bernie Saunders).
Rehearsed but not over-cooked
The delivery sounded to me rehearsed but not over-rehearsed. Hillary does not do warmth, and did not attempt to do so. The voice was familiar, somewhat detached, slightly strident (yes, I know that’s a judgement open to criticism as gender discriminatory. Men are rarely described as strident)
Hillary does Tough better than Warmth
The would-be POTUS may not do Warmth, but has to do Tough. Hillary mostly let the words carry the Tough message.
Two portions of the speech struck me and rather surprised me. There was lot of what our own dear Sun or Daily Mail would have sneered at as loony-Leftie stuff of the sort expected from Jeremy Corbin. Holding Wall Street to account. Even I. Did she say that? Surely I missed some vital qualifiers there. Leveling out inequalities. (Are you listening Bernie?). Whatever, the reception to her words seemed rapturous, but that was more predictable.
I had wondered how she would deal with Trump. On this I am more confident. She kippered him. It was as clinical and merciless as the weekly going-over which David Cameron handed out to Jeremy Corbin over the last few months. She took as her main point the megalomaniac claim thatTrump alone could rescue a weak America. She contrasted it with her belief that no President fixes things alone. America is best when it works collectively, the United bit, right? I remembered how Obama had a rare failure when he once tried out that theme. He was challenged for dissing the entrepreneurial giants of big business, and the spirit of free enterprise.
‘Us not me’
Tonight Hillary got across the ‘Us not me’ point well. But how to deal with the giant shadow cast by Husband Bill? I couldn’t she how that could be done. Hillary just said she had learned how to deal with a lot of bad stuff, and when knocked down got up fighting. I think the audience got what she was driving at.
Will she be a great President? I don’t know. Will she even become President in the first place? I don’t know. Incidentally, the great futurologist Alvin Toffler died this week, but if he had lived I guess he would have found a way of predicting while maintaining residual doubts.
Her remark about not trusting the Presidency to someone easily riled was seized on and maybe will continue to rile the thin-skinned Trump. I do know that today’s speech [July 28, 2016] has not harmed the chances of a woman becoming the next President of the United States of America.
Since the post was written, the Trump campaign has dropped further behind Clinton’s efforts. A series of misjudgements starting with the attack on the parents of an American fallen hero appear to have added to Mr Trump’s problems. At the same time, the setbacks may have strengthened his core support.
The campaign remains fascinating to students of politics, leadership, and trainwrecks.