Monday, February 01, 2016

Hillary's Plan on How to Go After Trump

The Iowa caucus results are not yet fully in and other than Jeb Bush crashing and burning, all that is known is that Trump and Cruz are neck and neck - a choice in my view for the nation between a bullet to the head or cyanide poisoning.  But some in the Hillary Clinton campaign believe that it is time to plan for how to counter and attack Donald Trump should he be the GOP presidential nominee.  Politico looks at the Clinton plans to counter Trump and turn his demagoguery against him, especially the his business dealings that he doesn't want voters to focus upon.  Here are article highlights:
It’s tunnel-vision time for Hillary Clinton as she battles Bernie Sanders here — but she’s casting some serious side-eye in Donald Trump’s direction.

After months of laughing off Trump — and assuming his ascent would propel the Republican Party to a 1964-style wipeout — her campaign and its allies have begun to steer time and resources into framing lines of attack against the blustery billionaire, even if there’s still considerable confusion over how to attack 2016’s top-of-the-food-chain predator.

The emerging approach to defining Trump is an updated iteration of the “Bain Strategy” — the Obama 2012 campaign’s devastating attacks on Mitt Romney’s dealings with investment firm Bain Capital, according to a dozen Democratic operatives and campaign aides familiar with the accelerating planning inside Clinton’s orbit. This time, Democrats would highlight the impact of Trump’s four business bankruptcies — and his opposition to wage hikes at his casinos and residential properties — on the families of his workers.
[P]eople close to Clinton think the key to beating the real estate mogul is to undermine his oft-repeated assertion that he is a great businessman. And it fits in with Hillary Clinton’s personal philosophy of politics, often articulated to friends and allies, that “attacking an opponent’s strengths,” not their weaknesses, is the key to any presidential campaign.
Those attacks would come in conjunction with a larger, more obvious push by Hispanic and women’s groups to rebroadcast Trump’s greatest, most offensive hits.

Clinton’s team is wary but confident heading into Monday’s caucuses — their internal tracking is consistent with public polling showing her with a slight lead. Sanders’ seemingly unstoppable mid-January momentum has “stalled,” according to one aide. Even with the result uncertain (and Clinton trailing Sanders badly in New Hampshire), the Brooklyn brass — especially campaign chairman John Podesta — think Clinton needs to begin girding immediately for a Trump showdown.

Moreover, there is a growing sense of annoyance on the campaign — especially among Podesta and his one-time boss Bill Clinton — that underestimating Sanders and waiting for the last few weeks to begin attacking his electability and capacity to do the job of president, turned a Clinton romp into a real race. The Clintons don’t want to make the same mistake with Trump, a vastly nastier antagonist than the mildly cranky but intermittently cuddly Vermont socialist.

A Clinton-Trump contest would feature two candidates with disapproval ratings traditionally deemed too high for national electoral success: Clinton’s disapprovals hover around the 50 percent range, while Trump’s have rocketed as high as 60 percent, an unprecedented number that should preclude the possibility of his winning a general election.

But attacking him is tougher than it seems, mainly because he is so comfortable throwing a sucker punch and the Clintons aren’t. And he’s already signaled that he would stop at nothing if he faces off against the former secretary of state and her husband.

When NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Trump how he would respond if the Clintons attacked him, he suggested he’d delve more deeply into their personal history.  “Well, I don’t want to say it’s a threat. But it is a threat,” he said on “Meet the Press.”

Even if Trump doesn’t follow through on the threat — or if America yawns — Carville thinks that the Republican front-runner is wily enough to figure out a new way to get under Clinton’s skin.

“Trump’s got talent. He can hold the line when he’s attacked. He uses irony,” he added. “He’s different, so people naturally pay attention. But the question — and nobody can answer it yet — is how he will wear on people over the course of a campaign, over a long period of time? Time may be what really kills Trump.”

1 comment:

EdA said...

I hope, I really hope but do not inherently assume, that should it get that far, the Hillary and/or Bernie campaigns do not forget to remind people that the Donald repeatedly expressed his regrets that he could not "date" his daughter, repeatedly.