Hillary Clinton: The only presidential nominee in American history whose acceptance speech was all about…her opponent.
Yup, Hillary used the word “Trump” a total of 21 times—that is to say, about once every two minutes.
OK, one of those was the lower-case verb “trump,” as in “love trumps hate.” (Yes, Hillary really did utter that worn-out cliché last night.)
But that leaves 20 times when the reference was strictly upper-case Donald Trump.
I’m not the first commentator to point out that Hillary’s campaign has been strangely fixated on Trump with the perverse result of putting Trump in a positive light. “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams has noted for months that it’s a mistake to call too much attention to your opponent in your campaign ads.
The Clinton campaign came out with a new attack ad against Trump that features a number of Republicans trash-talking him. Let’s evaluate it for persuasiveness.
In the 2D world of reason and logic, the ad makes complete sense. Trump says he wants to be a unifier, and the ad shows a bunch of important Republicans saying bad things about him. They do not sound unified.
But no one cares about reason and logic.
Let’s evaluate the ad for its persuasiveness.
Trump’s proposition is that the establishment is a bunch of useless losers and he can do better. The ad shows Trump being opposed by… a bunch of useless losers on the Republican side. Trump annihilated every one of them. And it wasn’t even hard.
So—let’s see how Hillary did last night:
And most of all, don't believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.”
Those were actually Donald Trump's words in Cleveland.
And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.
I alone can fix it?
Isn't he forgetting?
Troops on the front lines.
Oops! “Troops on the front lines” reminds people of Benghazi.
And then there’s:
Donald Trump can't even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign.
He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he's gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he's challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally.
Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.
I can't put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.
Since Donald Trump is 6’2”, “little men” is not what comes to mind when you think about the Donald. And given that Hillary herself is only 5’6”, you inevitably—if unconsciously–find yourself asking who’d do a better job “facing” a Cuban Missile-style crisis.
I’m not saying that Hillary didn’t give a great speech. “Who am I to judge?” to quote the pope.
Although I could have done without the hoary “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and the cringe-inducing:
We heard the man from Hope, Bill Clinton.
And the man of Hope, Barack Obama.
Who wrote that?
But still, it’s really not a good idea to keep reminding people that you have this GOP opponent named Donald Trump and that he’s giving you a run for your money right now.