This long Huffington Post (!) piece made me think of this scene from the movie “Cool Hand Luke”:
For all the pain, Trump at least had a message, no matter how elementary. “Make America Great Again.” The nostalgia burned. It was something else to long for. Even in the face of uncertainty in the future, the present is a losing reality for these voters. Clinton’s team didn’t understand the people who walked into the ballot box; a sentiment recently shared by her former rival Sen. Bernie Sander (D-Vt.). Lord knows they tried to connect with these voters, just in the most “Washington” way possible.
Clinton’s team tested 84 slogans in focus groups and came up with “Stronger Together,” which was similar to the rallying cry of a school-yard hockey team in the film The Mighty Ducks.
This list also included “Fairness First.” How on earth did that one fail? Was it because it reads more like the demands of a kindergarten class president than the leader of the free world?
Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign thrived thanks to a simple realization in politics: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
What was Hillary Clinton’s economic plan? A month after the election, can anyone recall one forecast, one figure, one detail? Does anyone remember her October speech in Warren, Mich.? Highlights included massive infrastructure investment (temporary work), connecting all Americans to broadband by 2020 (temporary work), a clean-energy grid (though green jobs kill more carbon-energy jobs), and government seed investing for the technology sector (because we need government in venture capital). For months, Clinton touted “advanced manufacturing,” you know, the kind that doesn’t need human labor. It’s a good thing the campaign didn’t chose another tested slogan “Rise Up,” which sounds like an ascension of job-stealing robots.
A 46-year-old man who worked an assembly line or shoveled coal isn’t going to start retrofitting windmills, a peculiar fascination of Beltway liberals when they champion the “Green Revolution.”
Trump promised to drag companies back by their balance sheet. To return the coal industry back to what it once was. Trump’s promises likely won’t happen, but neither was the prospect of putting solar panels all around eastern Kentucky or Sandusky, Ohio where the coal jobs have vanished.
For a person with a nasty history of lying, Clinton chose the wrong things on which to deceive.
Trump even trumped Clinton’s push for $275 billion in infrastructure spending in five years by offering to double it.
Clinton’s other half of the Warren speech was exactly what people have grown tired of — a career politician talking like a politician. She championed the hard work of her father, and said she never forgot where she came from. That’s hard to believe from someone who hasn’t driven a car in 35 years and threatened to kill off the coal industry once and for all. The personal reflection on “hard work” – like the entire campaign – was the product of survey and focus groups.
Bill Clinton once said “I feel your pain,” a turning point in the 1992 election. Hillary’s team asked focus groups to describe working-class pain. Then they chose the language that offered the highest probability of an applause. Then they hired a team of PR consultants operating from an Alexandria-based office overlooking the Potomac. Or were they in Georgetown? None of them actually knew what it felt like to lose a job and a house in a period of two weeks. Trump, meanwhile, dug a finger into voters’ wounds and screamed, “Do you feel that? You know who did this to you!”
Clinton’s team failed to understand these people want a long-term vision and stability, not a government handout or instruction book on how to install solar panels. It was all part of the same laundry list of ideas proposed by Obama in 2008 and 2012.
Clinton embodied everything that Americans have grown tired of. She profited immensely from her public resume, earning more in 30 minutes giving a speech to a bank than many Rust Belt voters earn in six years. One must lack a moral code to deny the crony nature of the Clinton Foundation. One must suspend all belief in common sense to think that a private server was initiated for matters of convenience when an uncovered e-mail from 2009 said that “HRC does not know how to use a computer to do e-mail, only bb [Blackberry].”
How is it that out of the 45,000 e-mails released from her campaign manager John Podesta, it’s a Herculean effort to find one e-mail about improving the lives of the working-class and this nation’s economy?