Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, April 1, 2016

Clinton And Messaging

Hillary Clinton hates the press.  We get that.  But she's also just not very adept at messaging.  And if you're going to try and bypass the press, you'd better be really slick at getting your message across.

I've been saying for a while now that Clinton should be selling herself as the true Democrat in the race.  She's fighting with Sanders over the "progressive" label, because party identifiers are weak historically right now.

But not in a primary.

Clinton needs to be pointing out that she is the one trying to win back the Senate and maybe even the House this November.  Sanders is running a "revolution" and has mastered the messaging that goes along with that.  Clinton needs to demonstrate WHY the Superdelegates are supporting her.  It's not because she's "corrupt" but because she's working for the entire party.  Bernie is working for his revolution.  (In some ways, Sanders feels like Trump in the sense that he got into the campaign not expecting to win, but is getting much farther than he thought.)

This can lead to nonsense brouhahas like the fossil fuels nontroversy.  Greenpeace isn't exactly a part of the governing coalition.  They are bomb throwers by nature, and that makes them natural allies of Sanders.  But their current attack on Hillary - that she's accepting money from the fossil fuel industry - is warped to the point of dishonesty.

Sanders message discipline makes this bullshit attack have more legs than it should.  His constant focus on the terrible campaign finance system makes Clinton look guilty, even when she's not.  And even when Sanders himself is accepting money from the same sources as Clinton (individuals who work in the fossil fuels industry).

Clinton's inability to stick to the message of "I want ALL Democrats to win in November, not just ones who I find pure and righteous on every issue" is what's allowing Sanders to define the dialogue at this stage of the race.

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