Big news from the AP: Hillary Clinton is "preaching love and kindness"

They’re not saying she’s like Jesus. But let’s face it: She’s like Jesus.

Actually, to be fair, even the AP finds this hard to take.

[W]hen an Iowa man broke into her riff with a question about how the country could confront a new wave of hate and fear, her response sounded less like that of a commander in chief than of a soothing self-help guru. “We’ve got to do everything we can to weed out hate and plant love and kindness,” she told a crowd of several hundred.

The lovey-dovey message seems surprising coming from a Washington veteran so battle-hardened that she often cites Eleanor Roosevelt’s mantra about women in public life needing “skin like a rhinoceros.” But as she grapples with Donald Trump’s prominence in the Republican race, she’s embraced a little love and kindness as a near-constant refrain.

In Alabama, she told lawyers celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott that justice means “standing beside love.” In Atlanta, Clinton promised black ministers she’d run on a “love and kindness platform.” After Trump said he’d block Muslims from entering the country, her campaign quickly churned out a new catch phrase: “Love trumps hate.”…

Today, Clinton rarely ends her remarks without asking her audience to consider adding some “love and kindness” to their daily lives. The line entered her stump speech as an ad-libbed aside during an address to mayors days after the Charleston church shooting that killed nine in June.

That’s a whole lotta “love.” Who knows? Maybe years of enervating partisan battles and the joy of a new grandchild have helped Hillary turn over a new leaf. She’s seen what hate can do, how it can poison the soul. She’s accumulated wisdom in her seven decades, as anyone would. We thought she was the old knife-fighting Hillary but somewhere along the line, perhaps after the bitter defeat to Obama in 2008, she blossomed into a more mature person who’s worried about where her country’s heart is leading it. You’ve seen “House of Cards”; even Claire Underwood has depth. The new Hillary, the softer Hillary, might be a very pleasant surprise indeed as our new leader.

That’s one theory. The other theory: She and her team focus-grouped the sh*t out of buzzwords like “love” and “kindness” and found that her base, including and especially the women she’s counting on, responded well to them.

Which theory do you suppose is correct?

Here’s the woman who told a national audience two months ago that she’s proud to have Republicans as an “enemy” lecturing Trump about divisiveness. If there’s one thing the Clintons are known for, it’s love and kindness towards people who’ve wronged them. In lieu of an exit question, read this NYT story from yesterday about the difficulties Trump is creating not just for Republicans but now for Democrats as they struggle to reassure voters who share his concerns. There are few things liberals enjoy more than lecturing others about how they’ve “given in to fear” or whatever by worrying about the threat of terrorism. The problem for Hillary is that a lot of Democratic voters have “given in” to that fear too, to the point where she’s now saying things at town halls like β€œIt’s O.K. to be afraid. When bad things happen, it does cause anxiety and fear.” Strange days.