A good spot, although as a matter of pure style I think less is more in ads when it comes to narration and melodramatic music. You could have done this one with just the audio of Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment intercut with shots of blue-collar workers hard at work and people playing with their kids at the playground along with the requisite clips of Trump being greeted enthusiastically at his rallies. Hillary’s own ads tend to go the less-is-more route. There’s the one of Trump on Letterman’s show being razzed over the fact that some parts of his clothing line are made overseas and there are a few spots that show people, sometimes wide-eyed kids, watching and (seemingly) listening as audio plays of some of Trump’s more obnoxious comments over the years. Neither ad features any voiceover narration, as I recall, just a line or two of text at the end. The point in both cases is clear: Trump’s hypocrisy/boorishness is so awful that it speaks for itself. He could have turned the tables on her here with similar treatment of her comments, but the campaign took a more traditional approach.
The Post poll, which found Clinton leading Trump by five points among likely voters nationwide, also found that 60 percent of Americans believe Trump “is biased against women and minorities,” with 48 percent believing that strongly. According to the crosstabs, college educated whites believe this by 57-41, and college educated white women — a crucial demographic that the campaigns are fighting over — believe it by 61-39.
What’s more, majorities of college educated white men and non-college white women also believe this. Indeed, as James Downie puts it: “At this point, the only group of voters that doesn’t think Trump is biased is white men without a college degree.”
Right, but it’s one thing to say Trump is “deplorable” and another to say that of his supporters, especially if you’re quantifying it by claiming as many as half of his fans fall into that group. And even if anti-Trumpers take the same dismal view of his fans that Hillary does, who’s more likely to be motivated by what she said, Trump fans or Clinton fans? I don’t buy this argument by Sonny Bunch. Remember, poll after poll shows that when voters on both sides are asked if they’re voting for their candidate or against the other party’s candidate, voting against Hillary is a more powerful motivator among Trump backers than voting against Trump is among Hillary backers. Why would she give the anti-Hillary right more fuel for their fire?
Hillary’s problem is that literally no one is excited about voting for her. Not a single person is skipping to the polling station with a song in their heart in order to pull the lever for her. She’s just so … bleh. Half her party voted for her because she’d be the first woman and it was “her turn”; the other half voted for Bernie and appear to be very slow in returning to the fold…
Spite is one of the most powerful emotions there is. The urge to deprive someone you hate of something they want is intoxicating. Unfathomable tears of sadness from your enemies are almost as nice as unfathomable tears of joy from your allies. If Hillary can’t generate any joy for herself, then what she needs to do is remind her supporters that voting for her will give all those other people you hate—all the ‘phobes, all the bigots—a giant sad. They’ll cry their “white male tears” and they’ll tweet so many frog memes and it it’ll be joyous!
If you’re one of the 60 percent who already finds Trump deplorable, I’m not sure what extra incentive you get to vote against him from Hillary Clinton extending that view to his fans. If you’re one of the 40 percent who doesn’t find him deplorable, you might get some added incentive to turn out from the fact that liberal elitist Hillary Clinton thinks you’re awful and isn’t afraid to tell the world. (Right, I know — she thinks “half” are awful, but anyone who dislikes Clinton can convince themselves that it’s a smear of them personally.) If the “deplorables” line works for her, I think, it’ll work by acting as an invitation to her allies in the media to explore the question at length by airing the evidence. Hillary Clinton’s poor opinion of Trumpers doesn’t much matter to anyone, but if CNN starts showing regularly the gas-chamber images that some of Trump’s alt-right fans like to spam Jewish journalists with on Twitter, that might help move some of those white college grads she’s after to say “no thanks” to Trumpmania. Hillary telling swing voters “you should be grossed out by these people” seems like it’s unlikely to move opinion durably. Having the media actually gross them out by showing them what she’s talking about is another matter. We’re going to be in the strange, unsettling position this fall of Democrats arguing that a vote for basic decency is a vote for, of all people, Hillary Clinton.
Go read Politico for a round-up of quotes from Clinton cronies like John Podesta and Paul Begala insisting that they’re perfectly happy to have a debate over just how many of Trump’s supporters are racists.