If you’ve watched the documentary “Weiner,” which you should if you haven’t (it’s streaming on Showtime On Demand right now), you’ll remember there are four or five distinct moments where Huma Abedin gives him a look that can only mean “I’ve made a grave mistake.” Somewhere she’s watching this ad right now with that same look on her face.
Although, realistically, she’s probably looked that way since last Friday afternoon, at a minimum.
This spot made me laugh at how over the top it is, but I think it does the job. It’s aimed mostly at people who are already voting Trump — the shot of Hillary coughing, a hobbyhorse in conservative media, is a giveaway — but I wonder if the Weiner angle in last Friday’s news about Abedin’s laptop isn’t doing more damage to Clinton than we realize. Imagine the story without him involved. Say Huma had found an old laptop somewhere that she had forgotten about, turned it over to the FBI in the interest of full disclosure, and the feds had found some State Department emails on it. Would the news have had the same punch? It would have had some punch, but the same? Weiner’s role in the story is important because it multiplies the sleaze factor and reminds voters that Clinton scandals are essentially bottomless. Just when you think that every angle of possible wrongdoing has been explored, boom — there’s some new scumbaggery happening on the periphery. Whether young adults are troubled by this is unclear to me, but if you remember the 1990s, the news on Friday plus Weiner’s tangential role in it brings alive the feeling of Clinton scandal fatigue like few other developments since Comey’s July presser have. If she wins next week, the circus is coming back to town for a four-year stint at a minimum. There’s not enough booze in the world to make it tolerable. I wonder how many swing voters had the same reaction and decided to take a second look at Trump.
Here’s a possible clue. With two more polls of New Hampshire having dropped since this post this morning, the last three there see Trump up one, Trump up five, and Trump tied with Hillary. (The five-point lead comes from ARG, so grain of salt.) That state really does appear to be in play now, especially given the large number of undecideds. If it is, then Clinton is looking at a very narrow electoral college win provided that her blue wall in Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Michigan holds. If one of those states also goes sideways like New Hampshire then the entire election is a toss-up. Having said that, don’t forget that Trump needs to win all of the coin-flip states next week. Winning most isn’t good enough. If he takes Florida and Ohio but Clinton ekes it out in North Carolina, that’s probably ballgame. As I write this, she still holds a three-point national lead in YouGov’s polling, is back up to a two-point lead in the ABC/WaPo daily tracker, and has a 49/45 lead in Florida according to Opinion Savvy — one of the worst polls for Trump all week. That’s the most important coin-flip state of all, of course. If he loses that one, you don’t need to worry about New Hampshire or anywhere else.