In no plane of reality does “vote your conscience” mean “vote for Hillary Clinton” but it was foreseeable that she’d coopt Cruz’s point — at least once the boos started raining down and it became the story of the convention. I continue to believe that Cruz never expected the Manafort-generated backlash that erupted in the room when he uttered his “conscience” line. Everyone knew it was coming; the campaign had approved it; surely the audience wouldn’t turn the event on its head instead of just rolling their eyes at him and tepidly clapping him off the stage. Hillary might mention what he said on the trail, he probably calculated, but people would barely remember his “conscience” line and no one would care. The reaction turned it into a scintillating moment of dissent, for better or worse for Cruz’s future. Put this clip in the “worse” column. Team Rubio must be cutting it into a 2020 attack ad as we speak.
This was part of a longer convention bit, by the way, in which she noted that Republican speakers spent far more time attacking her than promoting Trump’s economic program (definitely true) and mocked Trump for claiming that he’s the people’s champion when his message was all about how weak, defeated, and helpless the people are (sort of true). I need a drink.