The shackles are off, Donald Trump promised earlier this week, but … why were these shackles on before now? For months, we have waited for Team Trump to start airing ads about the corruption between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. In two debates, we waited in vain for Trump to hit Hillary Clinton over the Uranium One deal and the $57.5 million in personal income she and Bill took in while she served as Secretary of State. Both the debate moderators and Hillary herself gave Trump plenty of openings for such attacks — especially when Hillary attacked Trump’s alleged Russian business interests, which would have been a slam dunk segue to Uranium One and Bill Clinton’s $500,000 payoff from the Russian oligarchs involved. Instead, Trump took a pass … and we waited.
Wait no longer. With less than four weeks to go, Team Trump has finally pivoted to “Corruption” (via The Hill):
“The Clintons: from dead broke to worth hundreds of millions,” the video’s narrator says.
“So how did Hillary end up filthy rich? Pay to play politics.”
The ad goes on to accuse Clinton’s family foundation of accepting money from “criminals, dictators [and] countries that hate America.
It rehashes some of the more biting accusations against the foundation, that it “exploited Haitians in need” and turned over “American uranium rights” to a Russian company whose backers included foundation donors.
“Rehashes” isn’t the correct word. One has to have “hashed” in the first place in order to “rehash.”
The ad itself is direct and effective, and should score some points. The question, though, is why the Trump campaign didn’t have this ad ready in the first week of August, and why they have spent their time attacking Hillary on any other basis since. All of these issues were well known at that point, and could have helped define this race more as a fight against entrenched interests and corruption. Instead, Trump has wasted two months of opportunities to get specific on these points.
Better late than never, one supposes, but there is such a thing in politics as too late.