So … how did the launch of Hillary 2.0 go in its first week? “She created opportunities for herself,” NBC’s Chuck Todd told Hugh Hewitt last night, “and then didn’t take them.” Worse yet, Hillary Clinton’s ham-handed staging blew her best opportunity to reset expectations for the coming campaign, Todd says, and reminded swing voters why they distrust the Clintons.
Hillary “swung and missed,” in baseball parlance:
We’ll pick up the transcript from just prior to the start of the audio above:
HH: The former Secretary of State installed a homebrew server. What was your reaction upon learning of that, as a technology executive aware of the security challenges of maintaining privacy and security?
CF: Well, I had two reactions. One was that clearly, she had a plan to shield her communications.
HH: Chuck Todd, Trey Gowdy came on the show as well and said he’s going to subpoena her if she doesn’t show up. And then he’s going to subpoena Huma Abedin and Sidney Blumenthal and Cheryl Mills. How big of an issue, we’ve got 45 seconds, is this server going to be?
CT: Look, I think it’s a huge issue. I’m sorry. I think it’s why those trust, those honest and trustworthy numbers were the way they were. We talked about this last week. I used those numbers on the show on Sunday.
CT: I think this is, it brought back all of the Clinton demons that swing voters are uncomfortable with.
HH: And she doesn’t, she didn’t take any questions this week to dispel those, did she?
CT: No, and all, and can I just say this week, she had a golden opportunity to come across unscripted and truly out of her bubble. She created opportunities for herself, and then didn’t take them. I just say this was a perplexing week.
CT: …watching her. They did very well on day one, and then sort of swung and missed every other day.
I’m not sure I’d agree about the first day. Wasn’t that the day that the Facebook post and video came out late, and the first official word came from John Podesta? The video itself got widely panned; Ruth Marcus complained that it was “insultingly vapid” and just as insultingly condescending.
Adding insult to vacuousness was the demographic box-checking nature of the video, however beautifully filmed. Working mom, check. Hispanic entrepreneur, check. Retiring grandma, check. Gay couple, check. African-American family, check. Hardworking small-businessman, check. South Asian, inter-racial, lesbian, check, check, check. If your demographic was not featured, you should write the campaign and it will probably splice you in.
Still, in terms of media management, the strategy seems to be working — even if it was adopted out of necessity. The media certainly seemed to play along most of the week, until the absurdity of their breathless coverage finally began to dawn on them. To extend Chuck’s baseball analogy, I’d call the first week a failed bunt attempt.