Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Is Struggling. Here Are Ten Ideas That Could Turn Things Around
This isn’t going to be easy for her fans to hear, but it’s the God-awful truth: America really doesn’t like Hillary Clinton. In fact, most Republican candidates other than Donald Trump would make very short work of her.
Hillary Clinton is the second-most disliked presidential candidate in American history, losing out that top-spot to Donald Trump. Her unpopularity translates into 46% of her supporters only backing her to stop Trump.
Meanwhile, 21% of likely voters say they’re going third-party, and that number is growing daily. There’s actually a very serious chance that America’s distaste for both Clinton and Trump could lead to our country electing a third-party candidate for the first time ever; Jill Stein and Gary Johnson are gaining a lot of momentum right now, and if they can keep that up, one or both of them could turn this election on its head and send Clinton packing.
So what is Hillary to do in this situation? How can she beat the odds and pull off a win? What would it take to turn things around for her campaign? Here are ten ideas.
1. Urge Your Supporters To Stop Talking Down To Non-Supporters
If you’ve spent even one day supporting anyone other than Hillary Clinton during this primary, this one doesn’t need to be explained to you. But if you’ve been “with her” from early on, I have something unpleasant to tell you: you’re probably a bit of a dick.
Clinton’s hardcore supporters tend to be rude, pushy, condescending jerks. They talk down at you for the crime of having a different opinion. They don’t invite people to join their cause, but verbally stab people until they exit the conversation. They downplay every controversy, refuse to admit she can do any wrong, and treat you like a child who doesn’t know any better. And if you think that doesn’t do serious, lasting harm to her campaign, it’s most likely a telltale sign that you’re an even bigger dick.
The only votes in all of America that belong to Hillary Clinton are the ones she’s already earned. If someone wants to vote for a third-party candidate, that’s their decision. Snootily barking at them, bossing them around, telling them they’re “wasting” their votes… all that does is convince that person that their vote is anything but wasted. Hillary Clinton isn’t owed the Presidency. She isn’t entitled to the Oval Office. She has to earn it, and that requires earning votes. You’re really, truly not helping.
2. Take A Stronger Stand For Campaign Finance Reform
Campaign finance reform is the single most important issue of our times. It’s more crucial than any five other issues you can name right now. That’s because it’s the single issue that directly impacts every other issue.
To borrow from Game of Thrones: Obama fought for gun control legislation valiantly, Obama fought nobly, Obama lost.
I’m a staunch Berniecrat, but I believe Hillary Clinton is serious about gun control, paid family leave, pay equality, and other issues. However, I do not believe she’s serious about campaign finance reform. Hillary Clinton is going to face record obstructionism from a do-nothing Congress hell-bent on making her a one-term president, and she’ll be very easily curb-stomped by any remotely moderate Republican in 2020 (if there is such a thing these days). Without campaign finance reform passed before the midterms, she’s sunk.
As for her campaign itself, adopting a strong — even radical — campaign finance reform platform will help her win over progressives and independents, without whom Clinton has no hope of winning. It won’t go over well with lobbyists or her Wall Street friends, but that’s actually a good thing. Campaign finance reform cannot and should not begin or end with killing off Citizens United. She needs to a do more. A lot more.
3. Be Honest And Admit Your Faults
The number-one complaint Americans have about Hillary Clinton is that she’s dishonest. And no, that isn’t some made-up invention of the right-wing… she’s been demonstrably dishonest for many years, since her Senate run if not even earlier. And until she addresses those things, that view of her isn’t going away… wishing won’t make it so, folks.
Hillary Clinton should do something no politician has ever done: sit down with a major television network for a full hour and admit to lying. Be brutally honest, don’t hold anything back, and humble yourself before the American people. Apologize for those transgressions. Tell voters that you felt an urgency to be honest, in stark contrast with all of the dishonesty of the Trump campaign. It probably sounds like political suicide, but trust me: voters are desperate for honesty from a candidate, and proving to voters that she can be honest would go a long way toward winning in November.
4. Stop Inviting Controversy
Her supporters are quick to argue that it’s a meaningless, empty appointment, but Hillary Clinton seriously screwed the pooch when she offered Debbie Wasserman Schultz a position on her staff, however unpaid, honorary, or pointless that position may be. Hillary Clinton has a serious problem with surrounding herself with the worst people. She needs to make a concerted effort to stop doing that; it’s just going to keep blowing up in her face.
5. Get Tough On Wall Street (For Real)
It’s easy for Hillary Clinton to say she’ll be tough on Wall Street, but there’s no actual evidence in the known universe that she truly will be. Hillary needs to tell voters in simple, blunt terms precisely how she’ll tackle Wall Street criminality and corporate abuses. More importantly, she needs to tell voters why she’ll do that, because as it stands, no one in America seriously believes her when she claims she’ll be tough on Wall Street. In fact, most of us get a bit of a giggle out of that.
6. Stop Dressing Like a Space Dictator From A Dystopiate Future Human Colony On Alpha Centauri
I’m going to catch hell over this, and I’m sure people will label me as a sexist, but I’m not one to hold back: Hillary Clinton’s outfits are totally f–king ridiculous.
Yes, I realize men are never criticized for how they dress. But this has absolutely nothing to do with gender. There are a whole lot of women in politics, and none of them dress like Hillary Clinton. Her outfits are comically expensive (a $12k Armani jacket during a speech on income inequality? Seriously?), and highlight the parts of her personality Americans loathe.
Michelle Obama shops at Target. She wears regular human clothes from the 21st century, not the 23rd century. Elizabeth Warren dresses like my Mom… nothing wrong with that. Hillary Clinton dresses like someone you can easily imagine shouting “turn the starship to port and FIRE THE PROTON CANNONS!” I think that makes Trump a space alien? I totally see it.
If a male politician walked out onto a stage and delivered a stump speech wearing a bright yellow suit and a brown hat, the banana jokes would only be interrupted by the references to Ted from Curious George. Seriously Hillary, this needs to be fixed. It’s not just me who thinks this.
7. Show a Willingness to Fight For Votes
Proving to voters that Hillary Clinton has humility is a common thread here, and this one is no different. From the very start of this campaign, Hillary has come across to most Americans as entitled. As if the Gods had anointed her for the Oval Office. She doesn’t appear willing to get down in the mud and fight for votes, and that’s something she desperately needs to do.
She proved in her Senate run, as well as in 2008, that she knows how to be a fighter. We haven’t seen any of that fight from her in 2016, at least not with any real teeth.
Donald Trump is a huge clown. And how do you stop an army of clowns? You go for the juggler. No, I couldn’t help myself. I stopped those space jokes too early. Speaking of Trump and clowns…
8. Unleash Real Comedy On Trump
To date, the campaign staffers handling your Twitter account have done a decent job of hitting Trump, but they’re ill-equipped to really hit him where it counts. Donald Trump is a troll. You don’t beat a troll with maturity, folks: you beat a troll by out-trolling them.
Hillary Clinton needs to bring in real comedians — funny ones — to punch up the jokes in her speeches and on her social media accounts. Some anti-Trump memes going viral might help, too. And don’t be afraid to go PG-13 on occasion. Trump is winning because he doesn’t seem presidential. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but believe me, it helps him a lot.
Trump is beating you in part because he isn’t afraid to speak his mind, however empty, bigoted, sexist, xenophobic, and all-around ignorant that mind may be. The occasional zinger isn’t going to cut it. You need to launch an all-out comedy offensive and convince Trump that making jokes about you and lying about your record aren’t going to get him anywhere.
9. Stop Trying To Humanize Yourself
No one is going to ever think of you as a nice middle-class grandma. That will literally never happen. You’ve had Secret Service protection since the early 1990’s. You haven’t driven a car in so many decades I’d be surprised if you could start one up. When was the last time you bought groceries, or cooked a meal, or opened a door? You’re out of touch. You shouldn’t embrace it, but you shouldn’t try to hide it either. Just let it be what it is.
10. Help Get Johnson And Stein Into The Debates
I know this sounds counter-productive, but hear me out: by getting these two into the debates, Hillary Clinton gets some much-needed help in attacking Donald Trump, and Trump will spend some time attacking them, which is less time he has for attacking Hillary. More importantly, it shows that not only is she unafraid of competition, but she openly encourages it. It will restore Berniecrats’ faith in democracy, faith that was lost during a heated, controversial, and possibly even rigged primary. And it will show her as sympathetic to breaking down the two-party system and helping bring fairness to voters who wouldn’t vote for her otherwise. Is there any question who would win those extended debates? She has nothing to lose by doing this.