From its start, Hillary Clinton’s attack line “basket of deplorables” sounded like a speechwriter’s conceit, and a center for a time-limited attack strategy. Hillary is far too prosaic a politician to have developed that on her own, and as it turned out, far too prosaic a politician to carry off that kind of wit on the stump. She blew the line of attack by making it far too broad, attacking not just a few fringe voters but many that Democrats need to win in order to succeed in down-ballot races.
This had the air of an attack-of-the-week line all along, so it’s not too surprising to see some Democrats advising Team Hillary to “move on“:
Democrats are divided on the best course of action following her remark last week that “half” of Trump’s supporters are “irredeemable” and fit into a “basket of deplorables” that includes racists, sexists, xenophobes, homophobes and Islamophobes. The former secretary of State subsequently said she shouldn’t have spoken in such sweeping generalizations but stopped short of apologizing and vowed to call out Trump’s “bigotry.”
But doing so could keep the deplorables comment in the news, and some Democrats feel like she should move on.
“I think there’s a sense of disappointment that she went down in the mud and stooped to Trump’s level,” one Clinton surrogate told The Hill. “So I wouldn’t expect her to go down that road again.”
The other Democrats are talking to Politico:
Some of the Democrat’s most vocal supporters say Trump’s decision to repeatedly attack her for this off-the-cuff (although not new) remark has given her supporters and surrogates opportunities to rebut with examples of his racially charged rhetoric and rallies, helping, they hope, to lock down the college-educated women who have been wavering on Clinton but remain uncomfortable with what Trump might represent.
And by Election Day, Clinton’s close allies are arguing that this “deplorables” line will be worn by the candidate herself as badge of honor despite the initial wave of Beltway wisdom that condemned it as a mistake.
“One result of this conversation is that the country is actually debating how many of Donald Trump’s supporters are anti-Semitic, racist, sexist,” said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and one of the top outside supporters connected to the former secretary of state. “In a world where we wish that number was zero, this debate shines a light on the voice that Donald Trump has given to some attitudes that deeply trouble Americans in this election cycle.”
That seems like a dangerous path to tread. If one believes the WaPo/ABC poll this morning, Hillary’s strength comes from people who don’t feel as though they have been on the losing end of transactional life. Almost two-thirds of Americans think people like themselves are treated fairly and almost three-quarters believe life has gotten better for them as a result, and that group “broadly favors Clinton over Trump.”
Emphasizing these kind of negatives might end up play into Trump’s hands in more ways than one.
Hillary and her campaign themselves CREATED the contents of the basket out of their own imagination. When it comes to “hateful rhetoric”, I find calling someone a racist or bigot simply because you can’t afford to discuss your own positions pretty hateful. Those who consider racism a bad (as opposed to useful) thing take deep offense and tend to strike back in various ways.
Hillary cannot disguise her corrupt dishonesty and demonstrated incompetence by name calling. Her time has past.
Dems are trying to refocus on Trump and his rhetoric.
BUT Hillary focused on 1/2 of his supporters!
I have also heard some Dems say that the 50% number is too small.
That it approaches 100% in their minds.
Now think about it.
She, and down-ticket, they, NEED many of those voters.
Yet they just name-called them.
And added that they are ”not America.”
How on earth do they undo that?
I doubt that they can.
@Bill: people use the term racist for everything. It drives me nuts. If someome doesn’t like poor people, they are racist, don’t like gays? You are racist. Don’t want to live under communism, you are racist too. My daughter says I was racist because I have a problem with radical muslims. Really? She is young and inexperienced and we don’t talk politics because she listens to the MSM propaganda. ( yes I made an excuse for my conservative daughter being brainwashed by the media. )