The ‘Baskets’ ad that Clinton should follow up with: one about her SECOND-MENTIONED basket, and asking whether someone whose fiscal and regulatory policies and court and agency appointments would be orchestrated by the Mercers should have the support of those in that basket.
In an addendum I added today to this post of mine from yesterday, I argued that the visibility of Clinton’s illness may well prove a political blessing in disguise. I wrote:
And just to be sure y’all understand, [Kellyanne] Conway of course made no such promise [that Trump will release the last 10 years of his income tax returns]. Nor, of course, will she. But here’s the cool thing: the revelation of Clinton’s illness, revealed only because of she became noticeable ill in public, may well turn out to be fortuitous politically, for two reasons. One is that Clinton may now relax a bit about her health problems; they’re out in the open and most people not a big political consideration–all things considered, if you get my drift.
The other reason is that the news media and political punditry finally are catching on that their singular focus on this or that regarding Clinton and corresponding failure to drive home absolutely critical aspects of Trump’s business life, known and strongly suspected but unverifiable because of Trump’s extreme lack of transparency, hasn’t done the public any favors. Nor has it even done favors for these journalists’ and pundits’ “views,” since exposing and driving these things home surely would get a lot of “views” and maybe even go viral on Twitter and Facebook!
In any event, Clinton’s illness seems to have had the effect of finally, finally provoking the political news media into actually trying to educate the public about such things as that a key effect of Trump’s bankruptcies has been that he can’t borrow money from anyone other than Russian oligarchs and apparently has done that extensively. And that his Soho condo project involved extensive fraud that was under criminal investigation until he paid off civil plaintiffs who would have been witnesses in a criminal case. And that he engages in intense and very expensive efforts to destroy anyone who is about to reveal potentially criminal fraud (including bank fraud) on his part. And that he appears to have engaged in a quid pro quo with Florida AG Pam Bondi in which more than $175,000 was added to Bondi’s reelection campaign coffers courtesy of Trump’s financial machinations, in exchange for Bondi’s office’s decision not to pursue a lawsuit against Trump for serial fraud concerning Trump University and Trump Institute?
What’s unusual about these quid pro quos is that rather than seeking some favorable legislation or direct access to someone who can provide some favor like a special passport or a meeting with some policymaker about, say, policy, Trump’s quid pro quos involve buyoffs or harassment or intimidation for the purpose of keeping things, some of them illegal, some of them creating extreme conflicts of interest for a presidential contender, secret. This is both a gross manipulation of the civil and criminal legal system and of the public’s access to critical information about him in this election.
Clinton’s illness story superseded what had promised to be the big campaign story of the weekend: Her videotaped statement at a Friday night fundraiser in which she divided Trump supporters about evenly between two baskets, one filled with deplorables, the other with people who’ve been harmed by the modern economic trends and feel ignored by government.
Except it was only the Basket of Deplorables that received the attention, and most people probably have the impression that she didn’t describe or characterize the people in the other Basket. Trump, upset about the Clinton illness story overtaking the Basket of Deplorables one, quickly put out an ad showing Clinton at the fundraiser making that statement. He also, of course, did an over-the-top, sort of unintentionally comical-in-effect deep-umbrage thing at a campaign event yesterday in which the pot called the kettle unqualified to be president because of the disrespect the kettle had shown to a whole category of upstanding, native-born Americans: half of Trump’s supporters.
This morning, Greg Sargent reports, the Clinton campaign is up with its response, and it sounds terrific. He writes:
The Clinton campaign released a new ad this morning that shows Trump making that last claim, and then illustrates Trump’s own “low opinion” of Americans by recapping his attacks on a Mexican-American judge and on the Khan family; his ridicule of a disabled reporter; his sexist insults; and his dismissal of African American life as a smoldering hellscape of shameful failure. The story it tells is not only that Trump is bigoted towards these groups, but also that he’s cruel and abusive towards them:
But in a follow-up ad Clinton could take the Baskets issue and hit it out of the park, by showing a clip of her description of the Trump supporters in the second Basket. She then should tell the public about who actually is funding Trump and calling the shots. Yes; she should introduce the public to … the Mercers. And she should run this ad again and again in the Rust Belt and in Florida, the latter where there aren’t a lot of voters who are enthralled with hedge fund folks who made a killing after the financial-sector and real estate market crashes circa 2009-2012. Nor the fiscal and regulatory policies that these two Trump benefactors/puppeteers will.
In a second follow-up, Clinton should run quickly through her own list of domestic-policy proposals. And she should the public to give her a Democratic-controlled Senate and House in order to accomplish these.
Clinton’s near-singular focus on Trump’s danger to national security has effectively defaulted to him the domestic-policy as well as the my-opponent-is-corrupt factors. Yet these are huge in this election cycle.
The events of last weekend, billed as bad for Clinton, could turn out to be lemonade for her. If she chooses to try to make it that.
UPDATE: I just posted this comment regarding Clinton’s health and her initial failure to disclose the pneumonia in response to a reader’s comment:
I’m not so sure that she was required to disclose her pneumonia. It appeared on Friday, when it was diagnosed, that it was just garden-variety walking pneumonia, and it still appears that way.
Clinton responded today to Axelrod’s tweet–the one that prompted Conway’s agreement tweet–by saying that she didn’t report the pneumonia because she didn’t think it was particularly notable. I agreed with Axelrod’s general comment about Clinton’s excessive secretiveness, but not really its application to her failure to disclose her pneumonia until her illness on Sunday.
The pneumonia apparently was only incidental to her Sunday illness, which apparently was caused by a chronic problem with dehydration. The combination of the antibiotic, antihistamines and, possibly, slight fever from the pneumonia, coupled with the humidity, the sun and the temperature of about 80 degrees–she was wearing a high-necked blouse and a pantsuit jacket–triggered an episode of symptoms of (I guess) severe dehydration. Her husband said this had occurred on rare occasions over a period of several decades. She herself said it’s something she’s aware of and is able to avoid most of the time. So the real health issue is that, not the walking pneumonia.
So how many of you think Donald Trump is in perfect health? Just askin’.
Added 9/13 at 3:32 p.m.