HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

 
Conway's hail Mary

by digby











I wrote about the Trump campaign's desperate attempt to drive young voters to vote third party for Salon today.

Throughout this campaign the beltway conventional wisdom has been that the Republicans would never bring up Bill Clinton's scandals from the 90s because they had been burned so badly in the past by them. And they were. Clinton's job approval ratings went through the roof during the Starr investigation and subsequent impeachment trial and it was only Republicans who lost their seats over it. Some of them, like congressmen Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde and Bob Livingston, were brought low by revelations of their own indiscretions. It turned out that many of those who claimed to be of superior character  had their own skeletons in the closet.

Furthermore, everyone also understood that if there were any ongoing recriminations, they would not be against Hillary Clinton, the woman who had been humiliated in front of the whole world. When she ran for the senate in 2000, facing down the press and her opponent as they cornered her publicly, her strength and dignity impressed people and she won. The lesson was that this was not a fruitful avenue to pursue against her and for the most part, that was the end of it in subsequent campaigns. All the political pros assumed this line of attack was off the table.

And then along came Trump and his posse of character assassins led by the most notorious dirty trickster in American politics, Roger Stone. He's been a close pal of Trump's for decades and wrote a book for the occasion called "The Clintons' War on Women" with the very specific intention of creating a brand new narrative about Hillary Clinton destroying her husband's accusers.

Over the Christmas holiday last year, Trump made it clear that he would not put up with any talk from Clinton about his sexism. His veiled threat was anything but subtle.







He carried on like that for several days. This led to Clinton's famous "If equal pay for equal work is playing the women's card, then deal me in!" line, but she didn't level the charge of sexism directly again until recently.  Trump may have thought that he'd shut it down permanently since her campaign had been hitting him hard for months in commercials for his hateful rhetoric against the disabled and veterans and coarse language. It turns out that she was lying in wait and in the first debate she took the gloves off by bringing up the story of the former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, followed by a Spanish language video telling the story and a moving ad called "Mirrors" with a voice over of Trump making crude and insulting remarks about women's  looks. It was a powerful combination that put him off balance for the next week with late night twitter storms talking about sex tapes and more  threats to use Roger Stone's "Hillary enabler" strategy.

The polls going into that first debate had the race very close and about that time campaign manager KellyAnne Conway and some of the surrogates started circling around what appeared to be an interesting electoral strategy.  They seemed to be trying to reinforce negative impressions of Hillary Clinton among Bernie Sanders voters without trying to appeal to them directly. They obviously knew they could not be persuaded to vote for Trump but perhaps thought there was a chance they could  push them to vote for one of the third party candidates and give Trump a chance to sneak in under the wire with a plurality win.

It's tricky but it could theoretically work. After all there was some precedent for it. In 2000 Ralph Nader had taken enough votes to shift the election to George W Bush in Florida even though Gore won the national popular vote. And there were those who argued that Ross Perot denied George H.W Bush re-election in 1992 although the exit polls suggested that he took from both parties equally. If what Conway saw in the polls showed Trump had hit his ceiling, it may be she felt she could leverage Trump's desire to hit Clinton with Bill's scandals for an electoral advantage. After all, the world looks at these issues differently today than they did 20 years ago and younger voters could take a different view of those scandals when viewed out of the context of  the partisan wars in which they were fought.

When Trump pulled his stunt at the debate bringing the four Clinton accusers before the cameras for a press avail on Sunday before the debate, his surrogates were on TV making a very specific point. Kayleigh McEneny of CNN put it this way:
[I]t's important that these Millennials behind me, who care deeply about sexual assault, I've been on a college campus the last seven years of my life. And I can tell you this, sexual assault is a big issue. The three women on the left, Hillary hired private investigators to look after. The woman on the far right, Hillary Clinton has an audiotape laughing at the girl, bragging about how she got the innocent rapist off who raped her -- 
Trump went on to evoke Sanders' criticism of Clinton seven times during the debate, even saying he'd sold his soul to "the devil" by endorsing her. If you didn't know better you'd think Trump had chosen him as a running mate.

If this really is a campaign strategy it is destined to fail. It's certainly possible that younger Sanders voters could be repelled by Bill Clinton's scandals and decide to vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson on that basis --- if Bill Clinton were running for president. But as much as many of them may not care for Hillary Clinton they are highly unlikely to believe this lurid fantasy about her, particularly coming from the campaign of a disgusting misogynist like Donald Trump. They're young, they're not stupid.

.