At the end of a long, contentious primary, everyone who works for a national campaign is exhausted. It’s often the time we see unforced errors and wheels getting wobbly, if not spinning off completely. But not Hillary’s campaign. Her general election rollout has been spectacular.
The Morning Joe crew discussed Donald Trump’s horrendous poll numbers and the disastrous spectacle that is his campaign. They also talked about Hillary’s well-executed general election strategy, saying that her campaign “really knows what they’re doing.”
Instead of taking a breather from the bruising primary fight, Hillary’s campaign has found a way to draw on the energy of her historic nomination to propel her candidacy forward. Some of the highlights: Her foreign policy speech in San Diego and its scathing indictment of Donald; her moving victory address; her clever “delete your account” Twitter fight with Donald; her extraordinary endorsements from President Obama, Senator Elizabeth Warren and others; her landmark speech on reproductive justice; her team’s awesome fake ad for Trump University; her speech calling for the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban.
And now, the campaign has released one of three general election television ads to air in eight states as “part of a massive, eight-figure six-week television buy, according to a campaign official.” The ad, titled “Always,” highlights Hillary’s long-term commitment to improving the lives of children.
That isn’t even a comprehensive list of the big risks which are paying off only because they have all been flawlessly executed.
And all taken for granted because they were.
Yes, it’s objectively true that Donald’s campaign is a major flop. The candidate himself is a full-tilt bigotry machine with the presidential fitness of a garden gnome. His team is comprised of bullies and ne’er-do-wells, who have utterly failed to build a national campaign that’s ready to compete in a general election.
But it’s important to recognize that Hillary’s campaign is not merely successful by comparison to Donald’s clown show. It is objectively successful by the standards of any presidential campaign. Including her own 2008 campaign. Which is yet another indication that Hillary listens, takes her lessons, learns from them, and grows.
Which just happens to be another stark contrast with Donald.
This has been a long campaign for Hillary and her team already. Their stamina is amazing. Which is not merely an observation about the campaign, but, frankly, another qualification for the presidency.
The presidency is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. I’m both impressed and reassured to see Hillary getting her second wind in a big way, right at the moment lots of other people would stumble.
And then there is this: Donald is likely to be a catastrophic disaster right up until Election Day, failing some desperate intervention from his party to oust and replace him. He’s so bad that perhaps Hillary actually could rest on her laurels and just let Donald implode. But she isn’t.
She’s out there working every day to be the best candidate, to make the best case, to earn every vote.
I appreciate that — in the sense that I am grateful and in the sense that I recognize what it says about the kind of politician and person she is. And I am also keenly aware that to fail to acknowledge it is another way of discrediting her: It’s not that she’s a great candidate, some will inevitably argue, but that he’s a terrible one.
But Hillary would be a great candidate even if Donald weren’t a disaster. And the last week makes that abundantly clear.
I don’t support her because she’s not Donald Trump. I support her because she’s Hillary Clinton.