Sunday, January 03, 2016

How Much Is Herr Trumpf Helping Hillary Clinton's Campaign?


One thing I think everyone can agree on, whether you're stupid enough to fall for Herr Trumpf's claptrap or smart enough to see right through him, the 2015 political world would have been a lot duller without him. On top of that (and the ad revenue he's generated for TV networks), the service he has provided to the Democratic Party is literally incalculable. He managed to use the most basic marketing, sales and propaganda techniques to turn most of the Republican field-- remember how proud they were of their "Deep Bench"-- into a gaggle of despised losers. A classic bully, he has made the entire Republican establishment and all their pathetic candidates so fearful to tangle with him that virtually all of them have adopted his outrageous, electorally-suicidal themes.

Even yesterday he was at it again-- bashing poor Jeb, like kicking a mute person with no legs who fell out of his wheelchair. When registered Republicans, nationally, were asked for the most recent CNN poll whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the 7 top GOP candidates, only two had unfavorables higher than 50%-- Trumpf himself, of course, (57%) and poor Jeb (also 57%). One day Americans-- perhaps mankind-- may thank Trumpf for saving the country from another Bush presidency and for permanently damaging the family brand.

Trumpf has tried his tactics on Bernie and on Hillary... and they haven't worked at all. He even tried recycling his Jeb attacks on her! People who are taken in by his blatantly ego-driven, petulant vision and petty, childish hatreds aren't likely to be admirers of-- or even open to-- the appeals of Hillary or Bernie anyway. In fact, Alan Rapport had a column in the NY Times a couple days ago about how Trumpf's personal insults are likely to help Clinton politically, not hurt her. His threats to expose Bill Clinton as one of the great abusers of the world for his sexual indiscretions may gain some voyeuristic currency among hardcore Trumpists, but not with actual voters.
[T]he numbers show that Mr. Trump, the billionaire developer and Republican presidential hopeful, might not be dealing with a hand as strong as he thinks when he reminds voters of Mr. Clinton’s history of infidelity.

Hillary Clinton’s popularity has had its peaks and valleys during her decades in the public spotlight, most recently rising to new heights when she was serving as secretary of state. Her other peak, according to polls, was in 1998 while her husband was embroiled in the Lewinsky scandal and facing impeachment.

Survey data from the Pew Research Center show’s Mrs. Clinton’s favorability rating jumping to 63 percent in August of 1998, four months before Mr. Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives. In December of that year, as controversy about their marriage continued to swirl, her popularity climbed higher, reaching 66 percent.

“In contrast to her husband, Hillary Clinton continues to draw high marks from the public,” Pew found at the time. “Two-thirds of Americans say they admire Hillary Clinton’s decision to stand by her husband and nearly as many have a favorable opinion of the first lady.”

Figures from Gallup also showed Mrs. Clinton’s favorability rating rising as accounts of Mr. Clinton cheating dominated headlines. That rating, which was at 39 percent in 1992, remained high through 1999 before leveling off. It hovered from 40 percent to 50 percent in the 2000s and topped 60 percent again when she joined President Obama’s cabinet.

Shawn J. Parry-Giles, a communications professor at the University of Maryland, explained in her 2014 book about the role of gender in American politics that Mrs. Clinton was seen as more sympathetic and authentic as she endured the fallout from her husband’s affair.

“As she showed a clear sense of marital fortitude by staying with her cheating husband, her poll numbers would rise,” Ms. Parry-Giles wrote. “As the scorned and sad woman attracting sympathy from others, Clinton would more closely resemble the traditional ideals of authentic womanhood.”

Nearly 20 years later, Mr. Trump is betting that voters will view Mr. Clinton’s history as a liability as the couple seeks to return to the White House.

“She’s got a major problem that happens to be right in her own house,” Mr. Trump said at a rally on Wednesday. “We’ll go after the ex-president. It’ll come out well for us.”

Historically, however, that has not been the case.
Hillary said that ISIS was showing videos (plural) of Trump as recruitment tools, not that they had produced a video starring Herr Trumpf. Now that everyone has seen the video al-Shabaab posted on their website, Trump is, as he always does, doubled down on his silliness. First his campaign claimed Hillary paid al-Shabaab to make a video and this morning he posted another elementary school level tweet worthy of the insult dog comedian candidate:

It's almost as if everything Trumpf has done since he first got into the race has helped Hillary Clinton, not just in eviscerating the candidates who were perceived as her most formidable potential rivals and not just alienating women, minorities and sane people from the Republican brand, but even helping her strengthen an image the Republican Party has spent decades and tens of millions of dollars trying to tarnish. Amazing coincidence, isn't it?

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