Before Trumpmania took over, everyone just presumed the 2016 U.S. election would come down to Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. But that doesn’t seem to be so much of a lock these days. A Donald Trump/Bernie Sanders runoff is certainly not out of the question. And would definitely be more entertaining.
Most Republicans seem intrigued with Trump. Some Democrats on the other hand continue to grasp at the idea of a Hillary Clinton ticket. Not so fast! While Trump courts controversy, he seems to be able to brush it off. Hillary on the other hand doesn’t have that ability. While her husband, Teflon Bill was able to shake off controversy that would take down most mortals, Hillary doesn’t seem to have the same charisma or panache.
The fact of the matter is; politics are all about perception. We see politicians on TV for a few seconds, absorb a sound bite or two, and make up our minds. Very few people really hunker down with the candidates and go over their platforms. Who has time for that?
Will Hillary’s stance on minimum wage hikes, increasing taxes on the wealthy, reducing healthcare costs, a college-affordability program, and tax cuts to the middle-class really make a hardcore Republican suddenly change their mind?
Less is more. Don’t like what Trump says? Move on. Don’t like what Sanders wears? Move on. Love the idea of building a wall along the Canadian border? Walker’s your man!
Don’t like the company Hillary keeps? Keep moving. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I think many people are. We all judge people by the company they keep. During U.S. election season, this is even more pronounced.
This is why I can’t quite understand why Hillary would decide to keep Huma Abedin as her aide. Hillary is already struggling with being perceived as out-of-touch with the average American and wouldn’t know the price of a loaf of bread. It’s like Hillary wants to give her opponents even more ammunition.
Case in point, Clinton’s email controversy has been front and center in this long, drawn out campaign. And Trump has jumped all over it. As any good politician would. All’s fair in love and war.
In early August, while being a host on The Hugh Hewitt Show, Trump said Hillary put all Americans in danger when she used her private e-mail server to send and conduct official business during her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State. (Source: hughhewitt.com, April 3, 2015.)
The e-mail server was also used by her long-time right-hand woman/aide Huma Abedin. And, as Trump pointed out, her husband is, “one of the sleaziest guys in the world, Anthony Weiner.”
Trump also called Mr. Weiner a “perv” and implied that Ms. Abedin, who had access to very private, sensitive information and, as spouses do, could have shared with him what were in those exchanges.
Not only does he work in a PR firm, he was also involved in two sexting scandals. The first one, Weinergate, led to his resignation as a congressman in 2011. His second sexting scandal occurred a little while later during his failed attempt as a candidate for mayor of New York City. That time, it involved three women.
Now, just because Huma stood by her husband, doesn’t make her a bad person. But those looking in from the outside, i.e. American voters, will question why Hillary would want to be associated with someone who is attached to a huge scandal. After all, just the sniff of impropriety is enough to send voters running.
Speaking of which, Ronald Kessler, the author of The Secrets of the FBI and The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents, alleges that members of the Secret Service detested Huma Abedin because she treated them like dirt, tried to force her way past them without ID, and expected them to carry her luggage. (Source: dailymail.co.uk, August 20, 2015.)
Whether you think his comments are valid or outrageous, the fact of the matter is that what he says will stick with American voters. What will also stick is the fact that Hillary isn’t quick enough with her words to respond fiercely. Sometimes, silence is the best defence, but not when you’re running for President. You end up looking weak.
It’s not as if Donald Trump doesn’t have skeletons in the closet. He does. But what Donald Trump can lay claim to, that Hillary Clinton and all of the other Presidential hopefuls can’t, is an ability to defend himself no matter what, fight back, and take no prisoners.