“People should and do trust me.” – Hillary Clinton
WELL, THAT didn’t go very well and it wasn’t the media’s fault. Considering even the campaign knew she was paying the price for “corralling” the press Hillary Clinton didn’t seem to have a plan for what she wanted to communicate. None of this matters, however, because Democrats love her and want her, and CNN’s Brianna Keilar interview won’t change anything. But new media and cable are loving that Hillary finally did an interview and the reviews aren’t worth the access she offered.
Her performance didn’t do anything to change perceptions, so why grant the interviews if you’re just going to give evidence for why talking to reporters is something you detest?
Where was Hillary’s humor? Where’s her signature charm? Both of these attributes that are so compelling in private evaporate on camera. She just finished a record breaking fundraising quarter so a little happy warrior would have gone a long way and a perfect opportunity came at the top of Brianna Keilar’s questions.
Of course, the first questions about Bernie Sanders were annoying, because potential voters don’t learn anything about how Clinton’s policies will impact their lives. However, team Clinton had to know she’d be asked and her answer was stingy. It was a really simple task. Here’s how it’s done.
“Senator Sanders is a force, no doubt about it. His crowds are enthusiastic and large because he’s talking about their issues and how he can change their lives. I’ve been doing the same thing for many years, which is why I was elected to the Senate and in 2008 came awfully close to the Democratic nomination.” [a sample of what Clinton could have said]
Edit that sample as needed.
Clinton chose to act like Bernie Sanders doesn’t matter, because she’s running her own campaign and that’s what does. It was not a good moment for her.
What’s obviously getting the most traction is the trust issue questions.
On the broader issue of her trustworthiness, Clinton sought to dismiss recent polls that show a large number of voters saying she’s dishonest. She blamed the “constant barrage of attacks,” which she said had “largely been fomented by, and coming from, the right,” for dragging her numbers down. [The Hill]
It’s a new era and if she’s going to talk about the history of the press barraging her, the right making false cases against her cite a quote, something specific. Use Benghazi and cite the number of investigations that have come up with squat against her, but Republicans keep spending money targeting her. The hint of history’s conspiracies won’t convince anyone new to vote for you.
As for the email controversy, Hillary Clinton knows that if you’re explaining you’re losing and she lost on that subject last night. Try this
“I blew it on that one and now any answer I give sounds convoluted. The truth is that I followed regulations and laws and did nothing wrong, but it just looked bad. I regret it, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.” [a sample of what Clinton could have said]
Beyond that Clinton has to just say there’s nothing else left to say on the matter, because she’s released 50,000 emails, which she did say last night and was a decent answer about people getting a window into her work life.
It’s frustrating, annoying and counterproductive for Hillary Clinton to grant access to reporters, but not convey who she is as a person to people who aren’t her die hard supporters. To have people continually say how warm and convivial she is in private and in small groups, I’ve met her and she is, but then have her show up on TV strained and unable to finesse answers that reveal herself is bad planning by the campaign.
Hillary’s not being Hillary on TV, the warm, charming, brilliant woman who has swayed so many people and garnered so much support. For whatever reason she doesn’t feel like she can be, but the error she’s making is not letting viewers see who she is.
The press has prohibited that trust, no doubt about it.
Right now this is all noise and none of it will impact her strong chances for the Democratic nomination. Over the long haul, however, that’s something else.