Rendell: If you’re ugly, you’re with her
The recent Quinnipiac poll which has Donald Trump essentially tied with Hillary Clinton in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania has Clinton supporters visibly concerned. Florida and Ohio are one thing, but without Pennsylvania the electoral math for for the Democratic Party’s triangulationist candidate becomes very tricky. This was not at all good news, particularly at a time when Clinton has been unable to put rival Bernie Sanders away so that she can “pivot” to the general election, i.e., repudiate all the liberal/left of center economic and foreign affairs positions so that she can run as a hawkish, patron of Goldman Sachs, a persona she is more comfortable with, being closer to whatever is the “real” Hillary Clinton.
The tension created by maintaining the progressive front seems to be causing Team Hillary to make more unforced errors than is usual with the faux pas-prone candidate. For example, forced to campaign against Sanders in West Virginia, a state she otherwise would no more care to be caught dead in than in Arkansas, Clinton was forced to re-live a moment from March where she said she intended to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Her “pivot” on that statement was something less than a pirouette, especially considering that her silver-tongued opponent in the general election will be someone that the New Yorker called an “economic populist.”
Of course Clinton does not intend to fight for West Virginia in the general election, but Pennsylvania is a different story. And on top of a gaffe-prone candidate there is the problem of NAFTA. Blue color workers in Pennsylvania (what’s left) have not forgotten that the candidate for First Gentleman was the President who signed NAFTA. And while Bill Clinton himself exuded, among other things, charisma, the same cannot be said for his wife. In fact, her inability to relate to people outside her narrow circle is so deeply characteristic that she doesn’t even see it. So she tries to work hard at “relating,” only to highlight how out of touch she is. Take her “I’m with her” logo. Evidently the server in her basement has not been in use for some time, since Team Hillary seems to have failed to notice a disturbingly similar, pre-existing internet meme, which probably is not what she was trying to capture with her own. I just hope someone doesn’t not sign her up for a GenuineHillary twitter account. If this thing comes down to social media, they’ll be talking about how the top of the ticket dragged down down-ticket candidates all over the country. And this time the conversation won’t be about Trump.
But fortunately Team Hillary can count on a steady hand in Pennsylvania. After all, former Governor Ed Rendell has long been a Hillary Clinton supporter. Back to her unsuccessful campaign against a candidate that had not completed his first term in a national office. Rendell was interviewed for David Weigel’s Washington Post article today, which paints an even more worrying picture about Trump inroads into the supposed Clinton “firewall” in Pennsylvania, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Steady hand that Rendell is, he was called on to right the rudder:
“Will he [Trump] have some appeal to working-class Dems in Levittown or Bristol? Sure,” said Ed Rendell, the former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor, who won landslides in the suburbs. “For every one he’ll lose 1½ , two Republican women. Trump’s comments like ‘You can’t be a 10 if you’re flat-chested,’ that’ll come back to haunt him. There are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women. People take that stuff personally.”
Hillary Clinton lost the 2008 primaries by relying on old, out-of-touch cronies. But this time, how can anything go wrong?