Clinton Ready to Lead; Trump Ready to Hit Critics

The next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, taking the stage at the Democratic National Convention, Phialdelphia, PA, 2016.07.28.
The next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, taking the stage at the Democratic National Convention, Phialdelphia, PA, 2016.07.28.

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gave the least impressive speech of those delivered by the Democratic headliners at this week’s Democratic National Convention. As Clinton herself said from the podium, “Through all these years of public service, the ‘service’ part has always come easier than the ‘public’ part.” She’s a lifelong, dedicated, reliable public servant; she just isn’t the audience-connecting public speaker that President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden, her running mate Senator Tim Kaine, or First Lady Michelle Obama is. Even Khizr Khan, Muslim immigrant father of an Army Captain who gave his life for the United States of America in Iraq, though speaking more haltingly, gave a more stirring and memorable speech simply by asking Donald Trump, “Have you even read the United States Constitution?” and pulling a copy from his pocket to offer to the GOP nominee to review liberty and equal protection.

But Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to beat the Obamas or Joe Biden in November. She just needs to sound like the sane, competent, serious leader that America and the free world need. Clinton checks those boxes, while the alternative goes on this bully rant:

Donald Trump, after hearing speeches at the Democratic convention this week, said Thursday he wanted to “hit a number of those speakers so hard, their heads would spin.”

“They’d never recover,” he said.

Trump often uses the term “hit” to mean verbally attack, rather than physical contact.

The Republican nominee zoomed in on one speaker especially, though he didn’t mention his name.

“I was going to hit one guy in particular, a very little guy,” Trump said to laughs at a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa. “I was going to hit this guy so hard his head would spin, he wouldn’t know what the hell happened” [Ashley Killough, “Trump Says He Would Like to ‘Hit’ DNC Speakers Who Disparaged Him,”, 2016.07.28].

Even explainified by CNN’s reproter, Trump proves the brittleness that Clinton said renders him unfit for the Presidency:

Ask yourself:  Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief?  Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign.  He loses his cool at the slightest provocation.  When he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter.  When he’s challenged in a debate.  When he sees a protestor at a rally.  Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.

I can’t put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.

America’s strength doesn’t come from lashing out. Strength relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power. That’s the kind of Commander-in-Chief I pledge to be [Hillary Clinton, speech to Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, PA, 2016.07.28].

Hillary Clinton won’t set me on fire with a speech. She will make a decent President for our country, a noble representative to the world, and an admirable role model for our children. None of those three statements can be applied honestly to her competitor.

38 Responses to Clinton Ready to Lead; Trump Ready to Hit Critics

  1. Darin Larson

    As I stated in another thread as you were releasing this story, I am really proud to be a Democrat this morning with the nomination for president of the first woman by a major party which follows the first black president. The times they are a changin’ and Democrats are at the forefront with some help from our friends like Bernie Sanders.

    And the Republicans have seen their nomination hijacked by a caricature of greed and narcissism who doesn’t even believe in many Republican core values. W was no Rhodes scholar, but he looks like Einstein compared to Trump. Midnight in America indeed.

  2. The little guy that Trump wanted to hit was Michael Bloomberg.

  3. “Hillary Clinton won’t set me on fire with a speech. She will make a decent President for our country…”

    I agree. In a game of this or that, she is definitely the superior candidate. As an aside: for the longest time, I was trying to figure out what her speech style reminded me of, because it’s always grated on me how she will raise and lower her voice but the tone never seems to shift from the same baseline. I figured it out: it reminds me of Will Ferrel’s voice immodulation syndrome character from SNL. Ferrel isn’t that funny, but it’s on point.—jacob-silj/n11463

  4. immodulation—you’ve got something there, Dicta. That term suggests the kind of rote reading that I hear from far less experienced public speakers, folks who struggle to move beyond accurately pronouncing the words on the page and connecting them with the meaning and feeling in their hearts. It doesn’t mean the meaning and feeling aren’t there (think of the Ferrell character talking about how he struggles to express his feelings persuasively); it just means the speaker doesn’t convey it naturally.

    Donald Trump has no problem conveying his meaning and feeling. Unfortunately, he always feels like attacking somebody and means to do nothing more than boost his own ego.

  5. When your feelings resemble that of a pubescent teenager in that you feel the entire planet has slighted you when you don’t get exactly what you want, expressing it ain’t all that tough. Nuance is a lot tougher to vocalize.

  6. Has anyone ever known a bigger bully politician than Trump? If Hillary said the kinds of mean and rude comments that Trump has she would never have gotten as far as she has.
    The more I read about Trump and his ‘business’ deals in NYC the more I dislike. The more he opens his mouth the less I like. I would be willing to vote for him if he wasn’t such an obnoxious person.

  7. There’s the thing, Jenny. If Clinton were up against a real leader with real policies, I’d strongly consider voting for her opponent (as I did in the primary, for Bernie Sanders). But now she’s up against a bully, a jerk, a danger to the nation. My disagreements with Clinton’s policies and triangulation and my critique of her speaking style pale in comparison to my alarm at Trump’s intellectual and moral unfitness to be my leader.

  8. Don Coyote

    Plagiarism seems to be all the rage these days as Hillary uses a supposed quote of Alexis de Tocqueville, “…that America is great — because America is good.” in her acceptance speech.

    Now this quote has been shown not to have been de Tocqueville’s although the words encapsulate the essence of “Democracy in America”. And while many politicians have used this quote throughout the years, it at least has been indirectly attributed as in Eisenhower’s attribution to “a wise philosopher [who] came to this country. . . .”.

    Yet, with Hillary, we get no such indirect attribution so we are left with the impression that those words are her’s alone. At least she could have used the whole quotation, “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”, instead of her truncation.

  9. It occurs to me that Donald Trump has the demeanor of someone who grew up a spoiled rich kid who had everything handed to him and always felt he could treat people like dirt because was better and richer than everybody else. The kind of kid whose parents would send him to a military school because of behavior problems. He’s still that kid.

  10. mike from iowa

    Picayune and squirrels. The things one finds to grouse about. Then again,this might be that one straw that finally gets HRC indicted and convicted of a heinous crime. After thirty plus years of character assassinations, it is about time wingnuts get it right.

  11. Roger Cornelius

    Even before Hillary delivered her speech last night I wondered what the critics and pundits would have to say, who they would they compare her to what they would find to nitpick.
    Hillary is not a Obama style orator, but again who is?
    Bill Clinton, Tim Kaine, and Joe Biden and Michelle Obama were all great, there is not denying that, but they are not an Obama either.
    Each of the keynote speakers played a valuable roll culminating in Hilary’s acceptance speech and did an outstanding job in doing so.
    The critics seemed to be lying in wait ready to pounce and it makes me wonder how much of the content of her speech they may have missed while waiting to find a nibble to castigate her.
    I listened to the content of her address as she compared herself to Trump, and really there is no comparison. Hillary represents what is good, just, and right about our country and articulated it well and Donald Trumps represents just the opposite, Hillary made that clear. If you didn’t hear that, you weren’t listening.

  12. Donald Pay

    And who did Don Coyote crib his hissy fit about a non-plagiaristic statement from? I’d say Breitbart is likely the source. Come clean Coyote, or you are a goatee.

  13. “America is good.” we all believe that. we know we screwed up royally blundering into Iraq and likely Afghanistan. we make huge errors all the time. with vets, with the elderly, with minorities, with education and criminal justice. with those killed in the “drone-sites” of pilots at computer screens at the air force base. but despite that many such and other errors are republican miscalculations to squeeze the budget concerning those less able to defend themselves, we all, even they, believe America is good.

    Hillary is right. She stands for that part of our national action. not obstruction. not denial. not corrupt capitalism in world markets.

    this guy above who is criticizing that observation about America is silly. much of the world looks to America because it is good. on the other hand, unbeknownst to trump, “Putin bears the blame for the disaster [Malaysian 737 with 250 civilian passengers shot down by Russian missile yesterday]disaster, in that he created the setting that made it possible. He contrived the separatist rebellion, and he converted eastern Ukraine into the sort of battlefield where these things happen. That would be the case, even if his men didn’t then directly cause the shoot-down to happen.

    …the significance of the downed aircraft is that it reveals Russia as not merely a supplier but a combatant on the side of the separatists—and thus in violation of Ukrainian sovereignty.

    forbes agrees

  14. After watching both Trump’s speech and Clinton’s speech, I even more see a theme reenforced from their campaigns: Trump wants the title of President; Clinton wants the job of President. Her speech and her campaign has been the strongest when she is the wonkiest.

  15. Roger, I did hear the clear comparison between Clinton and Trump. I just wish she could say it better.

    O sums up nicely their different aspirations, title vs. job. There is no contest. Trump is pretending; Clinton is for real. Trump can’t do the job; Clinton can. Nothing—not my or Coyote’s speech nitpickery, no insults from the Right, no Bernie crybabyism, no rational policy critique—can justify voting for Donald Trump.

  16. Darin Larson

    Cory, I would go even further. Voting for Johnson or Stein or any third party candidate in a battleground state can’t be justified when it risks a Trump presidency.

    Let’s take the Ralph Nader run for president in 2000, for example. And keep in mind that I highly respect Ralph Nader. Unfortunately, Ralph Nader’s run on principle resulted in eight years of W instead of Gore. Think of the differences in policy that resulted from W getting elected, not the least of which was the Iraq war. Certainly our country taking climate change and alternative energy more seriously would also have been a difference. Rehnquist’s successor on the Supreme Court would have been a more centrist or liberal judge. Keep in mind that the Citizen’s United decision was 5-4. With a Gore appointee instead of the John Roberts appointment by W we could have stemmed the tide of big money corrupting our politics. (Gore would admittedly have had to win reelection in 2004).

    Thus, the Nader situation is a demonstration of what voting strictly on principle rather than on policy gets us. Instead of getting 75-90% of Ralph Nader policy with a Gore presidency, Nader voters got probably 0-10% of Nader policy with a W presidency. This makes no sense from a strategic or policy point of view. With all due respect to my friends that voted for Nader, it cost this country heavily.

    As bad as W was for the country, I think Trump would be far worse. And once again the policy differences are similar to the Nader situation. Hillary and Stein probably overlap 75-90%. Trump and Stein probably overlap 10-20%. So a Stein voter wants 100% of Stein’s agenda but their vote takes away from Hillary. Thus, instead of 75-90% of common policy with Stein they get 10-20% of common policy with Trump. The only way that makes sense is on principle or emotion alone. If you are trying to get the best result for the country, it is unsupportable.

    Voting for Stein et al that results in the election of Trump is terribly short sighted and a variation of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  17. Darin, I agree about the likely practical effect of votes for Stein. However, may I insulate Nader voters from blame by saying that if Gore wanted their votes, he should have won them?

  18. Darin Larson

    Cory, the problem is if Gore moved to say 100% Nader policies to win Nader votes he may have lost votes from centrist or Blue Dog Democrats or Independents that lean Republican. Thus, Gore may still lose if he picks up the Nader votes, but loses an equal or larger number from other constituencies. Therefore, the voter has to be the one to evaluate what gets the most “bang” for their vote and adjust accordingly.

    I think this issue is alleviated by rank choice voting, correct? But we wouldn’t have that in a vote for president without a constitutional amendment, correct?

    The bottom line is if public policy is the most important consideration for a voter, they need to evaluate the chances of each candidate to win along with each candidate’s policy statements. Otherwise, we end up with voters voting against their own policy interests.

  19. mike from iowa

    How does one give attribution when no one agrees where the “alleged” plagiarized quote came from?

  20. Conservative voters should write-in Vince McMahon for President. He’s a far more gripping TV personality, and since that’s all it takes to win the conservative vote, why not?

  21. Vince McMahon wouldn’t just talk about punching public leaders who tick him off – he’d just go right out there and do it!

  22. Rank choice voting, Darin? I’m cool with that! And actually, I think we could implement rank choice voting for President state by state, without any Constitutional amendment. States set their own rules for elections. South Dakota could implement rank choice voting to select Electors, and then those Electors could still vote for President in accord with the Constitution.

    I do agree with Darin’s policy analysis in a practical sense: if you want to see progressive policies enacted, then odds are the only way you get that from this year’s Presidential ballot is to vote for Hillary Clinton.

    But wait: Is the voter who would have stayed home if she didn’t have Stein on the ballot really voting for Trump and against a progressive agenda when she votes for Stein?

    And wait again: suppose a Stein voter buys the practical analysis that as long as Stein is at single digits in the polls, a vote for Stein is a wasted vote that could be better used to put Hillary Clinton over the top. What polling threshold must Stein cross for the Stein voter to feel she’s not wasting her vote? What magic number must Stein reach the day before the election (and in which poll/polls, not just Stein internals or Fox News agitprop) that a Green/Bernie/progressive voter can vote for Stein with a clean conscience? Must Stein be within the margin of error of Clinton? Must Stein be ahead of Clinton? Must Stein be ahead of Trump? Or can Stein still be in single digits but Clinton so far ahead of Trump that a few more Stein votes won’t endanger Clinton’s victory?

  23. I am bothered by the concept of Stein staying in the race after it becomes clear that she will loose miserably.

    In 2000, Nader brought a lifetime of experience and reputation to the Green Party ticket. I knew what he stood for the day he announced he was running. Unfortunately, Stein is sort of a no namer. Not many really know who she really is. If she plays spoiler in 2016, I will never see the Green Party the same ever again.

    If you want to change the system, ya gotta do it from the inside out – like Bernie did – find the political party closest to you, and get involved to bend it even closer to your preference.

    If America is ever to be saved, it’s not going to be a rednecks with guns travel from far and wide and take over the Capitol sort of revolution, it’ll be one where people get involved in the system to make it better meet the needs of the people. – like our Founding Fathers envisioned.

    Jill Stein is too far removed from the system to effectively change it, just like gun nut ‘revolutionaries.’

  24. Bernie for DNC Chairman!

    Let’s do it!!!!

  25. Darin Larson

    Adam, I really agree with what you said here: “If you want to change the system, ya gotta do it from the inside out – like Bernie did – find the political party closest to you, and get involved to bend it even closer to your preference.” This is basically what I have been saying with regard to Bernie for a long time.

    Cory asked: “What polling threshold must Stein cross for the Stein voter to feel she’s not wasting her vote? What magic number must Stein reach the day before the election (and in which poll/polls, not just Stein internals or Fox News agitprop) that a Green/Bernie/progressive voter can vote for Stein with a clean conscience?

    Cory, we don’t need to theorize where these lines are that would allow a Stein voter to not waste their vote. In this election cycle, Stein will not be in the conversation to win any state electoral votes or even challenge Clinton in red states. In non-swing states, Stein voters can feel good about their idealism and vote Stein. In swing states, Stein voters need to consider that their vote for Stein actually undermines their own policy goals.

    Furthermore, it is not just one election that is at stake here. The appointment of two justices by Trump rather than Clinton could undermine progressive policies for a generation. I think this is the one thing that makes Republicans willing to hold their nose and vote Trump. They will take their chances with his craziness and dangerous off the top of his head policies if they can get him to appoint conservative justices. In other words, they are playing the long game, even if in the short term Trump damages the GOP.

  26. mike from iowa

    if memory serves, Nader was well aware he would take votes away from Gore and it didn’t bother him in the least. You have seen the results and the damage done. I hope we don’t have a repeat performance and get stuck with a pathological liar with little fingers.

  27. Darin Larson

    Speaking of Trump hitting his critics, The Mouth, as I’m nicknaming him, went off on the Khan’s today. The Khan’s are the immigrant couple whose son was a Captain in the US Army and who gave his life to save a whole group of his fellow soldiers in Iraq.

    From MSN:
    “With Ghazala by his side on the convention stage last week, Khizr Khan blasted Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims and immigrants. Pulling his pocket version of the Constitution from his jacket, he questioned whether Trump has read the document.

    “You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” Khan said in a halting and forceful voice.

    In the ABC interview, Trump pointed to the sacrifices he has made as a businessman: “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs,” Trump said.”

    The Mouth also suggested that the speech by Khan was scripted by the Clinton camp and questioned why Mrs. Khan didn’t speak. Mrs. Khan responded to The Mouth’s statement saying (what everyone with a brain could guess) that she was still too emotional about her son’s death to speak.

    To review: Mr. Khan: “you have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

    The Mouth: “not true, I work very, very hard and a couple of times I have had to sacrifice someone because my new girlfriend did not like the woman I was married to at the time.” *******

    *******not actual quote. Totally made up, but he could have just have easily said it.

  28. Ralph Nader has always been a very passionate, intelligent, and philanthropic man. The only gosh darn thing he ever did wrong in his whole life was fail to back out of the 2000 race before election day and endorse Al Gore. Jill Stein could only embody a tiny fraction of the awesomeness Nader was – his whole life.

    Gore was a pretty stiff soft spoken guy – not much charisma nor punchy with words. Nader was essentially Bernie Sanders version 1 on the issues. In 2000, I was ready for [sort of needed] more passion on the issues closest to my heart, but I agreed with Gore AND Nader on everything they stood for.

    I hope to God if Gore was more like Hillary I’d have voted for him. I pray that the lesson I learned by living through the W Admin was not one that can only be learned through intimate personal experience. I think it comes naturally to Nader voters to feel a serious obligation to get informed about Stein’s issues and talk with her supporters about their very personal experience. If you loved Nader in 2000, then you paid close attention and hated the W Admin more than a run of the mill Democrat – I assure you all.

  29. am pretty sure gore was show in the crowd in philly thurs night.

    can you imagine the state of the nation and the world if gore had won? followed by Obama and now Hillary. I think we’d be in paradise, we’d have health care, higher ed, and an economy that works for all. and SD might not have the 3 stooges. one can dream.

    oh, uh, they played the short game w/ bush, too. they knew he was unqualified so they had cheney to fall back on. the single greatest mistake in the history of this nation.

  30. Darin Larson

    Trump sacrifices:

    -staying in a three star hotel
    -allowing his daughter to date other people (“Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father . . . ”)
    -once had to stand uncomfortably close to minorities for like two hours (at the Republican debate)
    -American workers by making all of his clothing outside of the USA
    -Had to eat a taco bowl to prove I love Hispanics
    -trading in his wives every 10 years for a newer model instead of every 5 years
    -took on lackluster VP nominee to free Indiana of terrible governor

  31. Darin, you avoided my question! Even if we’re pretty sure Stein isn’t going to cross that threshold, I’d like to know what that threshold is. To tell supporters at from the get-go that they’re never going to cross that threshold would be like going back to June 2015 and telling Bernie Sanders that since he’s never going to cross that threshold, he shouldn’t run and instead should let Clinton run unchallenged. There are really good when and how much questions to answer, and maybe now in the hypothetical is a better time to answer them, separate from the partisan passions stirred by Clinton and Stein. I refer back to my questions above and add new ones:

    When is a latest that a third-party candidate should be allowed to enter a race to challenge an unsatisfactory major-party nominee? What’s the longest shot a potential third-party candidate can have to justify jumping into the race to upset a major-party favorite? Under what conditions does even entering the race make one an evil spoiler rather than a brave underdog offering voters a reasonable choice?

  32. Darin Larson

    Cory, what I was intending to convey is that Stein and the other 3rd party candidates are polling no where near relevance except as spoilers. At this point, there is no chance of them being relevant except as spoilers.

    Not only are they not relevant on a state by state basis, they are even less relevant on a national basis.

    If they are not relevant on a national basis, should they undermine their own policy goals by voting their ideal candidate over the candidate with the best chance of implementing the highest percentage of their policy goals. As a math equation, might that be chance of being elected times percent of policy agreement?

    Bernie Sanders was relevant on policy because he became part of the Democrats and worked within the system to effect change and those efforts by him and his supporters continue.

    My answer to your question is: Until a third party candidate is within striking distance of one of the major party candidates, say 10-20 points at this stage of the race, why waste your vote?

  33. Darin Larson

    Seeing your other questions: I am not suggesting that third party candidates not run for office. I am suggesting that voters make the decision when they vote who has a realistic chance of winning the election along with the highest percentage of policy agreements with their own. That decision can wait until election day.

  34. “That decision can wait until election day”—that’s a key statement, Darin. If it’s up to voters to decide, and if you’re saying they can wait until election day to decide, then Adam’s statement that Nader did wrong to stay in the race until the end instead of endorsing Gore seems to lose moral force. Stein has no obligation to stay out of the race. The moral responsibility for spoilerdom falls upon the voters.

  35. Clinton haters take at face value every charge Republicans have ever hurled at her, as well as dark accusations that circulate online.

    They have the most invidious possible explanation for Whitewater, the dubious real estate deal that served as a pretext for endless Republican investigations of the Clintons in the 1990s. (Clinton was never found guilty of any wrongdoing, though one of her business partners, James McDougal, went to prison for fraud in a related case.)

    Sometimes they believe that Clinton murdered her former law partner, Vince Foster, who committed suicide in 1993.

    They hold her responsible for the deadly attack on the American outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

    Peter Schweizer’s new book Clinton Cash has convinced them that there was a corrupt nexus between Clinton’s State Department, various foreign governments, and the Clinton family’s foundation. Most of Schweizer’s allegations have either been disproven or shown to be unsubstantiated, but that hasn’t stopped Trump from invoking them repeatedly.

    Americans tend not to like ambitious women with loud voices. As Rebecca Traister wrote in her recent New York magazine profile of Clinton, “It’s worth asking to what degree charisma, as we have defined it, is a masculine trait. Can a woman appeal to the country in the same way we are used to men doing it?”

    Marianne Cooper, a sociologist at Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research and the lead researcher on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, says that women who are successful in areas that are culturally coded as male are typically seen as “abrasive, conniving, not trustworthy, and selfish.”

    What’s happening to Clinton, says Cooper, “happens to a lot of women. There are millions of people who will say about another woman: She’s really good at her job, I just don’t like her. They think they’re making an objective evaluation, but when we look at the broader analysis, there is a pattern to the bias.”

    Among hardcore Trump supporters, the misogyny often isn’t subtle. The Republican National Convention seethed with a visceral, highly personalized, and highly sexualized contempt toward Clinton.

    slate july24, 2016

  36. HRC says she opposes TPP. Obama still forcefully for TPP. What will happen, and why? I cynically remember the quote that “The Clintons, in one way or another, have always been testament to the value of flexibility in politics.”

    That flexibility has always screwed the American people over in the past. I sure hope they are over that now! LOL! :)