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andym's Journal
andym's Journal
October 1, 2016

Trump has succeeded in making this election all about him:

luckily he is terrible. But it sure would be nice to hear more in the media about how Hillary Clinton will change America for the better. It will help so much after the election to define her mandate. Wonder what her campaign is planning once it becomes clear she has an insurmountable lead after Trump's gaffes?

September 26, 2016

There you go again Jimmy

In 1980 a lot of folks were skeptical about Reagan: besides stating a bunch of ridiculous things on the campaign trail, like trees are the major source of pollution because they produce CO2, he had a set of unachievable policy goals: like balancing the budget by cutting taxes (voodoo economics). Moreover, he had previously stated he wanted to do away with Medicare etc. He was also a very vocal opponent of the Soviet Union, some suggested he might start WWIII.

In the one and only debate, a few days from the election, Jimmy Carter who was highly unpopular at the time running without an overarching campaign theme, attacked Reagan's very public policy proposals, which the affable Reagan dismissed by "There you go again." Reagan's performance lifted enough of the concern over whether Reagan was not an extremist to help him win by a landslide.

Lessons: Negatives are reversible and even a bit of seeming reasonableness goes a long way to help "characters" achieve respectability.

Reagan was positive and optimistic. Carter was pessimistic and realistic with a lot of wonkish policy proposals.

Carter was not bold in his campaign, Reagan was.

September 17, 2016

What Trump's birther comments really meant

Paul Begala Sept 16, 2016

Trump's public remarks:
"Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again. Thank you, thank you very much."

Paul Begala, Democratic strategist, translates Trump's remarks on Obama's birth to what Trump is really saying:

Translation 1 for Trump's base-- uneducated white people:
"My fellow oppressed, aggrieved, angry white folks: I truly do love the poorly-educated. Hillary is a witch, and a weak one at that. She lost to Obama and let that Kenyan Muslim become president. I am the only one who has stood up to the Great Imposter, and I cannot wait to see him moved out of our White House. I will replace his weak-kneed whimpering with a warrior's battle cry. I have to say this crap about Obama's birth because the media wants to crucify me. But watch my eyes: they're blinking in Morse Code: K-E-N-Y-A-N. You get it. It's like a hostage tape. I need you more than ever. We must not allow the coastal elites to replace a weak Kenyan with a weak woman. Thank you, thank you very much."

But Trump is trying to expand beyond his base to college educated white people. For them here is what Trump's speech sounds like
Translation 2-- for educated white people he hopes to trick:
"My fellow well-off, well-educated white people: Hillary is the real racist. She started the birther movement; it's all her fault. I had to say this crap about Obama's birth because I need the racist bumpkins to win. But now I've put an end to it. I'm really one of you. I mean, look at me: I'm standing in the five-star hotel I'm opening in Washington. Those rural rednecks are never setting foot in here, any more than those hillbillies are gonna join Mar-a-Lago. But now that I've got them all jacked up, let me reassure you: I'm no racist. And Hillary is. Bet you didn't know that, but she is. I'm one of you: a country club Republican who doesn't hate black people at all. Thank you, thank you very much."

Begala ends with this:
"Can Trump succeed in this effort to hold his base and expand his appeal? That depends on how gullible folks are. I do not doubt the intelligence of those who are taken in by Trump's con; some of the smartest people in America fell for Bernie Madoff's scam. Trump knows what every con man knows: You can go far in life by simply telling people what they want to hear -- even if it's two completely different things at the same time."
Scary and his analysis is probably right on the money.
September 16, 2016

Yahoo News: Why Clinton's pitch on the economy is (perceived as) so weak

Rick Newman Sep 16, 2016

"If you’ve been half-following the presidential campaign, you know Donald Trump wants to get tough on China, stop US companies from moving overseas, round up illegal aliens, slash taxes and, of course, “make America great again." Trump’s plan doesn’t entirely add up, and even economists in his own Republican Party complain that debt would soar and he could cause a recession. But Trump’s plan is tangible, almost like something you can hold. Voters know what he stands for, what he plans to do and what his vision is (something about making America great again).".....

But he continues that nobody in the Yahoo finance news room could tell him what Hillary Clinton wants to do, except more of the same as President Obama.

"Clinton actually has a far more detailed economic plan than Trump does, with plenty of good ideas. Her website features 18 specific policy proposals on the economy, including more infrastructure spending, debt-free college for underprivileged kids, higher taxes on the wealthy, new fees on banks and fresh ways to boost small businesses.

But her economic agenda is about as exciting as a binder filled with think-tank papers, and if she has an overarching economic vision, she hasn’t communicated it with any zeal whatsoever. Clinton considers herself a champion of the underdog, as she tried to convey during her nominating speech at the Democratic National Convention this summer. But she’s also an elitist who gets paid millions in speaking fees and spends more time hobnobbing with millionaire donors than with ordinary people. If Clinton has a populist bent, it is largely lost in her small-ball economic agenda and her unwillingness to muster conviction."

What does he suggest? Well beyond something that I think is a confused idea on free trade. he says "present a small number of big ideas for making America the world’s most desirable economy (again). She could steal Trump’s good idea about growth: Set a target of 4% annually and declare it a national priority akin to winning a war. And then demand that we change the rules so every talented émigré in the world wants to come to America, and can".

I think focusing on a strong overarching idea is great. That's how Bill Clinton won (the economy, stupid), that's how Obama won although "hope and change" is nebulous, optimism still sells. People want to believe that the person will do great things. Lets hope the Hillary Clinton's team is thinking similar thoughts.
September 16, 2016

Votersí View of a Donald Trump Presidency: Big Risks and Rewards



"Most voters consider Donald J. Trump a risky choice for president, saying he lacks the right temperament and values, but he is seen as more transformative and better at handling the economy than Hillary Clinton, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Mrs. Clinton, despite being as disliked as Mr. Trump, is seen as a safer option. Majorities of voters say she has the temperament for the job and would better handle foreign policy. Only 36 percent of them, however, view her as an agent of change. That perception deeply worries some Clinton campaign advisers, who want the race to hinge on Mr. Trump’s character rather than voters’ desire to upend the status quo." ....
The rewards voters imagine for Trump are fool's gold, but that never stopped the American voter. The tendency to think there is little upside to Hillary Clinton ("rewards&quot is a big problem. When Democrats win it is usually because people believe they bring a large upside: Clinton and the "economy, stupid" and Obama and the potential of "hope and change." The strongest example of a dangerous candidate whose upside won out was Reagan-- he had attacked SS and Medicare, claimed trees were a major source of pollution, but no matter he won in a landslide by promising an economic miracle and optimism.

Hillary Clinton is running on her competence and steadiness-- just like Al Gore and Mike Dukakis. She really needs more, especially with how well she has been painted by the GOP. What is her strongest campaign theme? A better question is what is her overarching campaign theme, besides not being the horrible Donald Trump?

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