A new report from The New York Times reveals that Hillary Clinton’s debate strategy rests on goading Donald Trump into making a fool of himself on live television.
The Clinton the nation saw in Reno, Nevada — the Clinton who would rather spread fear than debate the issues Trump has raised head-on — is the Clinton the nation will see Sept. 26 when she ascends the stage to make her case for the presidency.
“She is searching for ways to bait him into making blunders.”
The Clinton camp actually seems bent on insulting Trump until he lashes out at Clinton, presumably so they can use it as proof of Trump’s misogyny and ill temperament.
“Hillary Clinton’s advisers are … seeking insights about Mr. Trump’s deepest insecurities as they devise strategies to needle and undermine him in four weeks at the first presidential debate,” The Times reported.
Surely, if Trump’s policies are as racist and damaging as she has been claiming, Clinton — who has a reputation as an excellent debater — could attack those policies and defeat them handily without resorting to personal attacks against Trump.
“Mrs. Clinton, a deeply competitive debater, wants to crush Mr. Trump on live television, but not with an avalanche of policy details; she is searching for ways to bait him into making blunders,” according to The Times. Her “campaign is preparing ways for her to unnerve Mr. Trump and provoke him to rant and rave.”
This suggests the Clinton campaign is scared of an honest and open discussion about the issues of globalization and mass migration — so scared she’d rather ignore them entirely and attack Trump personally. After all, framing opposition to mass migration and globalization as a symptom of “hate” means Clinton would have to discuss those positions in the first place, which is clearly the last thing she wants.
Trying to discredit one’s opponent’s positions by slandering them as racist just doesn’t work the way it used to. In the week following Clinton’s transparently desperate speech in Reno, Nevada — in which she actually tried to paint the Trump campaign and its supporters as part of a global neo-Nazi cabal helmed by Vladimir Putin — Trump’s poll numbers actually went up.
Ultimately, the report suggests, the Clinton campaign’s true logic behind their plan is the desire to rattle Trump and make him explode with anger — before he can do the same to Clinton.
“Mrs. Clinton will not shy away from preparing for the most painful insults, including a possible focus on her husband’s infidelities.” However “some close to Mrs. Clinton expressed concern that any false charges from Mr. Trump could rankle her,” the report states.
MORE NEWS: Americans Are Losing Our Own Backyard
Evidently self-composure in the face of partisan attacks is “a special challenge for Hillary, who is deeply rooted in the fact-based world,” according to adviser Paul Begala. “She might be especially frustrated by a steady stream of invective,” he told The Times.
The Clinton campaign’s key strategy is to make Trump snap before he makes Clinton snap. Her campaign clearly knows he can, and they’re afraid he will. But if Clinton goes after Trump on a personal level, she may find she has overplayed her hand.
Although Trump said in an earlier interview that he would “rather not” attack Clinton for her own personal baggage — i.e. her husband, he did suggest nothing was off the table. “If she hits me, though — you have to see what happens,” Trump said.