BY JOEL MOSKOWITZ
Hillary Clinton showed the world last night that there is in fact something she’s just not good at, public speaking. Her supporters will argue that it is hard to shine in an ensemble cast of superstars, her detractors will point to her being perhaps the weakest public speaker of the DNC. Listening to her last night I could only imagine the sinking feeling she had in 2008 when an upstart senator with little political experience snatched away a nomination that by all rights she deserved, all because he campaigned in poetry and all she could muster in return was focus group approved sound bites.
Say what you want about this lady but she is the Energizer Bunny on speed. This primary campaign would have unraveled anyone else in her situation. Eight years after blowing a seeming insurmountable lead she faced a charismatic insurgent who energized young people unseen in politics since well, Barack Obama did it in 2008. Her acceptance speech last night was just as historic for her perseverance as it is for her being the first female to head a major party ticket. If Bill Clinton is the Comeback Kid, Hillary is the Comeback Mom and no email controversy can ever take either accomplishment away. Serious students of politics will study her 2016 campaign as a case study for sticking to a game plan and keeping a level head. I supported Bernie in the primary but she makes a grand consolation prize, speech not withstanding. One of the greatest political comebacks in history can be attributed to a woman – you go girl!
Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech on night four of the Democratic National Convention. Full video.
The euphoria and histrionics of last night better give way to reality. There is fear and fatigue in the electorate and the flawless show of political theatre that the DNC was, played only to the already converted. The playbook Hillary and Co. used to beat back Bernie Sanders will not work against an opponent who plays by no rules and appeals to the lowest common denominator. Love may Trump hate but hate gets out the vote.
The Democrat attacks on Trump were benign compared to the chants of “lock her up” at the RNC. To think she can beat this bully by drawing a sharp contrast between their temperaments is a recipe for defeat. Even if you believe as I do, that Trump is not nearly as repugnant as his words, you must know that his mouth has unearthed and empowered the most vile, xenophobic, racist, hate filled bigots in America and they vote.
Hillary should not be elected because she is a woman or because she is the more talented politician. Hillary should win on the issues but can only win by being tougher. She should win because she is a policy wonk with encyclopedic command of the issues, she can only win overcoming negatives no man would have under the same circumstances. She should win because she has far more practical experience, she can only win if she is able to knock out this wild puncher with body blows through all of the rounds.
Political conventions are like big wedding parties; they are over fast and all you have left are the pictures and the videos. After a while no one remembers what was on the menu or how good the music was. All we know now is that they are over. Junkies like me and perhaps you, had something to talk about over the water cooler for the past two weeks. Now it’s prime time. Elections by design are never a sure thing. Rationalists who despise Trump and his rhetoric of exclusion and division beware; he appeals to a good many people in not a few swing states needed to win in November. No one ever won anything being unprepared. Hillary needs to out-Trump, Trump. Here’s to hoping she can.
Joel Moskowitz is a businessman and writer who lives in New York. His blog, The Ranting Heeb is available on blogger.com. He is also a regular blogger for the Times of Israel.