Gary Pearce: Confusion reigns supreme in politics

Published 10:02 am Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Gary Pearce

Talking About Politics

Nobody who does politics knows what’s up with politics now.

Republicans can’t explain why Trump is winning. Democrats can’t explain why Clinton isn’t winning.

Ask candidates, consultants, commentators and the media crowd for explanations, and they all mumble, fumble and stumble.

A month ago, everybody thought Republicans were headed for a deadlocked convention and Democrats were headed for a coronation.

But now Republicans are uniting behind Trump, casting aside their doubts about his real principles as he rises in the polls. (Polls obviously trump their principles, as it were.)

It’s the Democrats who are split, dreading a convention battle, worrying about Sanders voters voting Libertarian in the fall and fretting about Clinton’s inability to shed Bernie, the email controversy and all her other baggage.

(By the way, if you want to read a powerful story about how real people see politics, check out The New York Times article “Feeling Let Down and Left Behind, With Little Hope for Better,” which focuses on Wilkes County, N.C. Especially this quote about Trump voters: “You’re talking to people who haven’t won in 30 years, and now somebody is telling them they’re going to win again.”)

Things looks brighter for Democrats in North Carolina, thanks to the HB2 wound that Republicans inflicted on themselves. But Democrats know how the presidential race can shape every race.

Here’s my advice: …  It’s summer now. We’ve got things besides politics to think about. The conventions are coming. Running mates will be picked. The campaign will come into clearer focus around Labor Day.

And here’s some unsolicited advice for Hillary Clinton: Solve all your problems, and make Elizabeth Warren your VP. You’ll win back the Sandersnistas. You’ll make everybody take a fresh look at you. And you’ll double down on the “woman card.”

You can say, “The men in Washington screwed up this country so bad it’ll take TWO women to fix the mess.”

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Here are two more simple arguments for Hillary Clinton.

The first comes … from former Senator Bob Kerrey:

“The Clintons did a good job on the economy the last time they were in the White House. I have every reason to think they will again.”

The second is from a big Republican giver, Michael K. Vlock of Connecticut, who says of Donald Trump:

“He’s an ignorant, amoral, dishonest and manipulative, misogynistic, philandering, hyper-litigious, isolationist, protectionist blowhard.”

Well said.

Gary Pearce is a Democratic strategist based in Raleigh. These posts are from his blog, Talking About Politics.