Time for Hillary to trash Trump. He’s there for the taking

by Samuel Dale

So it’s Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.

The question now is how can Hillary beat the absurdist rise of the Donald?

The answer is simple: attack him, attack him hard and do it again & again.

Trash his character, his business record, his views on women, his lack of policies, his temperament and his bigotry and racism. Earlier today, Mitt Romney of all people showed the way.

Negative campaigning works. It works because the public are more willing to believe the worst in politicians than the best. They will tacitly agree when a politician’s flaws are being highlighted but act like cynics when politicians convey positive messages.

Every successful modern campaign goes negative and stays negative.

Labour did it in 1997 by attacking Tories on the NHS and pensions.

Obama did it in 2008 on Hillary over her support for the Iraq war.

The Tories hit Ed Miliband’s leadership & economic competence for four years to bear the fruits of victory last May. Miliband ran a positive campaign.

Obama went negative again even more successfully against Mitt Romney in 2012.

Romney was attacked remorselessly in negative ads on his business record at Bain Capital, the private equity manager.

Bain was the avaricious asset-stripper, taking over firms, sacking staff and selling on for millions in profit. Romney was Bain’s high priest of ugly capitalism. The heartless corporate raider who didn’t give a jot about the American middle class.

Once the image was set in early 2012 then it was impossible to shake off.

This should be the model for fighting Trump.

Hillary can be as positive as she likes in her own speeches but she must ready a sophisticated and brutal negative campaign through ads and surrogates.

The most successful anti-Romney ad of 2012 was the Stage. This showed workers at a Bain Capital owned company asked to build a large wooden stage one day without explanation.

After working for hours on the construction, the employer took to the stage to announce mass redundancies.

One worker said building the stage was like building his own coffin. Romney was said to have made $100m from the deal.

Clinton needs to have a very similar ad based on any of Trump’s failed business dealings. He’s been a landlord to thousands of people and everyone hates their landlord.

He’s taken billions in investments from ordinary people. Someone has lost everything from his deals.
The Clinton research teams are buzzing with energy to go after Trump’s past. He’s going to be hit hard in ads.

And surrogates can go in hard as outriders on Trump too such as Bill Clinton, Obama and perhaps some prominent moderate Republicans who will- no doubt- back Clinton over Trump.

Some liberals will lose their nerve in the next few months as Clinton hits Trump.

It’s a negating and dispiriting campaign, they’ll moan. They always do.

But the prize is the ability to reshape a nation and put your ideals into practice.

If anyone doubts the point of negative campaigns then just look at Obama’s second term.

The Iran and Cuba deals, gay marriage, healthcare reform embedded, his use of the bully pulpit to finally shift opinion on gun control, closing tax loopholes. They’re not just political policies. He has changed the zeitgeist and the soul of America.

If Clinton is elected then she will be standing on the shoulders of the most significant liberal politician since LBJ.

To build on this astonishing legacy of progress, she needs to take out Trump.

The prize is huge positive progress, the path to it is a small and negative campaign. It’s worth it.

Negative campaigning works. Time to hit back at Trump. Let’s go.

Sam Dale is a financial and political journalist

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16 Responses to “Time for Hillary to trash Trump. He’s there for the taking”

  1. Tafia says:

    And to trash Hilary all Trump ghas to say is one word – Bill.

    And don’t be so idiotic to assume she has won the nomination over Sandders just because of Super-Tuesday. At the last one four years ago Obama lost Super Tuesday to Clinton and lost worse to her in Nevada than Sanders has. he went in to win the nomination.

  2. Touchstone says:

    The idea of Donald Trump being allowed within 100 miles of the U.S. nuclear launch codes makes me nauseous. He’s a danger to the whole planet. To any US citizens reading, it is your duty to humanity to vote against him. Not just abstain, to vote for whoever opposes him in the primaries and then (God forbid) the general election.

  3. …the absurdist rise of the Donald.

    I have a feeling that Sam is missing what’s going on around the world, as well as what is happening right here at home.

    We are seeing a worldwide desertion of the political class by the electorate. Hilary is seen as just one of the usual suspects and the perception among many US citizens is she cannot be trusted. It would be hard for the US Democrats to find a worse candidate to put up against Trump. And while Clinton goes negative what does Sam think Trump will be doing?

    Of course it’s absurd that Trump is walking away with the Republican nomination. It’s absurd that Bernie Sanders is giving Hilary problems. It is absurd that Syriza governs Greece. It’s absurd that the Front National is doing so well in France. It’s absurd that UKIP can get five million votes and Sam will tell you it’s absurd that Corbyn became leader of the party last year.

    Thing is Sam you will have to get used to it because there aren’t that many signs that it’s going to change any time soon. I’m afraid for our political class the chickens are coming home to roost.

  4. Forlornehope says:

    And the result of all this negative campaigning is that all politicians are held in complete scorn. I’ve met enough politicians from different parties to know that some are very good people, some are complete (I won’t write it because the post would quite rightly be deleted) and most are somewhere in between. But, the result of the negative blasts is that all, the good, the bad and the in between are held in equal contempt.

  5. Rallan says:

    LOL! Clinton could try. Trump will trash her lack of character, her political track record, her views on immigration, her empty policy promises, her incompetence and her text-book liberalism and self-righteousness.

  6. Can’t they both lose? Yes, they can. Clinton, who is politically no better than Trump, did not concede until June 2008. We are only 25 per cent of the way into this race. 90 per cent of Super Tuesday is in extremely “conservative” states. Feel The Bern.

    Touchstone, I almost wish that Trump would become the President of the United States. Then, we would certainly get rid of Trident. Only the President of the United States can fire it, and no one can stop him from doing so. But at our ever-increasing expense, with no parliamentary authorisation whatever.

  7. Bob says:

    Alll Trunp has to do is remind them that Clinton by her actions has a) comprimised US security when Secretary of State used her own insecure e-mail system dealing with secret documents which is against Federal law (just where are the Feds on this) and b) She was one of the people responsible for getting the Ambassedor to Libya and his security team slaughtered and then complained of feeling ill when she had to appear before Congress.

    Then there is Whitewater anda death in Rock Park Washington.

    This woman is just a big a danger as Trump.

  8. Bob says:

    David Lindsey,

    ‘Touchstone, I almost wish that Trump would become the President of the United States. Then, we would certainly get rid of Trident. Only the President of the United States can fire it, and no one can stop him from doing so. But at our ever-increasing expense, with no parliamentary authorisation whatever.’

    You are talking out of your backside, Trident is fully INDEPENDENT under control of the British PM through the RN CTF 345. Read the book by Hennessey and Jinks about British Submarine operations since 1945. hennessey actually tore the newt fancier Livingstone a new one when he came out with this rubbish on the Daily Politics a couple of weeks ago hosted by Andrew Neil. The last time the USA had any control of nuclaer weapons used by the UK is when the owned them under Project Emily (Thoe IRBMs) and the free fall weapons held for NATO use at RAF Marham. That was in the late 50s and 60s, since then the UK has had and has full control of the use of its weapons.

  9. Mike Homfray says:

    And the effect of all this negativity?

    Plunging turnouts and politics loathed and seen as irrelevant by swathes of people more likely than not to support Labour

  10. Bob Crossley says:

    If it was my choice, Mike, I’d settle for public loathing over Trump anyday.

  11. Tafia says:

    Bob – You are talking out of your backside, Trident is fully INDEPENDENT under control of the British PM through the RN CTF 345.

    The missiles belong to the americans and are rotated through the american pool. The tritium gas that fills the warheads is put in by the americans despite the warheads being ours – they wont function without the gas. The weather data and gravitational field data is inputted by the americans and updated by the americans. Large poarts of the system we are not allowed to dismantle. And I could go on and on and on.

  12. Tafia says:

    “Our independent nuclear deterrent is not independent and doesn’t constitute a deterrent against anybody that we regard as an enemy. It is a waste of money and it is a diversion of funds. But some people have not caught up with this reality.” Michael Portillo, former Conservative Secretary of State for Defence.

    The UK government has always claimed that the warheads are built at Aldermaston since day 1, however that has always been challenged ( by politicians on both sides of the House in fairly high positions such as Secretary of State) who believe the warheads are only put together and maintained at Aldermaston and are really constructed at base level and periodically refurbed in the US – something successive governments have always refused to absolutely confirm or deny on the grounds of ‘national security’. Even the US (much to the annoyance of a certain Tony Blair) admit publicly(despite the UK government denying it) that some non-nuclear cmnponents in the UK warheads are built and maintained by the US.

    The in-flight navigation system which again the Americans publicly and quite openly claim they control, maintain and refurb but the UK government says is ‘mostly’ (but not solely) done in the UK.

    Then there’s the Commons Cross-Party report highlighting that without US co-operation our warheads and missiles would not even work within a matter of months. ( http://tinyurl.com/l5jwuml ).

    Then there’s the US Department of Energy declassified documents where they claim that parts of the warhead are built and refurbed in the US, along with the star guidance system.

    The US position is they have full control over the guidance systems including maintainance and refurbishment programes and the US government insists it has control over certain (non-nuclear) parts of the warhead, again including refurbishment, replacement and upgrading.

    There’s a very good report by the Commons Defence Select Committee from a decade ago where they cross examined all sorts of people from scientists to former navy commanders eventually ruled it wasn’t a fully independent deterrent and challenged the MoD to respond and prove otherwise. To this day the MoD has not responded.

    You most definately do not have an independent nuclear deterrent if you are reliant on other nations for parts of it. The only country on the planet that has nuclear weapons but doesn’t have full control of them is us. Not even Pakistan or India are reliant on other nations.

  13. Madasafish says:

    >Mike Homfray
    Plunging turnouts “

    UK election turnouts have stopped falling since hitting a low in 2001 of 59.4%

    Since then we have had:
    2005 61.4%
    2010 65.1%
    2015 66.1%.

    But as you never let facts worry you….:-)

  14. Mike Homfray says:

    Still way below what they used to be. Always in the 70’s until 2001, and remember that 2015 was boosted by significant increases in Scotland, plus some Tories turning out again for the first time in a while, so take away Scotland and we have flatlined at 65% or below.

    Which really isn’t good enough

  15. bootsy says:

    I have a question-Obama ran under the banner of Hope and Change. Isn’t that what Trump is doing as well? Admittedly, it’s with different policies, but if that slogan worked before then can it not work again? With the added point that as he is not a political insider, Trump may actually mean it on the ‘Change’ part.

  16. DJ says:

    To campaign negatively against Conservatives or Republicans is to wrestle a pig in mud: you both end up dirtied and the pig is more experienced and finds it more enjoyable.

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