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National Journal: Hillary Clinton Needs to Speak to Reporters

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At National Journal, political reporter Josh Kraushaar writes:

“Hillary Clinton is avoiding the media at her own peril.

I say this not as a self-interested political journalist, but as a hard-headed analyst befuddled by her campaign strategy. She’s hoping to emulate President Obama’s coolness to reach out to less-engaged voters, but by avoiding basic questions from the press, she comes across as an entitled celebrity, not a former secretary of State getting due scrutiny for a presidential campaign. Far from being the authentic politician that Obama worked to be, she’s sidestepped crucial questions over where she stands on fast-track trade authority, details on her proposed immigration policy, and a possible nuclear deal with Iran. She’s barely even talked about her central professional accomplishment—over four years representing the country as secretary of State. How is this supposed to win voters over?

The reality is that Clinton‘s avoidance of the press is a product of weakness, not the result of a shrewd campaign bypassing the media because it can. She may be avoiding short-term pain by sticking to her script, but she’s creating an imperial image of herself that’s hard to reverse—and one the media has every incentive to reinforce. If she doesn’t have a credible response to explain her use of a private unsecured email server, Republicans will eagerly fill the void with attack ads casting her in the most unfavorable light possible. Even if voters aren’t following every detail about her conflicts of interest with the Clinton Foundation, the constant unfavorable news coverage is bound to trickle down to voters.”

Read the whole thing.


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