A Los Angeles Times columnist worries that Donald Trump’s new nickname for Hillary Clinton, “Crooked Hillary,” may stick — and he suggests she respond by committing to campaign finance reform.
The Republican frontrunner all but sealed his party’s presidential nomination last week, when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) dropped out. Clinton must wait until the June 7 California primary to claim a delegate majority in her party.
But the jousting between the two has already begun — and columnist Doyle McManus worries that he may have the advantage.
McManus wrote Wednesday:
… Trump has settled on a label for the likely Democratic nominee: “Crooked Hillary.”
“It works,” he boasted to the New York Times. “It flows.”
The problem for Hillary Clinton is that he may be right.
All campaign long, pollsters have found that many voters — including some Democrats — don’t think she’s principled.
In response, McManus notes, Clinton has been calling Trump a “loose cannon,” which reinforces voters’ concerns about his temperament:
That’s a lot more decorous than “Lyin’ Ted” or “Little Marco.” It’s an above-the-belt jab, not a schoolyard taunt.
But it serves the same purpose: It spotlights Trump’s biggest weakness in most voters’ eyes — his biggest “negative,” to use the political strategists’ term. In Trump’s case, it boils down to: Do you trust this man with the nuclear codes?
In that same Quinnipiac poll of Ohio voters, 63% said they did not think Trump had the temperament to handle an international crisis. (A bare majority, 51%, said they thought Clinton does.) Voters may not trust Clinton, but if they’re afraid of a Trump presidency, it won’t matter.
However, McManus says that Clinton will still need to do more to counter Trump’s suggestion that she is dishonest. He argues that she should make campaign finance reform the centerpiece of her campaign.
Last year, Clinton committed to changing the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in order to achieve campaign finance reform by reversing the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which recognized that corporations (and unions) have free speech and may speak about candidates in elections.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.