So Hilliary Clinton’s campaign theme is Go Bold. I have to say, I think this is a good approach for her. The perception that she needs to shake is that she’s a career politician, unwilling to make, well, bold changes. It’s simple and direct (which makes it hashtag friendly, and we all know how important that is). My hope is that she follows through with this, and speaks boldly about her plans for issues like equal pay and immigration.
So let’s get real. Hillary Clinton isn’t the perfect candidate. But she will most likely be the Democratic nominee and — bonus — she has a vagina. So what is it going to take for her to win the general election? Here are a few things she’ll need to do differently this time around.
Try Not To Count Chickens Before They Hatch
This was perhaps Clinton’s most obvious mistake in 2008. And just like last time, her victory in the upcoming primaries is being touted as inevitable. Assuming that she had the nomination in the bag led to a perceived (rightly or wrongly) air of arrogance and laziness that a lot of voters picked up on, so they weren’t hesitant to switch course with Obama threw his hat into the ring.
Separate Herself From "Old Ways"
Sometimes, the Clintons remind me of Lois Griffin’s parents, laughing it up with their chums at the country club. They’re seen as a political dynasty. But, like Beca tries to teach the Bellas in Pitch Perfect, trying new things is important. Obama, for example, took everyone by surprise by raising significant amounts of money online and through social media. Clinton will need to separate herself to some degree from the old guard, both in terms of tactics and perception. Many voters view her as coming from old money, as it were, and that’s something she’ll have to change.
Maybe Don’t Trot Bill Out Quite So Much
Bill Clinton is great in a lot of ways. But remember his unexpected antics during Hillary’s last campaign? It could be a good idea to keep the spitfire hubby a little more in the background this time. Plus, relying too heavily on his appeal can make it seem like she doesn’t have the gravitas to win the election on her own.
One of the albatrosses hanging around the necks of the Clintons is that they’re supposedly covering up shady dealings. This goes all the way back to Whitewater, and can be seen most recently in the controversy surrounding Hillary’s decision to use her private email for work related correspondences while serving as secretary of state. Whether she actually did anything terribly wrong is up for debate, but the reality is that there are people who think she has a lot of crap she’s trying to sweep under the rug. So she’s going to have to make an effort to come across as genuine and forthcoming (and, one would hope, to actually be those things).
Have A Consistent Message
Obama won in 2008 largely because he never waivered in his message about hope and change, around which he created a consistent persona. Hillary, however, seemed to always be changing her public image and didn’t adopt the persona of a working class warrior until late in the primary season, and by that point, the ship had sailed. This time around, Hillary will need to present herself clearly and consistently from the get to.