The best day of the Hillary Clinton campaign

Today was the best day of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Most obviously, Tim Kaine killed it today in Miami, as Hillary Clinton introduced him as her running mate. Kaine hit every note–personal and political–so beautifully. Leavening his political message with an appealing mix of graciousness and humility and a sprinkle of fluent Spanish, Kaine will be a powerful ally. Clinton and Kaine will be stronger together on the campaign trail, particularly in Trump must-win states of Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. Republicans are in even more trouble than they were last week. Trump and Pence are up against Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. Not to mention Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, and many other leaders of a united Democratic Party. That’s an uphill fight for Republicans.

Hillary Clinton has also found her footing with a new slogan Stronger together. It captures succinctly Clinton’s liberal communitarian approach to governing. It provides the perfect counterpoint to Donald Trump’s authoritarian assertion that I alone can fix America’s problems. The crowd on hand to hear Clinton and Kaine today was, itself, the perfect counterpoint to the angry monochromatic audience that met in Cleveland to nominate Donald Trump last week.

Clinton will crush Trump. In part, she will win because she and Senator Kaine are more effective candidates than Trump and Rep. Pence are. But that will not be the main reason she will win. She will win because her party can draw upon the full strength of an inclusive American community. She is standard-bearer for a diverse and inclusive Democratic coalition that is much larger than herself, much larger than Barack Obama or any other single person. The tens of millions of people who comprise constitute* that Democratic coalition are stronger together than their Republican opposition, which weakens itself in its efforts to draw Americans apart.


*The grammar SWAT police noted the importance of this correction.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

24 thoughts on “The best day of the Hillary Clinton campaign”

  1. "Stronger together". Yes, I can see that. What's a good analogy for "stronger together"?

    A bundle of sticks. Yeah, a bundle of sticks is stronger together! Maybe she could use a bundle of sticks as one of her campaign symbols.

    1. Wrong party. It is the helpless who need a strongman. They will acquiesce in a state of dependency on his will. Plus the body language fits much better with Trump than with Clinton. She just cannot do the requisite chin movements worth a damn.

    2. Pretty sure the fasces were used as symbols of the state during all of the phases of the Roman Empire, including the era of the Republic.

  2. The RNC gave the DNC a great gift. Chanting "lock her up, lock her up" gives the Dems a segue for something like this at their convention:

    Keynote speaker: "You know, we Democrats really don't cherish the idea of locking up our political opponents. We cherish their freedom and will fight to defend it. We just don’t want them to be in charge.

    We don’t want Donald Trump to be all cooped up in that tiny little Oval Office. We want to set him free."


    Keynote speaker: "We don’t want him stuck in some boring and tedious meeting with a bunch of senior White House staff morning after morning. We want to set him free."


    Keynote speaker: We don’t want him to have to endure a lot of dull and tiresome briefings on the details of foreign or domestic policy. We want to set him free.


    Might be good TV, and might give the pundits a chance to comment on the bleedin' obvious, not to mention stuffing a sock in the mouths of the "both sides do it" commentators.

    1. I think you should cherish the idea of locking up politicians, whether allies or enemies, who are criminals. Instead of corrupting the DoJ and FBI to clear them. I think politicians should go to jail under exactly the same circumstances that would get Joe Shmoe sent to jail.

      I want an end to, "Too important to prosecute".

      Which really amounts to "Too Democratic to prosecute", anyway…

        1. Can't get to beyond a reasonable doubt if a "D" before your name means tou never get charged. If a jury had acquitted her, fine. The fix being in is not so fine.

      1. Human nature being what it is, it's just way too easy to convince yourself that your political opponents, like, totally deserve to be locked up.

        The founders understood this really well. That's why, for instance, they wrote a definition of Treason right into the constitution that makes it practically impossible to enforce.

        Democracy only works if the consequences of losing an election can be borne. People who lose need to go back to private life. If they instead face prison, or worse, then it's inevitable that we'll choose leaders through violence rather than elections.

        1. Well, you know, that's why we have trial by jury, adversarial process, all that. Who knows, if charged and prosecuted, maybe Hillary would have been acquitted. But we'll never know, because politics decided to short circuit the process, and declare her innocent without a trial, in spite of all the evidence.

          The "lock her up" crowd aren't proposing that she be flung into a hole without a trial, you know. They think there should have been a trial, that the decision not to have one was totally political, and anybody who wasn't Hillary Clinton would have done a perp walk by now. I think they're right.

          Yeah, we don't want politicians put on trial for political decisions on the job. But we don't want to have an aristocracy who get away with crimes everybody else does time for, either. I think we've gone way too far down that road. We've recreated royalty.

          1. You're tallking about the email thing? Really? Anyone but Hillary Clinton would have done time for that lame crap? I think you (to put it as gently as I can) have allowed your Clinton Derangement Syndrome to render your judgment unreliable on this subject. Scooter Libby was actually convicted of felony for far more serious misdeeds than those alleged against Ms. Clinton, and even he didn't do time.

          2. Yes, blast it, anybody else would have done time for it. Unless they had a President protect them, like Libby did, and Hillary did. (And the charges that could have been brought against Hillary dwarfed Libby's.)

            Do you understand why she had a private server? Convenience? That's a joke.

            She had a private server so that she could do exactly what she did: Destroy public records she was legally obligated to preserve and hand over. And why was she so determined to retain the ability to do that, even if she had to break the law to accomplish it? (Comey didn't say she hadn't broken laws, just that he wouldn't recommend prosecuting her for it.)

            The private server was her 18 1/2 minute gap. It was the cover up. But the cover up isn't bigger than the crime to people who don't want to know about the crime, and that's you.

            I think that's why Democrats don't care about the email scandal. Because you're going to support Hillary no matter what, and her destroying evidence makes that easier. The less you know about what she might have done, the easier it is to pretend that she became wealthy honestly. That people paid her a quarter million dollars to hear the sound of her voice, that foreign governments donated funds to her foundation because she's just that great.

            You don't care about the cover up, because you don't want to know what she was covering up.

          3. Now it's a cover-up, but only Brett knows that.

            You know what, Brett? The Bush administration was loaded with criminals, who did a lot worse than use a private email server. They got way with it. So stop the crap about a (D) after your name. And recognize that it was Comey, obviously not a fan of HRC, who said no one had been prosecuted for what Hillary did, and no responsible prosecutor would bring charges.

            Of course you know better, because your third cousin told you his next-door neighbor knew a guy…

          4. Can you read, or you just lying? That's disapproval of Comey's decision, not belief that she's covering up something nefarious, nor is it a belief that Comey's statement of the facts about the absence of past prosecutions is false.

            Alas for you, Brett.

          5. Comey's decision not to recommend she be prosecuted. How you can spin most people thinking she should have been prosecuted as somehow not reflecting their opinion of whether Hillary is guilty of something is beyond me. You think there's a substantial block of people who thought she should have been put on trial in the middle of campaigning for President just for yucks?

  3. I was originally disappointed by the choice (much as I was with Biden — back then I thought Pelosi was the money pick — especially since Biden had been so clearly racist when he called Obama "clean and articulate for a black" a couple of years earlier). I thought Julian Castro was her money pick. Much younger, good-looking, charismatic, a great public speaker, and if Trump is losing the Latino vote 93-7, or something like that, the most lopsided in history, then getting them motivated to show up to the polls is at a premium. Plus, it would be a "Double-First" ticket.

    Liz Warren, despite the dazzle, would have been the wrong choice. It would completely disempower her, and Massachusetts has a Republican governor, who could appoint the interim Senator, meaning that in the see-saw race for the Senate, a President Clinton might see the scales tip against her. Colorado's HiggledyPiggledy never made any sense to me, except to sure up a few purple states out here, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico. Al Franken might have been a solid pick, to encourage the party's left wing.

    But in the greater scheme of things, and except for his anti-union and pro-TPP stances, Kaine is not a BAD pick. She avoided any landmines. That he speaks Spanish will help. He needs some sartorial consulting, or else he's been ordered to look like a schlub. But he's not bad. He will outshine Pence at any Veep debates. And as Mr. Pollack suggests, it displays two grown-ups in the room, rather than one petulant teen having a terrible twos tantrum and his senile friend who doesn't like black people either.

    1. How many "anti-union" politicians get a 94% rating from the AFL-CIO and an enthusiastic endorsement from Richard Trumka? There seem to be a lot of progressives determined to find fault with Kaine, making things up if they have to.

      As for Castro, whatever chance he had blew up when he was cited for violating the Hatch Act the same week as the decision was being made. The specific violation was very marginal (he explicitly endorsed Clinton in response to a journalist's question) and will be forgotten in six months, but the timing made it impossible to choose him had Clinton wanted to.

  4. Good point, re Castro, I must have missed that day's news cycle, but it was foolish of him.…. The AFL-CIO leadership these days would give a thumbs-up to Lloyd Blankfein, so it hardly says Kaine is anything except not actively trying to shut them down. But right-to-work laws are explicitly anti-union, and Kaine strongly supports them, so yes, he's anti-union, de facto.

    And I'm not a progressive. Progressives are one-time liberals who gave it all up in favor of lowering their capital gains taxes and getting cheaper DVD players. Progressive means that you have been to a gay wedding and are considering a Prius, not that you'd remotely recognize Leftist political economy or worker solidarity if it bit you on the ass.

  5. Rather than speculate on unproven allegations, let us stick to the facts:

    Trump revoked the press credentials of the Washington Post for its unflattering coverage of him.
    Hillary has not revoked the credentials of Fox News for their unflattering coverage of her.

    This alone should decide the vote of every liberty-loving American. Respecting or not respecting the right to criticize defines these two candidates unequivocally.

    You do not have to be wild about her to see this distinction. You just need to see what is under your nose.

    What they need to make is a bumper sticker that says, "Oh alright, alright, Hillary fer chrissakes!"

    1. I think that a lot of Trump supporters are in favor of liberty for people like themselves. Mexicans? Kick them out. Democrats? Lock them up. Liberty is too valuable to be shared with folks who aren't conservative white males.

      1. I think that a lot of Trump supporters think the US government's job is ensuring the welfare of Americans, and that Mexicans aren't Americans.

    2. I think this is pretty close to the bumper sticker, or rather, set of bumper stickers, you are looking for.

Comments are closed.