Democrats slap Trump with a nickname: Dangerous Donald.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) May 5, 2016
That name is popping up over and over in conversations with top Dem operatives.
“Dangerous Donald.” Democrats are going with “Dangerous Donald.” Did they try testing “Sexy Donald” first? “Leather Jacket Donald”?But maybe we're not on dick-swinging, dominance-challenge-issuing turf anymore. We're not in the world of the East Coast media/government/finance axis, where Pareene and Gawker reside, and we're not in the Republican primaries anymore. So maybe the rules are different.
... the first official Clinton campaign statement on Donald Trump the presumptive presidential nominee ... contains most of the hallmarks of Clinton messaging. See, for example, how the Bush-esque “keep our nation safe in a dangerous world” comes before the boilerplate “working families” language. Then comes the first iteration of their main anti-Trump line: “With so much at stake, Donald Trump is simply too big of a risk.”
The problem with that line of argument is that it’s Donald Trump’s argument for his candidacy: Conventional politicians and conventional politics haven’t worked -- so take a gamble on the ultimate outsider. “Donald Trump is simply too big of a risk” is practically daring people to give him a shot. He might pay off!
Since then, Clinton has repeatedly referred to Trump as a “loose cannon” ...
Trump is reckless, unstable, “dangerous.” Clinton is sober and responsible -- a steady hand on the tiller. The safe choice versus the unpredictable renegade who might say or do anything. It’s a good thing Americans aren’t traditionally drawn to unpredictable renegades!
... They’re going to build Trump up as a reckless and virile force of nature -- and a true outsider -- rather than expose him as a pitiful clown and an obvious fraud. This is completely backwards. As any writer who’s ever received an angry personal response from Trump can tell you, you get under his skin by mocking and emasculating him, not by feeding the myth of his power and strength, the precise qualities his authoritarian followers adore.
Plenty of voters don't want danger and risk from their elected officials. I'm guessing that a significant percentage of these people are women -- including the ones who were called "security moms" back in 2004. That year, Democrats were having some difficulties with female voters, and this was regarded as a brilliant ad:
"He's the most powerful man in the world and all he wants to do is make sure I'm safe," says the daughter of a 9/11 victim -- who is seen a few seconds later being hugged by President Bush.
The voters who responded to that ad might be the ones Hillary Clinton is trying to reach. If so, I don't blame her.
I'm reminded of a polling result quoted a few days ago by Digby:
A survey by the Republican analytics firm Evolving Strategies found that anti-Trump messages were far more likely to hit the mark with women than with men. After women viewed one of three ads that questioned Trump’s character, their support for Trump dropped from 52 percent to 44 percent. But the needle didn’t move for men sampled.If you think the general election is going to be fought on the emotional turf where Trump is most comfortable, then what Clinton is doing looks like a failure. But if you think there are voters who don't respond well to boorish machismo, then she might be on to something.