Donald Trump in a new campaign ad paints Hillary Clinton as unfit to protect the country, using footage of her stumbling into a van when she fell ill at a 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York.As I've listened to all the right-wing chatter about alleged Hillary health crises, I've assumed that Trump base voters see this largely as a question of Clintonian deceit -- they think she's covering up a bad medical history the way they think the Clintons cover up other problems in their lives. Either that or the base is chuckling at the thought that Clinton is progressing toward dementia or some form of physical incapacitation (or both), because it's fun to imagine your enemies helpless and weak.
After listing crises in the world, the spot cuts to footage of Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, falling while walking up stairs, coughing during her 11-hour testimony to the House Benghazi Committee, and stumbling as she was led into her van outside of the 9/11 event.
"Hillary Clinton failed every single time as secretary of State. Now she wants to be president," a narrator says over the footage.
"Hillary Clinton doesn't have the fortitude, strength or stamina to lead in our world. Don’t let her fail us again."
But this ad suggests to me that Trump genuinely connects physical imperfection and imperfection of character. I'm sure the fans will love the ad because it shows Hillary stumbling and coughing, but I'm not sure the fans feel quite this way about Hillary -- they would despise her even if she were so healthy she hadn't needed to see a doctor in years. Whereas Trump -- and this ad really seems to be made to his exact specifications -- clearly believes everything he's saying about stamina being the source of a leader's superiority.
Well, that's in character, isn't it? He believes there's one physical ideal for women and is determined to share the purity of his essence only with those women who meet that ideal; he's repulsed by blacks on the floors of his casinos, and a Mexican-American judge, and Mexicans and Muslims in general; he's spent years in a blind rage at a beauty queen (Hispanic, of course) who gained a few pounds; he regularly touts the physical superiority of his daughter Ivanka (her breast size, her height), as he did on Howard Stern's show in 2006:
"She's actually always been very voluptuous," Trump responds. "She's tall, she's almost 6 feet tall and she's been, she's an amazing beauty."Trump believes in a white, fit master race. Those who stumble and cough are not among the fittest, in his worldview.
I don't expect Clinton to lower herself by producing an ad that focuses on Trump's obesity, or the fact that he sniffled his way through two debates. She'll just content herself with the fact that she's so weak and frail she kicked his ass in both of those debates, and is now about to defeat him at the polls.