Hillary’s Aunt A Problem

It may be that every family has an aunt or a sister or some other Type A female relation whom everyone respects and yet dreads at the same time. In my case, I have two different aunts like this, so I’ll call my composite of them Aunt A.

Aunt A, I am certain, means to come across as nice. Even so, my mother would desperately clean the house in preparation for any visit, and even with all this effort, Aunt A would still be able to passively but distinctly point out some fault. She thinks she’s helping when she does this. It does not occur to her that people can actually be happy with lower standards.

I do not know Hillary Clinton personally, but her public persona is just this: Aunt A. “Would you be interested in knowing how I get tablecloths like this to be actually clean?”*

No, we don’t give a shit. That tablecloth has not been used since the last time you were here. We actually eat on the couch while watching TV, and would be doing so now, except we’re being polite. Thus we have to listen, politely, while  Hillary  Aunt A patiently explains how you can’t just launder tablecloths as if they were bath towels. Because she thinks she’s helping.

And that – right there –  is why HRC can’t climb above 50%.

If Aunt A – either one of them – is one of the six people who read this, she might well be mortified. And while I am less bothered by this than she might hope, that’s not my intent.  I have great respect for both of them. They are both accomplished in their fields, and actually seem to be good at anything they attempt. They’ve both held local elected offices, and they are both active in their churches. I’d be comfortable with either one of them in a position of administrative responsibility, and I am even certain they are totally right about laundering tablecloths.

But everyone who sees it that way, including, I am nearly certain, both Aunt A’s, are going to vote for Hillary anyway.  We vote for the candidate we believe has the best chance at a successful administration. This cohort, added to hardened, partisan Democrats, gets you to about 40%.

And all of this cohort – so we’re clear – have already realized what a ridiculous menace Donald Trump represents. While we can well imagine how easy and fun it is to produce ad after ad damning the Trumpster with his own ignorant outbursts, surely we have squeezed all the juice that this turnip will give. Trump is not an unknown quantity, and his negatives were catastrophically low to begin with. He’s not Hillary’s problem.

What seems to baffle team Hillary is the fact that at least 40% of the country does not seem to care what DJT says or does. They are going to vote for him because he is not Hillary Clinton. Some of these folks won’t vote for Clinton because she’s a Clinton. Even more won’t vote for her because she’s a Democrat. But most of them, or at least a plurality, will not vote for her because of the pronoun “her”.

Not all of them will admit this. They have plenty of other excuses: guns, taxes, immigration, Obamacare, etc. – and there’s no profit in trying to call them out on it. History speaks to this more clearly than polls.

The right to vote was extended to all males, even, at least in theory, black ones, by 1865. Women didn’t have the right to vote in the US until 1920. We are, historically, more sexist than we are racist, and we are a country built by slavery and expanded upon by genocide.

Hillary Clinton is not going to overcome that, or even whittle away at that, by pointing out the absurd antics of her opponent. That 40% is lost to her.

So she’s left with that 20% (really less than that) in the middle, none of whom appreciate her advice on cleaning table linens – especially when it’s obviously wrong.

By table linens I mean e-mails. Yes. That’s right.

This has nothing to do with the Republican talking points about this otherwise paltry scandal. Conflating it with corruption and treason only works with people who will never vote for Her anyway. It gives them some other reason. None of which actually moves the needle.

Hillary can’t just refute the Republican talking points on this (again, both easy and fun) and then go back into her hotel room and think she’s helping because that’s not her actual problem.

Her trouble is that a big portion of that 10-20% up for grabs handle email in a professionally sensitive environment, and would have been disciplined or fired if they had run company e-mail through their private account – and from there let it slip out into public domain.

Now, that’s a gross oversimplification of what actually happened – partially made necessary because no one really knows what happened – but that is the common perception, and therefore absolutely the Problem.

This, of course, feeds into the accusations of dishonesty and corruption that still swarm around her. And the clear fact that Trump is far worse on both traits doesn’t matter, because these accusations are coming from her left; because the DNC e-mail scandal has now made a pattern.

Hillary Clinton is not an inspiring speaker. She has plenty of policy ideas, but she can’t reliably articulate Vision the way Bill or the current President could. This was a large part of how she lost in 2008.  She’s running on competence and competence alone. Aunt A for president.

But these unforced errors with emails make her seem like Aunt B, who you can also find in my family.  Aunt B wants to be Aunt A, but does not have either the discipline or frankly the smarts to pull it off. But she brings plenty of unsolicited judgement, and is correspondingly unpopular. Then, when confronted, she storms out at the first opportunity and stays away for months as if this is some sort of punishment to the rest of us.

When was the last time HRC had a real press conference? Yeah.

Aunt A has a chance to overcome the drag of shameful history. Aunt B, though, is a buzz-saw nag who could lose to a shit-throwing orangutan.

Now we know.

  • The tablecloth thing is an illustrative example. I do not know or care how to properly launder tablecloths as opposed to bath towels.