She doesn’t get it. People think we are in a recession. The low growth fuels anxiety and anger. People want the U.S. political leadership to express that anxiety, but Clinton can’t sound the alarm. She is stuck saying that things are good and that more of the same will make them better. When I see the headlines today with all the bad economic news and then read the warmed-over Democratic platitudes, I think, wow, this is a losing argument in 2016. But then I remember that Trump is our nominee. He isn’t credible, and he isn’t trying to present a coherent economic offer to voters. He can’t take advantage of Clinton’s weak position or the overall economic tailwind that Republicans have on the economy. God, what a disaster.
But maybe all is not lost. As the decoupling of the Trump campaign from the down-ballot GOP candidates intensifies, perhaps Republicans can still offer a clear contrast with Clinton and the Democrats. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is doing his part with his “A Better Way” plan, and individual Republican Senate campaigns and candidates are well-funded and already on a mostly independent track from the Trump campaign.
Trump is once again threatening to stop raising money for the party. But that may not be such a bad thing as that money is used mostly to promote the top of the ticket. There is nothing so far that suggests more exposure for the Trump candidacy would be flattering for other Republican candidates. One can make the case that is better for Trump to be cash-starved and rattling around on his airplane engaged in Twitter rants than it is for him to have serious money to sell his crazed, babbling collage.
Clinton might beat Trump, but she isn’t making a compelling offer to voters who want a president to lead a revival of the U.S. economy.