The Wrongologist

Geopolitics, Power and Political Economy

How Brexit Informs The Pant Suit’s Strategy

We are told that the Pant Suit is the candidate of the status quo, while the Pant Load is a wild card who will bring about change, possibly change that causes immediate remorse if he is elected. That’s just what the UK is experiencing. After a weekend facing the realities of Brexit, 3.5 million Brits have signed a petition for a do-over vote on “Remain vs. Leave”.

The pundits say Clinton can’t be the candidate of change because she supports President Obama, and the common view is that her first term would be Obama’s third term. But, if Brexit has relevance for the American election, she must avoid appearing to be the candidate of the status quo.

If the Pant Load can make the election about any kind of change vs. more of the same, Clinton will be vulnerable.

She should run against Trump’s fitness to govern, and the fitness of the Republicans in Congress to govern as well. After all, Republican Congressional leaders decided not to govern in January 2009, and so far, they have not paid a political price for their obstructionism. Of course, Mr. Obama tried to run against the do-nothing Congress in 2014, and the result was that the GOP took control of both houses.

Maybe it would be different this time for the Pant Suit.  As Steve Waldman said about this strategy at the WaMo:

But if it could ever work, it’s now.  The most recent Economist/YouGov poll reported a 9% approval for Congress among registered voters. It is literally the most unpopular Congress in the history of polling.  Clinton can make the attack more effectively than Obama, because it won’t sound as much like blame-shifting.

And she could make running against Congress sound like change. She needs to shift some of her focus away from declaring the Pant Load unfit for office. That is, unless he keeps making more mistakes like his inexplicable PR disaster in Scotland.  If he does that, her speeches will write themselves, and he will keep sliding in the polls.

She should run to enact specific things that Congress has blocked – infrastructure spending, ending tax breaks for corporate off-shoring, and universal background checks for gun ownership. But she needs to distance herself from more from Obama on global trade deals. Consider this from the Detroit Free Press:

CNN’s exit poll, which surveyed 1,601 Michigan Democratic voters as they left their precincts Tuesday, showed that 58% of them believed trade with other countries costs jobs, compared to 30% who believe they create them. And among those who believe trade costs jobs, Sanders won by a large margin, 58%-41%.

Michigan is a key state for Clinton, and she needs to build a firewall in a few other states that Obama won in 2012, but where she now has some trouble, if the June 21 Quinnipiac polls for Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are correct. The polls show Clinton with a clear lead in Florida (47%-39%), but locked in ties in Ohio (40%-40%) and Pennsylvania (42%-41%).

She has to keep the Pant Load from winning both Ohio and Pennsylvania, which right now, look to be toss-ups, meaning Trump could win both. Pennsylvania also has a number of swing House districts and an important Senate race, so Clinton must work hard there, even if it were completely in the bag for her. OTOH, PA elected a Democratic governor in the 2014 Republican landslide, and hasn’t gone red in a presidential election since 1988. This, from Booman:

For starters, Obama won in 2012 with 332 Electoral College votes to Mitt Romney’s 206. If we keep everything the same and award Ohio and Pennsylvania to Trump, the result is 294-244.

So, winning Ohio and Pennsylvania would be a start for the Pant Load, but without Florida, it’s hard to get from 244 to the 270 votes needed to win. In fact, without Florida, Trump would have to win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire and Michigan, while losing Iowa in order to garner a 277-261 victory.

It’s a long way to November, and who knows who will win? It’s difficult to believe it will be close, but we lived through two Nixon wins, so electing someone you dislike and distrust is nothing new for America.


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