TAKE NOTE, HILLSCARY: Five Lessons Hillary Can Learn From Trump

trump-clintonForward this to everyone you know. Let Hillary see this; I’m sure she’ll love it. Hopefully this means Trump will have the upper hand on her.

By Niall Stanage

Hillary Clinton took a leaf out of Donald Trump’s book on Thursday, assailing the presumptive GOP nominee in unusually sharp and personal terms in a speech in San Diego.

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But others argue that there are some elements of Trump’s approach that the Democratic front-runner could adapt for her own purposes.

Here are five lessons Clinton could stand to learn from Trump.

Be Less Cautious

Clinton’s proclivity for caution is one of her most deep-seated habits. This cycle, she has had particular problems appealing to young voters, who find little inspiration in her risk-averse approach and boilerplate rhetoric.

No-one could ever accuse Trump of being over-cautious. And his cavalier willingness to roll the dice with incendiary statements and deeply personal attacks upon his rivals was integral to his victory in the Republican primary.

Even Democrats acknowledge that an increased willingness to accept even some degree of risk would serve Clinton well.

Seize the initiative 

Several experts who spoke to The Hill for this story noted that Clinton’s speech skewering Trump last week dominated the news — and that it was rare for the Democratic front-runner to do this with a story of her own making.

Compare that to Trump, whose entire campaign has revolved around his capacity to drive the news cycle. Democrats and Republicans alike suggested Clinton would help herself if she shifted from being reactive to the news to setting the agenda herself.

Engage the agenda

Relations between Clinton and the media have been marked by mutual suspicion for years.

Trump gets plenty of negative coverage, too. But the businessman has been unusually accessible to the media, especially by the standards of a modern presidential candidate. He has learned from his years courting, and clashing with, the New York tabloids, that every media storm keeps his name front and center.

Clinton does not typically fare well at news conferences. One such event, held last summer in a Las Vegas gym, was widely panned. A sarcastic Clinton responded to a question about wiping her private email server by asking, “What? With like a cloth or something?” and finally walked away from the press while giving a frustrated shrug of the shoulders.

Let the mask slip

One of Clinton’s biggest and most long-standing problems has been authenticity — or, as many voters see it, the lack of it. She consistently scores very poorly when poll respondents are asked whether she is honest and trustworthy.

Last September, a New York Times story on how Clinton aides were planning for her to show more spontaneity drew derision even from other Democrats.

Embrace family, warts and all

It’s an understatement to call the political dynamics of the Clinton family complicated.

Former President Bill Clinton’s White House affair with intern Monica Lewinsky will dog him forever. The nature of the couple’s marriage has been dissected in the media throughout their quarter-century at the forefront of national life.

Hillary Clinton also has to execute a delicate dance in reminding voters of her husband’s political achievements while reassuring them that he would not play an outsize role in her White House, if she is elected.

But, at least at a personal level, Clinton’s life is hardly more complicated than the thrice-married Trump, whose love life was a New York media staple for years and who once said, “if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

Yet for all that, Trump’s family — Ivanka in particular — has played an important role in humanizing the rambunctious businessman.

Former President Clinton has been an effective surrogate for his wife this cycle — in contrast to his contentious role in 2008 — but some experts said the couple would benefit from addressing their private life more candidly.


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