Hillary Rodham Clinton, the presidential Democratic front-runner, is set to change her poll persona by revealing more of her wit and emotion to the American public in an attempt to enhance spontaneity to her personality which is otherwise perceived as wooden and unduly cautious.
Hillary Clinton had started her presidential campaign almost five months ago, prior to those by Bernie Sanders, Donald J Trump and Vice-President Joseph Biden Jr. Now, with the unexpected rise of Bernie Sanders and the unpleasantness surrounding her use of private email server during her 2009-2013 tenure as Secretary of State, her strategists are looking for ways to change the American public’s perception of Hillary Clinton.
In multiple interviews, her strategists acknowledged the mistakes in the campaign, including the tardiness with which the questions regarding the private email server were answered. They now want to show the personal side of Mrs. Clinton which is hidden behind the distractions and noise surrounding modern-day campaign strategies.
There would be more self-effacing humor in her speeches such as, ‘The hair is real; the color isn’t’. This comment was passed by her recently regarding her blonde hair and strategists think that these kinds of responses are more likely to capture American hearts than the sarcastic tone of wiping the computer off ‘with a cloth’.
Concurrently, her emotional side will be brought to the fore such as the compassion that she showed, to former drug addicts during a school meet in New Hamphsire. To keep fears regarding her failing popularity at bay among the Democrats, she intends to show them that she works best when she shows her readiness for battle. Jennifer Palmieri, communications director said, ‘The true game changer is when there’s a personified component’.
However, earlier attempts to showcase Hillary Clinton’s less wooden side to the voters received a lot of flak that they were too poll-tested to be genuine. Hence, it is unclear whether these efforts will help her regain the lost momentum in the presidential race, especially amidst persistent and unanswered questions being raised with regard to her private email server usage. Additionally, the American public seems captivated by the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. However, this time, the strategists intend to package the change along with news coverage about her email.
Eric Fehrnstrom, Mitt Romney’s former aide and a Republican strategist opined that the energy and force that is actually lifting Donald Trump is working against Hillary Clinton and that is because of authenticity. He added, ‘Experience does not matter to them. What matters is that you appear genuine’.
Although her poll team is confident about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, the recent ABC/Washington Post Poll, revealed that 45% viewed her as favorable and about 53% view her unfavorably. This reflects a drop from the July figures which revealed 52% had a favorable view and 45% a negative view. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, defended this by saying that if ABC polls are to be taken at face value then Democrats’ favorability is better than any Republican’s.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign strategy is also expected to undergo other changes, including hearing directly from her regarding the email server news after a focus group that was convened in New Hampshire voiced this expectation. However, her critics still find her attitude quite grudging, referring to an interview with The Associated Press wherein she claimed that she need not say sorry for using a private email server as the State Department confirmed that it is allowed.
Her ‘Everyday Americans’ slogan also does not seem to resonate with the voters as it is being compared to ‘Everyday low prices’ of Walmart. Although Mrs. Clinton will leverage the joy of her newly born granddaughter during her campaign, she intends to speak more inclusively about building a good future for all of America’s next generation. Her husband and former US president, Bill Clinton, who hitherto had remained outside the campaign trail, is expected to begin travelling across the country to help in fund-raising. His first event is planned in Chicago on September 17.
While some Democrats are voicing their disapproval that her stiff and reserved demeanor might be misaligned to voter expectations, thereby giving undue advantage to Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders, her strategists seem to feel that voter frustration is targeted more at Washington’s indifference to their problems and not against Hillary Clinton.