During a video conference call with supporters on Wednesday, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ended up putting forth a cringe-worthy, ear-splitting display that could very well go down as 2016’s Dukakis/tank moment.
I’m referring, of course, to that famous 1988 advertisement George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign used against Democratic opponent, Michael Dukakis. You know, the one that sounded off Dukakis’s opposition to several U.S. defense systems, to the backdrop of the Massachusetts governor riding around in a military tank, wearing a ridiculously large helmet.
That spot paid big dividends for Bush, and Clinton’s conference tirade could very well do the same thing for Donald Trump.
In the video-call, after describing several of her political positions (in a tone so inexplicably angry that even Howard Dean might have suggested she calm down), Clinton shouted (with arms flailing), “Now having said all this, Why aren’t I 50 points ahead? you might ask!” She then verbally tore into Trump, managing to appear even more incensed than earlier.
Now, there are of course plenty of videos out there of Donald Trump making angry, seemingly unhinged statements. Clinton’s camp has turned a number of them into campaign ads, in fact, and they’ve been smart to do so. But this is the first one Clinton has offered up that makes her look just about as maniacal as Trump (something people aren’t used to), and she’s not even speaking over a crowd in it.
More importantly is what she actually said. All one has to do is strip out the elitist, entitled-sounding “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?” portion, play it after each item in a narrated list of Clinton/Obama failures, and you’ll have a Trump campaign ad that could actually win him the election.
No, I’m not joking.
Sure, it shouldn’t be as easy as that when we’re talking about the highest office in the land, but in a presidential contest between two terminally unlikable candidates (who change positions like they do clothes), the least likeable of the two is the one who will likely lose.
Up until now, that person has been Trump (by a narrow margin). But there are few things more unpleasant than an indignant display of self-demanding privilege. And such a glaring one like this plays right into the entitlement narrative that Clinton has already been struggling with…for years.
Sure, if the Trump camp goes this route, they’ll have to strip out a bit of the clip’s context. But that’s nothing new, and it’s nothing the Clinton camp hasn’t done. Both sides have played their fair share of dirty pool, and let’s be honest: Dukakis’s contextual intent of taking that tank ride was never to look like a dope.