This past weekend I volunteered at a Democratic Party phone bank in Florida calling registered Democratic voters. I made around one hundred calls. Many I reached said they are with her but about TEN PERCENT, ALL lifelong Democrats, said they are undecided. When I probed a little the resounding response was why does she lie—and continue to evade being straightforward and honest—about her use of a private email server for classified emails when she was Secretary of State. They truly wanted to vent their disappointment and doubt.
I tried to re-assure them stating that she has apologized, said she made a mistake and it won’t happen again–their response? Why does this keep happening and why can’t she come out with an authentic, from the heart, simple statement?
Well, why can’t she? I don’t know the answer to that question.
Just this past week she muddied the waters again by saying she may have “inadvertently” “short-circuited” her responses to official and unofficial investigations around this email issue. The media zeroed in on the “short-circuited” and omitted the “inadvertently”. This is what the media does and after twenty-five years in public life Hillary should have learned to choose her words more carefully…or if she has a problem talking off the cuff…simply speak truthfully from the heart. (I don’t believe she has a problem fielding questions given her debate performances, but then she’s talking policy and not miring herself deeper and deeper in personal issues. She keeps a shield between herself and her public.)
“Authenticity”, “sincerity” and “missing” are two words I heard repeatedly.
Other phone bank volunteers with me reported the same unease among people they called. We asked the paid organizers to pass this feedback up the chain, and they said they would. Other people have shared with me that at fund raising and other Democratic Party events, this remains the number one troubling concern for previous Democratic voters.
If this is a problematic issue in Florida (critical swing state) and around the country, my ten percent of responders can quickly amount to millions of votes lost for Hillary and hundreds of Democratic Party members “down-ticket” running for office–from the local to national level.
Driving home and thinking about this, I now believe supporters do trust Hillary and her experience and ability to govern but question her inability not to obfuscate.
So, for me it is her perceived lack of humility and grace under pressure that is bothering them at a visceral level. They are looking for an opening to support her whole-heartedly but these niggles remain.
This Monday morning’s election headlines reported that Tim Kaine, Hillary’s running mate for the presidential election on November 8 said over the weekend that Hillary and the campaign are aware of “trust” and “trustworthiness” issues with voters. He also said that when Hillary and he are in the White House there would be “total transparency.”
I am pleased to read and hear this and that his comments are so widely covered by reporters. But there is more that needs to be done. We need to hear this from her!
URGENT MEMO: HILLARY’S TOP CAMPAIGN TEAM
ADD: TO DO LIST FOR HILLARY CLINTON AND HER CAMPAIGN
Produce a simple short ad with Hillary acknowledging that the email issue continues to shadow her campaign. Have her say, while sitting at a kitchen table as she did in the Convention video, all homey and casual and humble, so as to connect with all voters:
“I hear you. I know many of you are still worried about issues of the email server when I was Secretary of State. But that was more the four years ago. I’ve learned my lesson. I made a mistake. I apologize unequivocally to all of you who support us, and our causes. Here is our promise. Tim and I will strive to do our best for you and honor, explicitly, your trust.”
Then post/send this key quote to every social media and other media (print, TV) outlet and Internet tools you have. Share/blast the heck out of it!
I will continue to volunteer for Hillary—this election is too important for us to sit out.
But, it will be excellent if the campaign committee can help her help herself and all of us!
Hope you read this Donna Brazile!!