Desperation automatically makes people less appealing. I witnessed this in college. I married my highschool sweetheart, so as my friends hit the bars, I was content to bear witness to their victories and failures. After a while without a girlfriend or a… short-term companion, the panic would set in. Invariably, the harder my friend tried to woo the fairer sex, the more off-putting he would become.
It’s really no different in politics. The confident candidate is the appealing candidate. For a closer look at what I mean, please see Donald Trump. Like him or hate him, the man has an unyielding confidence that resonates with voters who are looking for somebody, anybody with a “follow me” attitude. As a result his political stock only seems to continue to climb as the GOP establishment teams with the left to knock him down.
Though The Donald may not be desperate, it’s clear that Hillary Clinton is. Her campaign has gone from great to good to bad to… well, pathetic. Nothing says “desperate” like robotically dancing on “Ellen.”
The only thing more desperate? Sharing the family photo album with potential voters to appear more “relatable.”
Hillary has attempted to reinvent her image. However, the effort has been met with widespread mockery as it is painfully and awkwardly forced.
Often appearing as a cackling ice queen, it is undeniable that Hillary has an image problem. As a result, her campaign has announced that they intend to showcase her more likable and “spontaneous” side- a political move analogous to Ford’s unveiling of the Edsel.
Clinton has begun to flood her social media with pictures of herself as a toddler, as a teenager and as a young mother. Her Facebook and Instagram is riddled with old class photos and college pictures and pictures meant to showcase a youthful excitement that appeared to be presence before her permanent scowl took over.
The move is more than a trip down memory lane; it is the desperate gasp of air before the campaign sinks below the waterline.
Since launching her campaign last June, Clinton has flooded the Internet and filled her TV spots with surprising, little-known images of the candidate pulled from old family photo albums, all part of a larger campaign strategy to make Clinton more relatable to voters. The nostalgic pictures are designed to present her as an average person — rather than a global brand — and to neutralize the negative image Clinton can sometimes project as the untrustworthy political insider campaigning in a rich lady’s uniform of bold-colored pantsuits and a helmet of blonde hair…
Clinton’s campaign tried a similar strategy on a significantly smaller scale in 2008, when her ad man at the time, Jimmy Siegel, shot a 30-second television spot titled “Scranton.” The commercial featured gauzy footage of Clinton as a toddler in 1950, running around the working class city where her grandfather worked at a lace mill. “There was no heat or indoor shower,” Clinton narrates in a voiceover, describing her stays at a cabin there every summer, “Just the joy of family.”
The ad ran only in Pennsylvania, a state Clinton won in the 2008 primary. But in general, former aides said, Clinton’s last campaign was resistant to the softer focus, choosing instead to highlight her strength and experience.
This time around, however, the campaign is all in on the nostalgic memes as it tries to humanize a candidate who has stumbled through a difficult summer, with the controversy over her emails reinforcing the most negative stereotypes of the Clintons as paranoid and secretive, playing by their own set of rules. In polls, a majority of voters think Clinton is untrustworthy, and describe her as “dishonest.”
The goal in highlighting the photos, campaign officials said, was to let voters see who Clinton was before 1992, when she entered the national consciousness as first lady, and to reinforce the message that Clinton is one of the world’s “least-known well-known people.”
“The pictures of her early years are important in telling her story, where she came from, the moments that shaped her life,” said Jim Margolis, Clinton’s media adviser and top ad maker. In the television spots, Margolis said, many of the images were chosen because they show a young Clinton at work — fighting for school reform as first lady of Arkansas, or working straight out of law school for the Children’s Defense Fund.
The slideshow of photos in ads, Margolis explained, is to demonstrate that “it’s not just talk, it’s not more promises, but you can count on her to fight for you, because that’s what she’s always done — take a look for yourself, here she is.”
Sure, nostalgia plays an important role in any campaign. However, this is beyond the pale. The official line may be that the photos are to showcase that Clinton has always been a “regular gal,” but the realities are far different.
Whatever genuine smiles she may have offered as an undergrad are now long since faded. She is icy and demanding even to her adoring fans and the manner in which she has dealt with investigations into her conduct are diametric to the “loveable” demeanor she displays in candid photos of her youth; she has been both obstructive and arrogant.
In truth, the photos serve as the unofficial new slogan of the Clinton campaign: “See? I wasn’t always such an out-of-touch aristocratic shrew.”
Like my friends in college, Hillary’s desperation is showing and it is unseemly.