If you had never heard of Hillary Clinton before the start of the Democratic convention, then first of all, you’re probably an alien, and second of all, you’d probably be surprised to learn that everyone else knows her as a Secretary of State, not as a lifelong champion and advocate for children and families.
The first act of Clinton’s campaign was centered on the thesis that she should be president because she is the single most qualified human on earth for the job. She had served as a senator and a Secretary of State and was successful at both. But last week in Philadelphia, the Clinton campaign began rolling out Hillary Clinton version 2.0, who is a lifelong fighter for women and children and oh, also happened to serve as Secretary of State.
This rebranding was a deliberate choice driven primarily by voting demographics. The campaign knows that their odds of winning white men are about the same as you finding that m&m you dropped between the driver’s seat and center console of your Honda. Trump is up roughly thirty points with white men and there is little looking back. Her negative ratings with them are approaching 70% which believe it or not, is higher than Trump’s unfavorable with women.
The is mostly because the Republicans have successfully defined her time as Secretary of State as a period branded by Benghazi and her use of a private email server. They have kept Benghazi in the news for nearly 5 years now and spent $7 million on the latest investigation by the House. Embassies had been attacked before and never produced vitriol like this and even the 9/11 report stopped short of 500 pages. But nevertheless, Republicans wanted Clinton to be the Benghazi candidate.
As a result, the area where she can draw the biggest contrast and make the most gains is with women. Trump has a long record of offensive statements towards women and has done literally nothing for their benefit his entire life.
Although, knowing Trump he’d probably tell you that he built the best kitchens in his buildings so women should thank him accordingly.
Branding Clinton as a lifelong fighter for women and children may be a strategic choice, but it has-as Henry Kissinger once said-the added advantage of also being true. She has truly made it her life’s work. She started working on behalf of families after college and continued after she and Bill moved to Arkansas. Most notably as First Lady she worked towards passing comprehensive healthcare reform and eventually helped to ensure the passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Reminding people of this is important because politicians are brands like Coke or Toyota before anything else. They are fighters, advocates, winners, and leaders first and human beings second.
Trump has mastered his brand. He is anti-pc. He is Roundup weed killer mixed with Everclear and if you have too much, you’ll wake up finding out you drunk texted your boss, but you won’t apologize.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is McDonald’s. She is a juggernaut and known quantity and Benghazi was her “Super Size Me.” The Democratic Convention last week was the roll out of Clinton as white meat chicken, salads, and apples in Happy Meals.
If the Democratic convention’s rebranding was successful, Clinton will see a sustained rise in her numbers as voters look to connect with a sensitive, empathetic family advocate who is oil to Trump’s water.
After all, General Motors saw their sales turn around partly as a result of their rebranding Buick that saw people no longer viewing Buick as their grandfather’s car, but as a symbol of new, young luxury. Will Clinton share the same fate?
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