пятница, 9 декабря 2016 г.

Trump's Kellyanne Conway vs. Clinton's Robby Mook

League of Power
Trump's Kellyanne Conway vs. Clinton's Robby Mook
On a recent post-election episode of CNN's State of the Union program, host Jake Tapper reviewed a debate that was held at Harvard University featuring President-Elect Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and her counterpart, Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.

The two reminisced, argued and attempted to fill in their sides of the story for what was an unprecedentedly nasty election season prior to the shock victory of Republican candidate Donald Trump.


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For those unfamiliar with Kellyanne Conway's background, she served as the director of a political action committee for Republican candidate Ted Cruz prior to joining the Trump campaign as an internal polling expert. She was then promoted to Trump's campaign manager at the same time that Breitbart News' Steve Bannon was brought aboard as the CEO of the campaign. Conway thus became the first female day-to-day manager of a successful presidential campaign in history.

Robby Mook had a background in state politics before moving up to a national level in 2004 to be a deputy field director for early Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in 2004. He worked for the Democratic National Committee and for the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2008 as well as for the campaigns of New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2008 and 2013, respectively.

According to Kellyanne Conway, Trump's spontaneous, undisciplined and unpredictable style posed challenges for both Bannon and herself throughout his campaign. Conway admitted that she and Bannon were able to rein Trump in quite a bit from his wilder moments prior to the Republican National Convention in July.

Conway said that one of their grander strategies was to get Trump to be more lighthearted and amusing in order to contrast with Clinton's more serious and dour tone on the campaign trail and in presidential debates. Conway and Bannon were also able to persuade Trump to recalibrate his messaging regarding Muslim immigration and deportation of illegal immigrants so that it didn't sound as blunt later in the campaign as it had early on.

Conway stressed that it was important that Trump flew to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Peña Nieto in August. Conway noted that Clinton also was invited to meet with the Mexican head of state, but declined to do so.

As soon as Mook got a chance to speak, he stressed to the audience that the race had been a very close one, with Trump winning electoral votes in battleground states by a margin of less than one percent. He loudly repeated that Clinton had won the popular vote by a sizable (two million) margin.

Mook also firmly believed that had FBI Director James Comey not interfered in the election by sending Congress his letter of October 28 reopening his bureau's investigation into Clinton's emails, Clinton would have easily won the electoral vote as well as the popular one.

That said, Mook admitted that Clinton didn't do as well with suburban female voters as her campaign had hoped. Also, he explained, young millennial voters broke with the Democrats in many instances and ended up voting for third-party candidates more than the campaign had anticipated.

But Conway disputed what Mook said regarding Comey's letter, pointing out that an ABC poll taken a week before the letter was released showed Clinton ahead in the race by 12 percentage points, and by the end of the week, her lead was down to just one percentage point — and that was still prior to the letter being published.

Conway also pointed to the fact that the day the letter was publicized, Clinton gave a speech and said it "didn't matter" because voters had already made up their minds about her fitness for office. Going by Mook's words, however, that would have made Clinton a liar; Mook didn't end up addressing the contradiction.

Conway also highlighted the fact that Trump won more than 200 counties that had voted for President Obama in the election of 2012, clearly demonstrating that Trump's message had resonated with voters in these counties; she believed Comey's letter had nothing to do with how these people ultimately voted.

Conway also questioned why suburban women didn't back the former First Lady en masse. Conway claimed the lack of support demonstrated Clinton's weakness with a demographic segment the Democrats had expected to win over easily simply because Clinton was the first female major-party contender for the nation's top job.

When he was asked, Mook confirmed that Clinton's campaign had in fact been rooting for Trump to win the GOP primaries early on in the race, but when Trump's campaign strength became clear, the Democrats' hopes that Clinton would face him became diluted.

Debate moderator Tapper asked Conway why she believed Trump still had a shot at victory despite pre-election polls saying Clinton's chances of winning were 95 percent or better. Conway explained that these were public polls and that Trump's internal numbers showed different results.

Conway said that many public polls were wrong because they relied on data from the election of 2012, whereas Trump's campaign tried to use data from the 2014 midterm elections in their modeling. Conway said that the Clinton campaign believed it could rely on the same demographic coalition that was responsible for electing President Obama in 2012, but there was no strong reason for this to be the case; Clinton and Obama were very different personalities.

Conway believed that Clinton's reliance on women was a mistake in the end and that she should have reached out to a more diverse range of voters than she had. Conway said that indeed, this was the strategy Trump took; that his campaign had targeted "undercover" Trump voters — voters hailing from groups who were not stereotypical Trump supporters — single Moms, families and others who hadn't necessarily been given a voice in the media. Conway reminded Tapper that Trump had done better with minority voters than either Mitt Romney or John McCain had in the two previous election cycles.

Mook complained that voter turnout was lower than the Clinton campaign had expected, particularly among the demographic groups they'd been counting on to support her. Both Mook and Conway agreed that Hispanic voters came out in large numbers, and this was a net positive for both campaigns.

Mook blamed part of Clinton's loss on assorted "headwinds," which included the aforementioned FBI meddling, Clinton's being female and WikiLeaks. Mook stressed numerous times that government intelligence agencies had confirmed there was Russian hacking and interference in the election and that it was urgent this be independently investigated as soon as possible. Of course, left out of Mook's statements was the FBI's belief there had been no connections between Trump's campaign and the Russian government.

Tapper pressed Mook on Hillary Clinton's email scandal as a huge issue, but a frustrated Mook termed it the most "overreported," "overhyped" and superfluous story "in the history of American politics."

The conversation then turned to the timely subject of "fake news," and again Mook brought up the talking point of Russian interference but also pointed a finger at Steve Bannon's previous employer Breitbart News, calling Breitbart a source of "false" and "untrue" stories. Mook said he was disturbed that the former editor of Breitbart was now the Trump administration's chief strategist.

For her part, Conway said that the biggest fake news story of the whole election was that Hillary Clinton was guaranteed to win; Conway pointed out that nearly every mainstream media outlet ran this story ad nauseum prior to the election, and they all turned out to be wrong.

Conway said that the real reason why Clinton didn't win is because she hadn't overcome her untrustworthiness with American voters and that this unbecoming quality was present even prior to the email scandal. Making matters worse, Conway argued, were incidents such as Bill Clinton's meeting Attorney General Loretta Lynch at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which only exacerbated voters' distrust instead of allaying it.

Conway also pointed out that Trump was careful to express regret for offending people at different points of his campaign, whereas Clinton had been arrogant and insulted many voters with her condescending "basket of deplorables" phrase. Conway insisted Clinton never really apologized for these words, but rather, had expressed regret at their being publicized to the extent that they were.

Mook confessed he was "annoyed" with news outlets that had been overconfident before the election and had given 80 to 90 percent chances that Clinton was going to win. Conway said she was upset at these numbers because they were based on data that was false or exaggerated.

Tapper asked both participants about Trump's infamous remarks made on a 2005 videotape released by the television program Access Hollywood. Conway said that Trump was embarrassed by these words and immediately recorded an apology video the same day the tape was released.

Conway said that polling showed that the tape affected voter's opinions much more than the letter from FBI Director Comey that Mook referenced. In fact, Conway argued, a healthy percentage of people had already voted early by the time Comey's letter was publicized.

Mook took issue with the latter point and stated that the Clinton campaign was not celebrating when the controversial tape came out, despite a parody sketch on Saturday Night Live suggesting otherwise. Mook said that instead, Clinton's team was much more concerned about the ongoing releases of WikiLeaks emails, which he said dogged her campaign up until Election Day.

Moderator Tapper asked both Conway and Mook about the candidates' choices of running mates and why Clinton hadn't chosen popular Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the wake of Sanders' loss to Clinton in the Democratic primaries. Mook said this was because the candidates' choice of their running mates is a personal decision. He said that despite Sanders' name appearing on a short list of 30-odd people in the running for the vice-presidential role, in the end, Clinton passed on the Socialist senator because she felt Virginia Senator Tim Kaine complimented her better.

Conway scoffed at this and argued that Clinton simply did not want to be overshadowed by Sanders. Conway said that Sanders would have made a better choice and might have even tipped the election results in favor of the Democrats had Clinton chosen him. Conway also argued that if Clinton had not had the support of Sanders late in her campaign that she wouldn't have won nearly as many states as she did. As for Donald Trump's choice of Mike Pence as his running mate, Conway said she believed the latter's Midwestern roots helped Trump greatly in the American heartland.

Finally, Jake Tapper asked about Election Night and why Clinton hadn't given a concession speech until the following morning. Mook claimed Clinton's speech the next day had been scheduled ahead of time, and despite reports to the contrary, Clinton had personally decided to call Donald Trump to concede the election before being urged to do so by President Obama.

In a parting shot, Conway questioned why Clinton had taken umbrage at Trump's insistence about only accepting the election results if he won. Clinton had then proceeded to participate in recount efforts after the election was over in concert with Jill Stein of the Green Party, despite publicly conceding victory the day following the election. Mook's answer, like Hillary's campaign, was incomplete and left the audience feeling underwhelmed.


Mark Patricks


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Красильщиков Аркадий - сын Льва. Родился в Ленинграде. 18 декабря 1945 г. За годы трудовой деятельности перевел на стружку центнеры железа,километры кинопленки, тонну бумаги, иссушил море чернил, убил четыре компьютера и продолжает заниматься этой разрушительной деятельностью.
Плюсы: построил три дома (один в Израиле), родил двоих детей, посадил целую рощу, собрал 597 кг.грибов и увидел четырех внучек..