Vox’s Ezra Klein takes a riveting look at Hillary Clinton’s three stunning debate performances against Donald Trump and how she pulled off a strategy that left Trump’s campaign in “smoking ruins.”
“The way Clinton won is non-traditional. It’s not the way we’re used to candidates winning. We’re used to candidates winning because they themselves just did a good job – they delivered a brutal zinger, they just killed it on the answers, and Clinton did some of that. But the real way she won, the real achievement here, and it is one of the most stunning political achievements in modern campaigning, was that she figured out her opponent’s weaknesses and goaded him into basically completely collapsing.”
“She and her campaign analyzed Donald Trump, figured out what it was they could exploit, and then relentlessly, ruthlessly did so.”
From calling him “Donald” in the first debate to questioning his wealth, Clinton sparked meltdowns in Trump that he was never able to recover from. Like the Alicia Machado trap, which was “the beginning of the conversation over Donald Trump’s language and treatment of women, the context for the Access Hollywood tape” that “forced Trump into a corner” he’s still in.
She also created a preparation gap between her and Trump that was really effective.
“Trump is losing, and he’s losing in part because he’s a flawed, vulnerable candidate. But Clinton is winning because she had a strategy, a fairly high risk strategy actually. And she executed it, she stuck to it, she did it at every single debate, and it actually worked.”