Have you noticed Hillary Clinton’s fixation on what she sees as the dangers of Donald Trump becoming “normal”? It’s quite interesting.
She recently said her campaign won’t allow it to happen. She then implied that the next few weeks are critical because Trump might use them to “normalize” himself.
And Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” she said: “I don’t want Americans, you know, good-thinking Republicans” — as opposed, I assume, to bad-thinking Republicans — “as well as Democrats and independents, to start to believe that (Trump’s) is a normal candidacy.”
Would anyone? Ever?
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OK, maybe she missed a few recent months of Trump’s triumphs. Or maybe she hasn’t a clue about the nature of his support. But seems to me lots of voters like Trump precisely because he’s not normal.
It’s what got him this far. It could take him farther. It’s the foundation of his campaign: A candidate totally different from the normal, scripted, white-papered pols who impress pundits with plans and proposals, but who do not and cannot connect with voters.
And, what? Convincing America that Trump’s not normal before he normalizes himself is crucial to Clinton so she can draw contrasts between herself and The Donald?
Because she’s such a normal candidate? Is it normal to run for the highest federal office while under federal investigation?
You’ll recall Clinton called the probe of her private email system used while secretary of state “a security inquiry.” But FBI Director James Comey said he’s not familiar with that term and said his agents are conducting an “investigation.” And, a State Department audit just concluded that Clinton violated federal records rules through her use of the private email server.
Is it normal for a presidential candidate to come to a campaign with bags crammed with decades of controversy, from the Whitewater real estate scandal to the speeches to Goldman Sachs, from Bosnia to Benghazi and beyond?
Is it normal for a would-be first woman president to promise that her former-president husband would be “in charge of revitalizing the economy?” Isn’t that maybe a prime responsibility of the president, regardless of gender?
And she’s worried about Trump being normal?
Come on. He’s the guy whose Hawaiian search for Barack Obama’s birth certificate yielded “absolutely unbelievable” findings that never got released. He’s going to build a 1,000-mile or 2,000-mile southwest border wall for $8 billion or $27 billion that Mexico pays for. He’ll deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. And now he’s playing the Bill and Hill sex stuff card.
Is there any mystery as to why a majority of voters dislike and distrust both of the presumed major-party candidates?
Is anyone shocked that a Washington Post/ABC News poll this week shows Clinton and Trump virtually tied and equally detested?
Each is rated unfavorably by 57 percent of respondents. Think that’s normal?
No wonder Bernie Sanders said this race for president forces voters to pick “the lesser of two evils.”
I suppose Clinton’s concern about a “normal” Trump sees Trump modifying his verbiage, centralizing his views, to alter media coverage that long painted him as clownish with no chance of being the GOP nominee who’d later lose to Hillary.
But guess what? Things change.
Try this from Fox News’ Howard Kurtz, former Washington Post media writer, a respected author of multiple books on media.
He writes, “Even if the polls are off by a few points, it means that a nonpolitician, who has been widely derided for being too divisive and inflammatory, is a serious contender against a former first lady, senator and secretary of state.”
And that, my friends, like it or not, believe it or not, is now the new normal.
John Baer is a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. Readers may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.