"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
- John Quincy Adams
CLINTON’S CONVENTION CONTRAST: Hillary Clinton took center stage last night and made a case to her fellow Democrats and the country why they should coalesce around and support her this November. In a three-day build up to last night, speakers cast Clinton as experienced, stable and committed in stark contrast to Donald Trump - but all lot of this boils down to whether voters can connect to her on a personal level. Chelsea Clinton’s introduction provided the perfect touch portraying her mother as a role model and grandmother to all and amplifying her father’s message earlier in the week. Clinton’s speech did what Donald Trump’s did not do – she addressed how she’ll provide strong and stable leadership and bring about economic change while at the same time conveying passion and dedication to the causes of millions of Americans. Clinton’s main objective was to neutralize her lingering negatives and appeal to Americans as an experienced hand and unifier by showcasing her career and persistent drive through decades of public service. We see a requisite bump in the polls after a solid four days in Philly, but will she continue to excite her constituencies and sustain the momentum?
BIG-TICKET BENCH: Clinton has taken the last few days to show off how deep her bench runs – and if you didn’t know before, it’s very deep. From millionaires to minorities, disabled groups to veterans, current and former presidents - Team Clinton displayed that they have the strongest backing of who and what America really is – a melting pot. In contrast, Trump’s lineup was no where near as sturdy, and his Republican brethren know it. He’s just now beginning to make amends with the legions of people and groups he’s offended by backtracking on past statements - including retracting his John McCain war hero comments. Though he’s getting better in the let’s-be-friends department, he’s just not established as Clinton who has spent decades cultivating deep relationships and connections. We expect each campaign’s surrogates to play an increasingly important role in the coming months (no vacation for you Bernie Sanders), but we don’t see Trump’s loyalist crowd growing any time soon.
DEPENDING ON INDEPENDENTS: Uncommitted voters disenchanted with the two-party system continue to hold out on and with both conventions now complete, we wonder if either party has created enough enthusiasm for the ever-growing number of Independents to swing their way. Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent Michael Bloomberg made the case against Trump for pro-business Independents who are wary of Clinton, but only time will tell if his endorsement is strong enough to shift voters her way. Bernie Sanders’s supporters hold the golden ticket, but with the curtain now closed on the convention, it comes down to the strength and passion of the party’s message and grassroots efforts.
RUSSIAN ROULETTE: Trump rattled off some of the more myopic statements on Russia since former AK Governor Sarah Palin reminded us that Russia can be seen from her house...Criticism from all corners is building for his outrageous remarks encouraging Russia to continue their hacking efforts to find Clinton’s missing emails. Whether it was sarcasm or not, it crystallized where Trump’s head is. Rather than focusing on party themes and policy differences, like the ones he will see in debates, he sticks to the personal attacks that helped him thrive in the primaries. We heard promises that the Republican convention would be a turning point for Trump, after which he would buckle down and get serious, but instead he continues to fall back on ridicule, innuendo and attention-getting headlines. While most of the country finally realizes that this is a change election - his rhetoric will only get him so far until he digs deeper on substance and focuses on solutions mattering most to the American people.
DISSECTING THE PARTY PLATFORMS: Both the Republican Convention and the Democratic Convention have now concluded. We put together a comparison of each party’s platform to help you better understand the differences and similarities in the policy agendas for the coming year. You can read the comparison here.