Speed Reads

planning ahead

Here's Hillary Clinton's plan to beat Donald Trump

As Hillary Clinton heads into Super Tuesday as a heavy favorite, her team has begun to work on a battle plan against Donald Trump in the ever-increasing likelihood that he and she become their party's nominees. Speaking with many of Clinton's aides, advisers, and strategists, The New York Times found that it was agreed by Democrats that the best chance against the Trump steamroller was turning his wild comments and promises against him.

Along those lines, Clinton's super PAC Correct the Record is ready to go with "a montage" of Trump's "hateful speech" — a turn for Clinton, who has so far fought back at Trump with positive energy ("Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers").

However, if those tactics fall short, Trump threatens to take the volatile states President Obama managed to win in 2008 and 2012:

"Can you imagine what he'll do?" [Matthew] Dowd, the former Bush strategist, said. [Clinton] will bring up equal pay for women and abortion rights, Mr. Dowd said, "and he'll turn to her and say, 'You can't even handle your stuff at home.'"

Mr. Clinton calls Mr. Trump ideal in the era of the "Instagram election," when voters want bite-size solutions ("Build a wall!" "Ban the Muslims!") to complex problems. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, can appear scripted and static when she tries to hurl planned one-liners in debates. [The New York Times]

Further, the off-the-script nature of Trump's attacks threatens Clinton's tidy campaigning. “Hillary has built a large tanker ship, and she's about to confront Somali pirates,” said Dowd.

It is a concern that stretches to the White House: "The president sees Trump as formidable, no question. He takes him seriously. The campaign takes him seriously," Former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges said.