Hillary Clinton: Surprise Upon Surprise

Which presidential candidates are Americans most enthusiastic about? According to a Gallup poll, 65% of Trump’s supporters are either extremely or very enthusiastic about his candidacy. That’s not a surprise. His supporters are nothing if not enthusiastic. What’s unexpected is which Democrat has the most enthusiastic supporters. Gallup found that Hillary Clinton’s supporters are more enthusiastic about her than Bernie Sanders’s are about him. Fifty-four percent of Clinton supporters say they’re extremely or very enthusiastic about their favorite candidate vs. 44% of Sanders supporters. Given how much publicity Feeling the Bern has received, that’s quite a surprise. 

But considering how well Clinton has done in primary elections this year (as opposed to the small-scale caucuses that have favored Sanders), we should expect that she has lots of enthusiastic supporters. Counting both primaries and caucuses, she has received 8.9 million votes vs. 6.4 million for Sanders. Winning by that margin in a general election would qualify as a landslide victory.

One might ask, however, why so many Americans are enthusiastically supporting such a devious and dishonest person? It’s probably because they don’t think she’s as devious and dishonest as the Republicans, many in the press and some Sanders supporters claim. Jill Abramson, a former editor of the New York Times, published an article yesterday with the title: “This May Shock You. Hillary Clinton Is Fundamentally Honest”. The article is worth reading in full, but here’s a little bit of it:

As an editor I’ve launched investigations into her business dealings, her fundraising, her foundation and her marriage. As a reporter my stories stretch back to Whitewater. I’m not a favorite in Hillaryland. That makes what I want to say next surprising. Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy….

… Politifact, a Pulitzer prize-winning fact-checking organization, gives Clinton the best truth-telling record of any of the 2016 presidential candidates. She beats Sanders and Kasich and crushes Cruz and Trump…

Abramson says Clinton distrusts the press more than any other politician she’s ever covered and that she needs to resist her strong desire to protect her privacy.  If Clinton were less secretive, Abramson argues, fewer people would think she’s hiding something. But Abramson also worries that too many people expect “purity” from female politicians. No successful politicians are pure, not even female ones, but Hillary Clinton may be purer than most. What a surprise!