By Attacking Trump, Hillary Can't Lose


Not every Democrat thinks Hillary Clinton is a lock for the nomination.

Let's see. There's Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont's staff. They think he can win. There's H.A. Goodman, The Huffington Post blogger who resides in an alternate universe and thinks Sanders can win the general election as a write-in. And college kids, who are among the loudest Sanders supporters. But they never show up on primary days, probably because they think someone else is going to vote for them.

So Clinton has turned her considerable political firepower toward Republicans -- particularly presidential candidate front-runner Donald Trump -- for a series of broadsides fueled by her $250 million campaign war chest.

Some might accuse the former first lady of hubris, with Sanders still sticking around like an unwanted party guest who can't read social cues. Eight years ago, Clinton was already fantasizing about her first days in the Oval Office when a neophyte from Chicago defied seniority and vaulted over her to secure the Democratic nomination.

But Sanders isn't Barack Obama. He doesn't have the tide of history, the millions-strong crowds of admirers greeting him in European cities, or the kind of momentum Obama had from pulling off a series of stunning primary upsets. If Sanders was Obama, we'd know it by now.

At this point, Clinton's most dangerous enemy in the primaries is herself. A major gaffe, a scandal or charges from her email scandal could derail her campaign, but it's not likely. If there was an earthshaking secret that could take Clinton out once and for all, someone would have used it by now. After all, she's been in public life for 30 years.

An indictment isn't likely either. Clinton broke protocol and put U.S. secrets at risk. Those things aren't really in dispute, but they don't seem to bother Democratic voters. It's difficult to imagine the Department of Justice -- headed by an Obama-appointed partisan -- throwing the party into chaos by filing charges against Clinton.

So for all intents and purposes, Clinton has entered the general election. Her goal is clear: convince Americans that Trump is a joke of a candidate, and that the country can trust her in areas where Republicans are usually stronger, like national security.

That's why Clinton immediately repurposed the March 22 terrorist attack in Belgium as a campaign talking point, reports Daily Mail. She's shrewd enough not to make it look as if she's exploiting the tragedy, experienced enough to know exactly where the line of good taste stands and how to walk right up to it without crossing it.

Clinton is also married to the politician who wrote the book on easing into the center for general elections. Former President Bill Clinton won the presidency by charming voters, and embracing centrist -- even right-of-center -- ideas like welfare reform.

Hillary needs to move center anyway, and with the Democratic nomination pretty much a lock, she might as well start now. While Republicans are still mired in their internal battle -- a dirty trainwreck of a primary that won't end any time soon -- she can take a step back, appeal directly to American voters, and look like the image of sanity compared to the choices the GOP is offering.

Hillary is reassuring Americans that she's the strong leader they need to repair the economy and secure the country against terrorism. Meanwhile Trump is knee-deep in Twitter flamewars, threatening to "spill the beans" on Republican rival Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas' wife, whatever that means. Cruz  keeps moving further to the right -- a scary thought -- to appeal to his party's base and convince them he's the conservative Trump is not.

It's a good time to be Hillary Clinton. With a massive reserve of campaign cash and a clear path to the nomination, going after Trump is a no-brainer.

Click here for the opposing view on this topic.

Sources: Daily Mail, InsideGov, OpenSecrets, The Huffington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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