How’s That Pivot Going?

If Patrick Murray (Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute) is correct, all of Kellyanne Conway’s work to construct an alternative Donald Trump that would appeal to white suburban women has gone for naught.

So much for the great Trump pivot, huh? I’m sure they’ll keep at it and we’ll see him bouncing back and forth between being wrong and downright deplorable over the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, last week I pointed out that Hillary Clinton was planning a bit of a pivot too. Here is what her communications director Jennifer Palmieri said:

One upside to Hillary Clinton’s break from the trail was having time to sharpen the final argument she will present to voters in these closing weeks. So when she rejoins the trail tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will deliver the second in a series of speeches laying out her aspirational vision for the country: that we are “Stronger Together.” Tomorrow’s remarks will focus on what has been at the core of who Hillary Clinton is as a person and the mission of her campaign — how we lift up our children and families and make sure that every child has the chance to live up to their God given potential.

Our campaign readily admits that running against a candidate as controversial as Donald Trump means it is harder to be heard on what you aspire for the country’s future and it is incumbent on us to work harder to make sure voters hear that vision.

In case you’re wondering how that is going, take a look at the Clinton campaign’s latest ad.

She mentions Trump briefly – but quickly pivots to talk about her own record and vision for children and families. If you go to Clinton’s web site, you’ll find this fascinating side-by-side comparison of her resume and Donald Trump’s. Over the last couple of days, Hillary has published articles titled, “Here’s What Millennials Have Taught Me” and, “Stories of three women who changed my life.” Finally, just as Trump was getting called out by an African American female minister in Flint, Clinton was meeting with the Black Women’s Agenda Symposium to tell them that “Black Girl Magic is real.”

“Now while your stories are often missing from the history books, make no mistake you are the change makers, the path breakers and the ground shakers—and you are proof that yes indeed Black Girl Magic is real.”

All of this flies under the radar of most political pundits who are focused on the tit-for-tat between the two candidates. But based on my personal experience, it is exactly the kind of thing a lot of people (mostly women) share with their friends/family/coworkers on social media in order to address the concerns of the few of them that might still be “persuadables.” Hmmm…perhaps that’s another reason why Trump’s “outreach” to suburban white women isn’t working very well.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.