Monday, May 09, 2016

Clueless politician vs polished entertainer vs man in need of a comb

On more than one occasion, Hillary has said she's not a natural politician. OK, let's take her at her word. I've watched her in the debates and yes, I can see that most of what she says seems to be scripted. She seems to have a difficult time improvising on stage. This is a common problem for many people who do not spend much time on stage. But this is Hillary Clinton, married to the ultimate politician, has seen a few election debates herself and claims to be the better candidate than either Trump or Sanders.

Let's imagine how a debate between Hillary and Trump will go. Whenever Hillary tries to be serious about nearly any issue, Trump is going to take whatever she says and turn it into a farce and point it right back at her. You want to talk about corruption? You're Crooked Hillary. You want to talk about gun control? You sold boatloads of arms to foreign governments with despotic leaders. You want to talk about health care? You took millions from the health care industry before you flipped your position on single payer health care. You want talk about reigning in the big banks? You took millions from the big banks and you're planning on hiring someone from Wall Street to run the Treasury. So, how did things go with the interview with the FBI? Did you finally put that email thing to bed?

For every major policy issue, Hillary is weak and so is Trump. Hillary may know her issues, but she can be seen as corruptible on a majority of them. Trump's position on many issues has been, "I'll figure it out when I get in office." But where he does have a position, no one can say that he's been corrupted by money on the issues. He has all the money he needs, he doesn't need a payoff, so no one can entice him with a bribe...I mean...a campaign contribution.

This difference in character between Hillary and Trump is compounded by one other problem for Hillary. Trump is an entertainer, and he knows how to improvise on stage and make it stick. He did that to every GOP challenger from day one. He has defeated 16 challengers before rising to spot number one. He vanquished them all with his wit because he's an entertainer. Trump has mastered the art of improvisation with negative attacks and uses them well on stage.

I took improvisation classes for years. Remember that show, "Who's line is it, anyway?" I did that for years on stage with other people who were aspiring actors. I didn't want to be an actor, I just did it because it was fun. I laughed, and I made people laugh. I even got to the point where I could play straight and let someone else nail the punchline and knock it out of the park. I learned to improvise on stage, and I tell you, if you have not done it, do it. Take an improv class. You will be stronger and happier for it.

My improvisation instructor told us something that I will never forget. Improvisation is the foundation skill of all acting skills. If you know how to improvise, you know how to act. You figure it out on the fly and roll with everything that happens on stage. Trump is an entertainer. He lives for the thrill of rolling with it on stage, on camera, whatever. He knows how to exploit weaknesses on stage. This is just something he happens to do very well. He knows how to own the stage with Hillary and he will if he ever faces her in a debate.

Not so much with Bernie Sanders. Sanders has done a very good job of keeping his reputation clean by not accepting big money and letting that money compromise his values. He knows how to improvise. A well known example is how he handled it when a small bird landed on his podium during a rally. He used it to great effect and his audience loved his response. Sanders has a sense of humor that Clinton finds elusive.

Now Sanders has something that Clinton doesn't have, the skill of improvisation on stage, and a clean reputation. Sanders can spar with Trump in so many ways. He can take a joke and run it into the ground and go right back to the issues. Remember, Sanders is running a campaign on issues, not gossip, insults and innuendo. Trump can be as funny as he wants, Sanders will keep returning to the issues. Sanders could almost ignore everything that Trump has to say and still win a debate. Clinton will be on defense the entire debate.

This is the point that Sanders supporters wish to make to Clinton supporters. If we go with Clinton, we're going to be on defense, all the time. If we go with Sanders, there's nothing to defend except our position on the issues. There's not much to attack in his character.

Even if Clinton wins the nomination, she's going into the fall election season with a pending FBI investigation on her hands, or worse, an indictment. Given her polling, she might reduce the turnout and help to send the same clowns back to Congress only to face a crowd that will stop at nothing to find a way to impeach her later on, if she should win the election. She seems to fare well when turnouts are low, but that only helps Republicans in Congress.

Sanders is not under investigation by the FBI. He's not worried about an indictment. Sanders is known as the Amendment King in Congress. He knows how to reach out across the aisle to get things done. Just ask John McCain about their work on funding veterans health care. He'll tell you.

I want to see Sanders at the convention, doing what he does best. He's a savvy negotiator, so even if he doesn't get the nomination - and there is still a chance that he might - he will find a way to make his mark on the party platform for the election. No matter what happens, the revolution has already begun. Now it's up to the Democratic Party to decide if they want to be a part of it or not.
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