Trump has become known for distilling the weakness of his opponents into a single descriptor. Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Low-Energy Jeb, Crooked Hillary—they all resonate with voters on a gut level. But at first glance, he appears to be off his game with his two latest nicknames: Goofy Elizabeth Warren and Crazy Bernie Sanders.
That is now how liberals would describe Warren or Sanders. Then again, that might be the point.
“Crooked Hillary” is universal, everyone gets it. But to describe the two most prominent progressives in the Democratic Party as “goofy” and “crazy” can be read as a partisan play, an appeal to how those on the right view outspoken women (Warren) and politicians who dare to call themselves socialists (Sanders). Trump’s approach is to discredit them in the eyes of conservatives; the rub is that the rest of the electorate might not find the joke so funny.