Just look at the CNN segment in which Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte awkwardly tried to explain how she is voting for Donald Trump but isn’t endorsing him. In the same segment, Ayotte’s Democratic challenger, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, whiffed a question of her own: Is Hillary Clinton honest and trustworthy?
“I support Hillary Clinton for the presidency because her experience and her record demonstrate that she’s qualified to hold the job,” Hassan said, trying her hardest to not answer the question. The gaffe was quickly seized upon by Republicans, and posted online by the NRSC:
In a follow-up, Hassan told the local ABC affiliate that she indeed trusts Clinton: “Yes, as do military and national security experts from both political parties.” This was, of course, the obvious answer that Hassan should’ve given the first time. Especially since whatever Clinton’s shortcomings, they pale compared to Trump’s.
This election has become almost solely about Trump and the threat he represents. The news cycle is dominated by an endless series of controversies and absurdities streaming from his camp. Clinton has become a background character in her own historic election.
The lesson for down-ticket Democrats like Hassan is this: If you are asked whether Hillary Clinton is trustworthy, say yes without the slightest hesitation. Then get back to talking about Donald Trump, because his candidacy is going to drown out both Clinton’s shortcomings and virtues. Trump is what this election is about.