Hillary Clinton's evisceration of Donald Trump TrendyVoice

3 June 2016

Hillary Clinton's evisceration of Donald Trump

There's a new Hillary Clinton in town.
A speech that was billed as a major foreign policy
address instead unfolded as a savage, mocking
evisceration of Donald Trump Thursday as the former
secretary of state adopted an aggressive new
campaign persona designed to repel the
unpredictable challenge posed by the presumptive
Republican presidential nominee.
In one of the most striking speeches of her political
career, Clinton dispensed with the sober diplo-speak
that has characterized her previous national security
addresses and went straight for the jugular,
unleashing a series of biting attacks on Trump.
In the spirit of President Lyndon Johnson's notorious
"Daisy" nuclear blast ad targeting Barry Goldwater's
temperament in 1964, Clinton warned that Trump
should not be let anywhere near the nuclear codes
because he could start a war when somebody "got
under his very thin skin."
"He's not just unprepared -- he's temperamentally
unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge,
stability and immense responsibility," Clinton said
during the speech in San Diego, California, days
before Tuesday's primary in the Golden State
effectively concludes the primary season and
confirms her as the presumptive Democratic
nominee over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Trump fired back while speaking at a rally in San
Jose, California, Thursday night.
"I watched Hillary today and it was pathetic. It was so
sad to watch," Trump said, calling it a "political
speech" that had nothing to do with foreign policy.
"It was a pretty pathetic deal," he added.
The speech marked a significant moment in Clinton's
campaign, as it was the first real signal of the tactics
and attitude she will use to take on Trump and
offered a preview of what are likely to be fierce
clashes between the rivals at a trio of presidential
debates later in the year. It demonstrated the kind of
sardonic, unrestrained humor that she often shows in
private interactions with friends and reporters but
has refrained from displaying in public.
It also appeared to be aimed at Democrats who are
spooked by recent polls showing a tight race
between Clinton and Trump, and who fear her often-
criticized campaigning skills won't keep up with
Trump's volatile and highly effective off-the-cuff

And when she argued that Trump's lack of
knowledge on foreign policy and temperament would
put at risk decades of Republican and Democratic
foreign policy advances, she appeared to be making
a pitch for disgruntled national security
conservatives who feel unable to put their trust in
the Republican nominee.
Yet the strategy has its risks, as pretty much all of
Trump's GOP primary rivals who tried to take on
Trump couldn't survive his return fire. The question
is whether Clinton will be more effective. She might
be helped by not waiting until the last minute like
the Republicans did -- seeking to define Trump early
in the minds of the general election audience.
She attempted to convince voters that Trump's ideas
are a mix of "bizarre rants, personal feuds and
outright lies." She lambasted his "bragging"
approach to foreign policy based on a string of "nasty
tweets" and accused him of harboring a "bizarre"
affinity for authoritarian leaders like Russian
President Vladimir Putin, the Communist rulers of
China and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
"We cannot put the safety of our children and
grandchildren in Donald Trump's hands. We cannot
let him roll the dice with America," Clinton said.
At one point, Clinton imagined Trump composing
nasty tweets to respond to her speech. And the
combative Republican standard-bearer did not
"Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton!
Reading poorly from the telepromter! She doesn't
even look presidential!" the presumptive GOP
nominee wrote as her address ended.
In another tweet, Trump added: "Crooked Hillary no
longer has credibility - too much failure in office.
People will not allow another four years of
But taking a page from Trump's book, Clinton's
speech contained a string of zingers meant to
ridicule the presumptive presidential GOP nominee
and render him an unacceptable choice for president.
"He says he has foreign policy experience because he
ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia," Clinton
said. "The stakes in global statecraft are infinitely
higher and more complex than in the world of luxury
She added: "I will leave it to the psychiatrists to
explain his attraction to tyrants" before taking aim at
Trump's claim that being a global business tycoon
equips him with significant global knowledge.

"You know, there's no risk of people losing their lives
if you blow up a golf-course deal," she said. "But it
doesn't work like that in world affairs."
"He also says, 'I know more about ISIS than the
generals do, believe me.' You know what? I don't
believe him," Clinton said, drawing cheers from her
partisan audience of around 250 people.
Aides said that Clinton never intended the speech to
be a formal foreign policy address but rather to
deliver a stinging rebuke of Trump. After watching
and reading Trump speeches carefully, Clinton gave
an outline of what she wanted to say at the
beginning of last week, and speechwriters Megan
Rooney and Dan Schwerin worked with foreign policy
advisers Jake Sullivan and Laura Rosenberger on the
first draft, two campaign aides told CNN.
For the last few days, they've been going back and
forth with Clinton to streamline it. Originally, there
was more of her own foreign policy, but it was
sharpened over last week to include far more Trump.
She spent her coast-to-coast plane ride Wednesday
revising the speech with Rooney. Clinton kept
working on the specific language right up right
before the speech, and a story about Navy SEALs
protecting civilians during the 2011 operation that
killed Osama bin Laden was a final addition.
In terms of policy, much of what she talked about --
including her views on NATO, trade and Russia -- has
already been rolled out in previous, more
conventional foreign policy speeches.
But she did focus on the more controversial aspects
of the foreign policy that he has laid out.
"This is a man who said that more countries should
have nuclear weapons, including Saudi Arabia. This is
someone who has threatened to abandon our allies in
NATO, the countries that work with us to root out
terrorists abroad before they strike us at home,"
Clinton said.
"He believes we can treat the U.S. economy like one
of his casinos and default on our debts to the rest of
the world, which would cause an economic
catastrophe far worse than anything we experienced
in 2008," she continued. "He has said that he would
order our military to carry out torture."
Clinton's speech laid out the parameters for what is
likely to be a furious foreign policy debate in the
general election. It is a feud that will allow her to take
aim at Trump's alleged inexperience and lack of
knowledge but will also require her to defend what
Republicans see as deep vulnerabilities in her own
foreign policy record.

Those liabilities include the aftermath of the NATO
intervention in Libya, in which she played a dominant
role and which left behind a dangerous failed state
and a terror haven, as well as the Obama
administration's "reset" of relations with Russia,
which critics say was naïve and ineffective.
Clinton must also confront accusations that she
negligently put American national security at risk by
using a personal email server for her official business
when she served as secretary of state.
Trump has already made his own attempt to
obliterate Clinton's foreign policy credentials.
"She doesn't have the temperament to be president.
She's got bad judgment. She's got horribly bad
judgment," Trump said last week. "If you look at the
war in Iraq, if you look at what she did with Libya,
which was a total catastrophe."
The likely Democratic nominee closed out her speech
with a preview of how she will respond to such
attacks -- by turning the heat back on Trump and his
perceived lack of qualifications to be president.
"Imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Situation
Room, making life-or-death decisions on behalf of the
United States. Imagine him deciding whether to send
your spouses or children into battle. Imagine if he
had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when
he's angry, but America's entire arsenal," she said.
"Do we want him making those calls -- someone thin-
skinned and quick to anger, who lashes out at the
smallest criticism?" she asked rhetorically. "Do we
want his finger anywhere near the button?"

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