If Campaign 2016 needed some shorthand to capture the way many Americans see the competition between the two major-party candidates, Hillary Clinton may have unintentionally supplied it this weekend. For much of the electorate, this could be remembered as a deplorable election.
Candidates are often stamped by seemingly offhand statements. Mitt Romney never escaped his “47 percent” comment in 2012, and President Obama found the same when he said many culturally conservative voters “cling” to their guns and religion. Donald Trump has a laundry list of them. After Friday, Clinton now has hers to regret.
Clinton stumbled as Romney and Obama did, seemingly with her guard down and before the friendliest of audiences, an LGBT fundraiser in New York. If there isn’t a page in campaign manuals labeled “Beware of Fundraisers,” there should be. It’s where mistakes are easily made and not so easily undone.
Unlike Romney and Obama, Clinton spoke at a fundraiser that was open to the media, which should have made her more careful. Although she has said similar things in the past, she clearly went further than before, raising the question of whether this was intentional.