Hillary Clinton thinks the election is over and she has won. Fortunately for the American people, there is still the actual vote.
One of the reasons she hopes this is the case is her health.
Being on the campaign trail as Donald Trump has been doing, can be exhausting.
Supposedly in good health, Mrs. Clinton has limited her appearances and carefully chosen where she makes her speeches.
This is a sound plan if you’re sure of victory.
It also conserves her health, which is still suspect by many Americans.
By pumping millions of dollars into ads demonizing Donald Trump, she has succeeded in casting doubts on his abilities.
As one leaked email described the race, it was her Tortoise against his Hare.
So far, the strategy has worked.
But history has shown, the Tortoise can beat the Hare.
Mrs. Clinton thinks by acting and claiming she is a winner, she will be crowned.
In person political rallies are still important to any Presidential campaign.
In 1948, two weeks before election day, Thomas E. Dewey thought the race was over.
In fact, he curtailed his schedule and began assembling a working cabinet.
In the meantime, President Harry S. Truman got on a train and whistle stopped through the nation, appearing at literally hundreds of towns, villages, and cities during the last two weeks of the election cycle. He met with the people and connected with them in a way Dewey could not.
As one Truman supporter said: “Dewey looks as if he belongs on top of a wedding cake.”
This description stuck and was even used in the New York Times obituary of Dewey.
In his own way, Trump is doing the same thing Truman did. He is hop-scotching the country with thousands of people rallying to hear him speak. While the nation’s press focuses on his one or two comments their reporters consider negative, his audiences are being presented with the full message.
Trumps’ Gettysburg speech on the economy was a strong call for concerted action. Those there heard his message, the nation’s press ignored its full meaning.
Just as the newspapers in Truman’s era in general ignored the ground-swell, today’s media is taking comfort in polls claiming Clinton is ahead by up to 12 points.
My question: why did her Vice-Presidential candidate attract less than 50 adherents in Florida, and in the same state the same weekend, Trump spoke to 20,000 people at one rally?
The media is concentrated on the two coasts, Trump’s efforts are scattered across the country but magnified by many angry people. The media ignores them as they ignore Clinton’s email and foundation messes. Like Truman in 1948, it is hard to measure his appeal to many voters. Even harder when you stuff polls with a majority of Democratic voters.
Clinton may still win this Presidential race by acting as a winner. She can better do this if the polls are the same two days before the election.
Right now, there are many factors that can still affect the election.
In particular, she needs to survive the shock millions of Americans will get this week when their new healthcare insurance rates come in the mail. With rate increases in many cases of 25% or more, she will need to defend Obamacare in the last days of the campaign.
Also, foreign affairs may yet intrude on this campaign. President Obama is keeping a lid on many issues that the next President will need to face.
However, the major wild card factor many in the Clinton camp fear is her health. She has two weeks to stay healthy and allay the American electorate.
Staying off the campaign trail is one way of doing just that.
We shall see if she does.