Hillarys August Strategy to Run the Clock Backfiring Big Time in Late September

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been criticized for a lack of a message. The generalities of “I will fix this,” and “We must stay together” are rather nebulous. While the far-left media pounds on Trump as a warmonger and quick-tempered; where is Hillary really at? Is she going to be a retread of Obama’s policies, which she praises frequently, or does she have any plan other than “We will fight for you” rhetoric?

On Wednesday, that criticism was echoed by her campaign manager Robby Mook. In an interview with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, the host of Morning Joe accused him of “tiptoeing into Gary Johnson territory.” He was referring to the now legendary question to Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson’s blank stare about Aleppo. Johnson apparently had no clue what he was talking about.

Mook repeatedly refused to answer questions about his candidate’s potential policies on Syria and the situation in Aleppo. Instead, he attempted to change the conversation to Donald Trump’s refusal to outline his own plans to defeat the Islamic State.

Panelists on the show questioned Mook concerning former secretary of State Clinton’s response to Syria and the ongoing violence in Aleppo. Scarborough said, “We love you, buddy, but what are you here for if you can’t answer basic questions?” Mook also failed to answer the question about a recent airstrike on a humanitarian supply convoy. Scarborough finally said in exasperation, “Why do we have you here?”

Robby Mook Runs the clock.
Robby Mook Runs the clock on MSNBC.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Clinton’s strategy going into the final two months of the campaign was to generalize and ruffle as few feathers as possible. In August, with an 8-12 point lead over Trump, the campaign set the course for auto pilot to run out the clock.

Now that Trump’s ever-aggressive campaign is getting the ear of many confused and angry voters, Clinton is left with a vanilla approach, sending out surrogates to play rope-a-dope. This is the strategy of stalling opponents that Muhammad Ali the fighter famously used to tire his opponent until he beat them into submission.

Meanwhile, Mook insisted, in a deer-in-the-headlights defense, that the show’s panel was asking “new policy questions,” and replied that Scarborough and others would “have to ask the secretary.” That brought the ire of Scarborough who said, “New? Aleppo’s been around for; Syria’s been around for some time. The red line being drawn has been around for some time. I’m not being difficult here at all. These are basic questions.”

Predictably, as the far-left had criticized NBCs Matt Lauer for his questions to Donald Trump, the Clinton campaign took to Twitter to accuse MSNBC of unfair treatment. Will this put added pressure on the debate moderators to side with Hillary to appease their media buddies?

The whole open warfare began after the conversation switched to foreign policy in response to an appearance by Bassma Kodmani, a member of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee and executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative. She addressed her country’s humanitarian crisis. Mook responded, “Obviously, she’s been out of office for some time now. I think she’s (Hillary) well regarded for her leadership as secretary of State. She came out of that office with a 70 percent approval rating.”

“She, in contrast to Donald Trump, has released a clear and decisive plan to defeat ISIS. Donald Trump has said that he thinks he knows more about it than the generals and refuses to tell us what his secret plan is. Obviously she was out of her office when Assad used chemical weapons,” Geist replied.

“Was it a mistake to draw the red line if the president was not willing to do something about it when it was crossed?”

“Well, as you pointed out, the decision regarding that was made after she was out of office, so I think you’d have to ask President Obama,” said Mook.

Hillary’s campaign manager appeared surprised by the level of the questions from a traditional haven for far-left Democrats, MSNBC. “I think you’d have to ask her about that question, how she would characterize it. Look, what matters is what she is going to do as president. As I said, she has a clear plan to defeat ISIS. Donald Trump does not. It’s a secret. He won’t tell anybody what it is and he says he knows more than the generals. I think the choice is clear.”

Tough questioner, political commentator Mike Barnicle, asked Mook for Clinton’s specific plans for humanitarian aid for Aleppo, and how she’d respond to the potential of a “war crime” being committed through the bombing of a relief convoy. Again, Mook reverted to insisting he would “have to ask her that question. That’s a matter of policy and I’m going to leave it for her.”

Clearly mystified by Mook’s question-dodging lawyeristic approach to simple foreign policy questions, the panel left the Mook interview with the struggling campaign manager meekly uttering, “And as I said, Donald Trump has been able, unable, rather, to release a plan and we hope that he will reveal what his plans are in the debate.”

The game plan has changed and the Clinton handlers had better catch up with the new rules of the game or Hillary will melt down before 100 million Americans next Monday night. This election is a toss-up and Hillary knows it, her campaign knows it and the far-left mainstream media knows it better than all of them. Hillary is headed for the moment her media friends will find it impossible to slant the game in her favor.

Even a blind chipmunk finds an acorn once in a while.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.