Some pundits would argue that two of the three remaining top-tier presidential candidates — Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump — are like poets, like Shelley and Byron — like fire and ice, basically. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton is somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.
How much more lackluster could she be? And the answer is none. None more lackluster.
Thus, as Trump and Sanders draw huge and frenzied crowds at 15,000-seat arenas and 25,000-seat arenas, Clinton is speaking at smaller, more intimate venues where the number of journalists sometimes matches the number of attendees.
The dinky audiences are totally intentional, Clinton aides have told NBC News.
Indeed, the Democratic front-runner’s appeal is becoming more selective.
The strategy of choosing small venues and having low-key events helps Clinton, her aides say, because she is not the “natural” politician her husband Bill Clinton is — or that President Barack Obama is.
Clinton is deliberate and earnest, the aides say, and cozy settings allow voters — albeit not very many of them — to see her discuss both substantive policy and to address voters’ specific pet issues in a serious way.
While Trump and Sanders talk loudly at voters during mammoth, standing-room-only rallies, Clinton speaks with them in rooms where there is ample room to move about.
The plan to go small is a gamble, Clinton aides admit, but they say their candidate is purposefully showing restraint throughout this tumultuous election year.
Additionally, aides told NBC, big rallies don’t always metamorphose into lots of votes. In New York, for example, Sanders held colossal, enthusiastic rallies in three Big Apple boroughs. Clinton devoted herself to small events and traditional retail stops. Turns out, Clinton won the vote in those three boroughs — Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan — and she also won the New York state primary handily.
Clinton has garnered more Democratic delegates than Sanders as well. She has won 1,768 traditional delegates to Sanders’s 1,494. In the chase for Democratic superdelegates, Clinton is dramatically ahead — 525 to 39.
In the general election, aides concede, voters could view Clinton’s small gatherings as puny and sad compared to the gargantuan rallies Trump might generate.
Nevertheless, aides say, the Clinton campaign plans to continue holding events at small venues which seat 1,500 or fewer people. In such locales, they say, Clinton can engage voters on the issues that matter to them.
“I’ve had some extraordinary conversations — tough and honest,” Clinton remarked after a tour of West Virginia, according to NBC.
This election season, Clinton has drawn a crowd of 5,000 or more people just once — at an event on New York City’s Roosevelt Island.
Her aides suggest they will eventually try to hold some big rally in an arena but they will also continue to hold events with few people in minuscule venues all the way through November.