Opinion

The Day The Election Ended

Robert Chernin Vice President, RedTech Data

President Trump.  Better get used to the sound of that.  Since no one else will say it, I will.  The race for President officially ended last Sunday and Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States.   Historians and pundits will look back at the events of September 11, 2016 as the day that Hillary Clinton lost.    Fifteen years to the day after America stood brave and came together after being attacked, Mrs. Clinton had her own attack.  As with all things Clinton, these wounds were self-inflicted.

I am not referring to the “overheating” or “medical episode” she experienced last Sunday, call it what you may.  It is pretty clear to anyone who is even remotely objective that her overall general health is questionable at best.  The pneumonia is probably not the main malady she is suffering from.  Her coughing attacks have been going on for months and months now.  Unless she has had pneumonia for a long time, there is something else going on with her health.  It is far more likely that the pneumonia was a result of some other medical issue that has caused her health to deteriorate leading her to come down with pneumonia, not the other way around.  To be objective, she is almost 70, overweight and has had a long history of medical issues.  Since 2011, Mrs. Clinton has had at least one concussion, double vision, suffered significant short-term memory loss (if we are to believe her FBI testimony) and had a blood clot removed from the space between her brain and skull.  Not exactly the epitome of health, and that is just since 2011.  She doesn’t exercise and has never really been athletic in any way.  Lack of exercise and carrying that kind of excess weight as one gets older puts such an inordinate amount of stress on the body in so many ways, and can lead to a whole host of health-related issues even in relatively healthy people.

Her medical condition, however, is not really what is at issue here.  The Clintons’, as they always do, have already started to do some damage control in an attempt to manage the fallout.  The campaign has announced that they are going to release more of her medical records later this week.  Is there any doubt that the report will show she is in tip top shape and there is nothing to worry about with regards to her long-term health?  She is probably so healthy she will outlive us all.  In truth, maybe Mrs. Clinton is healthy and maybe she isn’t.  Regardless, the real issue here is not her health.  The real issue here is Mrs. Clinton’s ever pervasive lying and secrecy.  If Watergate taught the country anything it is that most of the time it is not the crime but the attempted cover up that ends up causing the most damage.  That is exactly what happened last Sunday. It is the lying about her medical condition that will be remembered as the defining moment and when her campaign officially ended.

Prior to Sunday’s events, much of the media had been focusing on Mrs. Clinton’s “Basket of Deplorables” comment that she made last week in NYC.  There can be no doubt that her comments were dismissive, condescending, elitist and just in extremely poor taste all around.  She also made clear what she and most of the Progressive Left really think about Main Street America.  However, just like Governor Romney’s comment about The 47% back in 2012, her comments probably didn’t move the needle all that much with any independent or undecided voters.  If all the issues surrounding her emails, Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation didn’t alienate them, this probably didn’t either.

Questions about Bill and Hillary’s ability to be candid and honest with the American people has permeated their politics since their days in Arkansas.  As we learned with Whitewater and the Lewinsky Scandal, the Clintons have had a long, slow and tortuous dance with the truth.  It is Mrs. Clinton’s penchant for secrecy and disdain for the media in particular that has made it by far the number one concern with the voters since she launched her campaign.  When it comes to Mrs. Clinton, the questions about her honesty and trustworthiness may have been swirling around her for years.  It took the events of last Sunday to solidify and harden that perception in the minds of most of America.  If there really were any undecided voters, there aren’t anymore.  Remember during the 2012 GOP Primaries when Mitt Romney reached his hand across the lectern and offered to bet Rick Perry $10,000?  Who bets $10,000?  The average voter doesn’t, that’s for sure.  It that one moment the prevailing perception of Governor Romney as an out of touch, silver-spooned rich guy that couldn’t relate to the needs to the average American instantly crystallized.  One can argue whether or not it was THE seminal moment in his losing campaign, but the damage was done and the perception became a reality to the voters, then and there.

That is exactly what happened to Mrs. Clinton last Sunday.  The failure to tell the truth about her health crystallized all the fears and concerns about Mrs. Clinton’s trustworthiness that had been floating around in the ionosphere.  And this time there was real time video to back it up so America could see it with their own eyes.  There could be no Clintonian parsing of the truth.  Later that evening during a phone interview with CNN, Mrs. Clinton claimed that the only reason she hadn’t told the truth was because she did not think that having pneumonia “was that big of a deal”.  The pneumonia may not have been that big of a deal but telling yet another fabrication is, and only serves to reinforce the perception that she is incapable of telling the truth, on anything at any time.   That indelible perception will now be what the voters take with them into the polling booths this November.

For their part, Mr. Trump and his campaign have also had their problems, especially over the Summer.  There is a saying in politics that the real race does not start until after Labor Day, and since then Mr. Trump seems to have found his stride.  He seems to have made the transition and understands how to be Presidential without losing his populist appeal. He is staying on message and actually seems to be enjoying himself.  It is certainly possible that something may happen, maybe at the debates, that will change the dynamics of this race once again, but I sincerely doubt it.  After 8 years of President Obama, the public is tired of being lied to. They are tired of being told it is sunny outside when it’s really raining.  They are tired of being told that Americans are lazy when there just aren’t enough jobs for everyone who really needs a paycheck and have given up trying out of despair.  They are tired of being told how great the economy is when they don’t see it in their paychecks or feel it in the pockets.  Most of all Americans are tired of being lied to and now clearly see beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mrs. Clinton will only bring four more years of it.  That was what America really saw this past Sunday, fifteen years to the day after 9/11.  Game over.