HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Clinton campaign Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri gave Hillary Clinton a somewhat ringing endorsement when it came to the Democrat’s likability factor.
“She’s likable enough. I think this is what’s great about 90 minutes uninterrupted. We get to see her. We get to see her unfiltered. We get to see someone who is prepared to do the job,” Palmieri told reporters in the late Monday afternoon hours before Clinton’s first debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
President Obama made the same comment about Clinton during a primary debate when both were senators running for the White House in 2008.
Palmieri appeared confident, however, that Clinton will outshine the New York businessman at the debate at Hofstra University.
“She’s going to show she understands the problems the country has. She’s going to show she has plans to deal with them. She’s going to show she has the skill and knowledge and expertise to deal with that and judgment,” she said.
One concern the Clinton campaign has is that Trump will be “graded on a curve” because of his lack of experience in public policy.
“We’re concerned that’s gonna happen. Ultimately, it rests with the voters. So what we’re hoping to communicate with them is, even if you hear pundits giving [Trump] style points, that’s not what you should be placing your judgment on. This should be the two most prepared competent people on the planet,” Palmieri explained.
Vice President Al Gore had style point taken away from him from not only the pundits but also the voters when he rolled his eyes or sighed in reaction to some of George W. Bush’s responses during one of their debates in 2000.
When asked if Clinton may could fall into the same trap, Palmieri replied: “We’re just going to let the debate happen. She’s not going to ease off her performance just because he’s not as prepared as she is.”
Could Clinton’s institutional knowledge and may come off as condescending when hitting back at Trump? Palmieri does not think so.
“This is people competing for the most important job on the planet and every candidate should be able to perform at the highest possible standard in terms of talent in terms of knowledge and judgment so that is what she will bring and that is what people should judge him by, but no she is not going to dump herself down to meet his bar.”