Clinton Stays Quiet, Which Might Be How She Wins

by Charlie Beckerman

Things have been very quiet out of Madame Secretary’s campaign lately. The last time Hillary Clinton was dominating headlines that didn’t also include her Republican rival might have been the Democratic National Convention, which ended two weeks (and about a million news cycles) ago. Since then, Donald Trump has dominated headlines in the worst way, whether by promoting violence (by running his mouth), picking a fight (by running his mouth), or, well, by just running his mouth. And that couldn’t be better for Clinton.

But if the axiom of “all publicity is good publicity” holds true — as Trump often appears to think it does — then why is Clinton amenable to letting the headlines be dominated by her opponent, especially as we enter this last, crucial leg of the campaign? Here are three reasons.

Clinton Doesn't Think Of The Media As Her Friends

Unlike Trump, who, according to a Harvard Kennedy School study, was helped massively by his dominant and largely positive media coverage in the 2015 run-up to the primaries, Clinton does not benefit from getting coverage. The same Harvard study noted that Clinton “had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate,” and suggests that negative coverage contributed to her growing unpopularity ratings. Every minute that Clinton is on camera — especially when she isn’t in control of the narrative — is an opportunity for her to get attacked — not necessarily undeservedly.

The Media Is SO BORED By Her Emails

Nobody who has spent any amount of time reading and writing about Clinton will be nominating her to be Saint Hillary anytime soon, and the steady flow of emails coming from various sources show murkier and murkier practices that don’t make her look great. Many have argued that in any other year, against any other opponent, she wouldn’t have a chance. That might be true, but for a media hungry for eyeballs and clickbait, there’s no contest between a headline that reads “Ethicists: Clinton team violated ‘spirit’ of pledge” and another that reads “Trump ramps up attacks on Obama as founder of ISIL.” Even media outlets that have covered the latest Clinton email news are hardly rewarded for it.

She Doesn't Need The Spotlight, And He Does

At this moment, Trump’s ego appears to be his worst enemy. Since the end of the Republican National Convention, aka Trumpfest2016, any time the spotlight has been off of him for more than minute, he’s done something to inject himself back into it. And if the last few weeks have been any sign, it’s going to be Trump's undoing. Clinton, on the other hand, is perfectly happy out of the spotlight. And in this race, this year, against this opponent, her placidity could win her the White House.

Image: Bustle/Caroline Wurtzel