Yesterday morning, Hillary Clinton spent her time describing Trump as unfit to serve as President (what else is new?), then, in a surprising twist, spent the rest of the day presenting herself as the only religious candidate. Considering that most democratic candidates have shied away from religion for a while, this is an interesting twist. Where would it come from? Maybe, just maybe, it had to do with the fact that she was speaking to the annual session of the National Baptist Convention, making the case that her faith has guided her since childhood.
Speaking to a large audience, Clinton reminisced about her childhood, discussing her praying father, Sunday School-teaching mother and minister, who took her white suburban church group into inner-city Chicago, and even brought them to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr. While one can’t help but think this is pandering, it’s a far cry from her typical speeches, typically based around attacking Trump. Clinton says that it was her church that encouraged her to embrace a social activist faith. Quoting scripture, she spoke of living up to the responsibility described by the Prophet Micah: “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God”.
Clinton has a long history of being perceived as robotic, cold and barely even human. Concerned that her affirmative message and Trump-bashing isn’t making enough of a splash, Clinton and her team has been making a newfound effort to present its candidate in a more positive light. If she can peel off faith voters skeptical of Trump’s religious bona fides, then that’s easy pickings. Yesterday, a post on the Humans of New York website featured a post from a surprisingly candid Clinton, acknowledging that many view her as cold and aloof.
Addresses like yesterday’s, focused on humanizing Clinton, will now most likely be the main focus for a woman that a recent CNN/ORC survey revealed is now viewed favorably by just 42 percent of likely voters. Next Tuesday, Clinton will be having policy-based talks about building an inclusive economy, national service and working for families and children.
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