Bob Rae writes in today's Globe and Mail that the American election will be all about voter turnout:
The rise of Barack Obama, like that of Justin Trudeau in Canada, was about harnessing charisma, eloquence, charm, openness, humour and, yes, celebrity, to a more progressive and open approach to life and politics. The election of both depended on a single phenomenon: voter turnout. Citizens whose interest had been suppressed by their negative impression of the political process were sufficiently aroused to vote. The most important part of President Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention was his statement that “politics is not a spectator sport.” When the crowd booed his mention of Mr. Trump’s name, he rightly said, “Don’t boo – vote.” As it was for Mr. Trudeau’s team in Canada, Mr. Obama’s success depended on his ability to expand the voting universe.
Like Stephen Harper, Donald Trump is doubling down on his base. That strategy failed dismally for Harper. It will probably fail dismally for Trump -- unless Hillary Clinton fails to mobilize voters and attract not only progressives but also disenfranchised Republicans.
Yesterday, New York Republican Richard Hanna endorsed Clinton. And, also yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that:
Meg Whitman, the Hewlett-Packard chief executive who ran unsuccessfully for governor of California in 2010, will back Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, joining other prominent Republicans troubled by Donald Trump's candidacy.
“Trump’s unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more,” wrote Whitman, urging fellow Republicans to reject his nomination.
In recent days, Trump has drawn scorn from Democrats and Republicans alike for his criticism of an American Muslim family whose son died in combat in Iraq, and several leading Republican operatives have backed off from supporting Trump.
Sally Bradshaw, an influential GOP strategist in Florida who advised former Gov. Jeb Bush during his primary campaign, announced Monday that she would leave the party.
A day later, Maria Comella, a top former advisor to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also called Trump a demagogue and signaled her support for Clinton.
Trump, she said, "has been a demagogue this whole time, preying on people's anxieties with loose information and salacious rhetoric, drumming up fear and hatred of the 'other.' "
If Hillary is to win, she'll need to take a page out of Ronald Reagan's playbook. He won by attracting "Reagan Democrats." Hillary will need to appeal to "Clinton Republicans."
Image: The Los Angeles Times