Here’s Why October Was the Best Month of Hillary Clinton’s Career
On October 1, it seemed panic-time was just around the corner for supporters of Hillary Clinton. A newly released poll showed Clinton’s support had fallen by double digits since the summer. Her favorability ratings were low. The most popular words being used to describe Clinton were “dishonest,” “liar,” and “untrustworthy.”
Fast forward a month, and Clinton has never looked better. For her campaign — and perhaps her entire political career — this was a month unlike any other. Here’s how we got here:
October 13: The first democratic debate
With the democratic base antsy and ready to panic, Clinton answered all the questions her critics and supporters were asking. She was likable. She was poised. She could win.
A post-debate poll found that 62% of democrats thought Clinton won the debate, followed by 35% for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. For all the concerns about Clinton — that the debate would allow an open-forum for the candidates to attack her about her emails and Benghazi; that the prime-time event would only give more recognition to Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley; that a bad performance would give opening to Vice President Joe Biden — her donors and supporters took a collective deep breath that night.
Indeed, as Clinton’s press secretary, Brian Fallon, said, “That was the best night of our campaign.”
October 21: Biden backs out
When Biden took to the Rose Garden and stood beside the President to anounce he would not seek the presidency, a potential major blow to the Clinton campaign was averted, plain and simple.
Say what you want about the unlikelihood of Biden every winning the nomination, but we’re talking about one of the most recognizable, competent, experienced politicians in the country, someone who would have undoubtedly caused a lot of headaches for the Clinton-camp.
He probably wouldn’t have won, but on October 21, the path towards the nomination got far easier for Clinton.
October 22: Clinton testifies before Benghazi committee
Sure, the whole world knows what the Republicans are up to in perpetually investigating Clinton’s role in the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, especially after Representative Kevin McCarthy made the select committee’s political motives abundantly clear.
Still, the spectacle of a presidential candidate getting grilled before Congress is hardly something a candidate wants to endure. Only Hillary Clinton can turn that disaster-in-the-making into a strength.
Not only did Clinton walk away unscathed, but she left the Republicans looking silly. She remained calm, took her answers seriously, and clearly did her homework. For once, Clinton looked like the serious politician while her critics looked like the partisan bullies.
Rest assured, there are real criticisms of Clinton regarding her role in Libya, but the Republicans chose instead to focus on a conspiracy theory that has been consistently disproven, playing right into Clinton’s hand.
In the span of a month, Clinton went from perceived front-runner on thin ice to the genuine best choice, the candidate everyone she believed she could be. Her path to the nomination jumped from being in everybody else’s hands — the Republicans in Congress, Sanders, Biden — to her own.