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How Hillary Got Her Groove Back

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 28/10/2015 Joan E. Dowlin
HILLARY CLINTON © ASSOCIATED PRESS HILLARY CLINTON

Some say Hillary's last 10 ten days has secured her the Democratic nomination for the presidency. I say it started way before that.
Her interview on September 4, 2015 with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC was the turning point and the beginning of her long climb back after the "summer of Trump." This was the first of her many meetings with the press after months of avoiding the media.
I admit the start of her campaign was a little rocky in April of 2015 with the modest Internet video showing many folks announcing their ambitions and then Hillary saying she was going to run for president. What? No escalators? No adoring crowds and balloons? It was a humble beginning to say the least. As were her trips to Iowa and New Hampshire for town hall meetings barring the press. Her comments about she and Bill being broke when they left the White House did not go over well and Democratic rival Senator Bernie Sander's appeal to the progressive wing of the party creating huge crowds and excitement for his campaign were seeming to take a toll on her popularity. My take is that she was rusty having been out of public service since 2012 and not run a campaign since 2008.
I must say though, it was quite amusing watching reporters running after her van in Iowa and I'm sure it frustrated quite a few journalists wishing to ask her questions.
But now it seems it was a calculated approach to get to know the voters and the issues they cared about. Hillary then crafted her platform which includes solutions to prescription drug and heroin addiction that I hear few other candidates address.
This private tour also served to make the press antsy to interview her and they accused her of being elitist and out of touch. They also said she was running away from her email server controversy. But remember, this was the summer of Trump and his presence was soaking up all the limelight anyway. Hillary always knew when the time was right she could garner the spotlight.
So September and the fall season signaled Phase 2 of her campaign. For thirty minutes of the Andrea Mitchell interview Hillary finally addressed the email scandal in a constructive way and said she was sorry for the confusion and it was a mistake and she was being as transparent and co-operative as she could releasing over 55,000 pages of her emails.
But also in the interview HRC looked presidential and spoke of foreign affairs and said that Donald Trump's approach of lambasting his rivals could be dangerous to the world if he were president.
This was the first of many TV interviews including Lena Dunham and appearances on the Ellen Show, Jimmy Fallon, SNL and eventually Rachel Maddow and Stephen Colbert showing her lighter side.
So she was on a roll even before the October Democratic debate which most pundits thought she had won although Senator Sanders scored points too and did her a favor by railing against the email attacks on her. With her debate performance, she began to remind voters that she was smart, experienced and ready to lead. This is the Hillary I had supported in the PA primary of 2008.
Then VP Joe Biden decided not to enter the race and Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee dropped out and then there were three.
And then came the Benghazi House Select committee hearing in which the former Secretary of State endured over 11 hours of questioning with amazing grace under fire and put to bed that issue in many Americans' eyes.
And now her polls are soaring. I would say Hillary got her groove back and I as a loyal Hillary supporter feel vindicated. This summer I endured ridicule by some for my Hillary bumper sticker and Hillary beach towel. But I kept the faith and knew she would rise again. This is not to say there will not be more turbulence ahead. The election is over a year away and a lot can happen between now and then. But for now she has squelched the doubts of her critics and emboldened her Democratic base and has shown she is a fighter in this for the long haul.

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