Politics

Hillary Clinton Turned Donald Trump's Greatest Strength Into a Weakness

July 29th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

On Thursday evening, Hillary Clinton took the stage to accept the Democratic nomination for president and give her much-anticipated closing speech to the Democratic National Convention.

Clinton covered a lot of ground — she addressed her policy record and plans for the future, gave an enthused shout-out to science, and even acknowledged what is perhaps her largest political weakness, saying, "The truth is, through all these years of public service, the service part has always come easier to me than the public part."

But as is often the case of political candidate's speeches, the most memorable part of Clinton's speech may have come when the speech transitioned into an attack on her opponent.

When it came to Donald Trump, Clinton went for the jugular — his Twitter feed.

"A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons," Clinton said. The remark was deemed the "most-tweeted moment" of the evening by Twitter's Government & Elections team.

Trump's tweets — however unhinged, offensive, or void of facts — have garnered him massive attention throughout his primary run.

And in terms of campaigning, that attention — which often comes in response to Trump's knee-jerk reactions or semi-coherent vitriol — has served him well. His ceaseless barrage of tweets at all hours of the night often manages to claim the news cycle when he is saying very little. But as Clinton pointed out, knee-jerk reactions are no way to govern. 

Clinton's Twitter feed, by comparison, is very boring. Most of it involves sharing seemingly sensible quotes from her speeches and those of her advocates. It is no fun. And that's a good thing.

Clinton's measured policy explanations do not ignite the kind of outrage that Trump's do when he speculates about a reporter's menstrual cycle or requests intelligence from the Russian government.

By pointing this out, Clinton turned the tables on how Twitter has served as a voice for their respective campaigns — lest we forget the Clinton camp's unfortunate attempts to spice things up on social media: abuela-gate, the Kwanzaa backlash, and that tone-deaf Rosa Parks variation on her logo.

Clinton used this jab to send a much larger message about Trump's temperament, judgment, and capabilities — hammering in the point that what makes Trump entertaining would also make him legitimately dangerous.