In what could be considered a glorified campaign ad, Hillary Clinton took a conference call with millennial supporters on college campuses across the United States late last week. The email invitation was sent to only a select number of schools, and University of Nebraska at Omaha was on that list. The former Secretary of State was expected to give a short speech and take questions from students during the conference call. For any supporter, this would be a dream to get into.
Unfortunately, it did nothing in the way of persuading those millennial voters who might be sitting in on the call to vote for Secretary Clinton in November. The call was supposed to start on schedule at 10:45 a.m. CST, but when the time came, a staff member got on the line and pushed the start time back 30 minutes. Not a great start.
When they finally did get on the line, three staff members spoke for nearly 20 minutes, telling listeners how they became involved with the campaign and reminding everyone that it was imperative to register voters and campaign for Clinton on university campuses nationwide.
When Secretary Clinton finally came on the line, her remarks were brief. She made sure to thank supporters for their impressive voter registration efforts and added, “I’d love it if there were taco trucks on every corner!”
She ended her remarks by blasting Republican Candidate Donald Trump, citing his ability to divide the voter base through hateful rhetoric. In order to combat that, Secretary Clinton pointed out that “we’re stronger together.”
She then took questions. Two of them, to be exact.
The first question about ensuring affordable education for university students was met with an answer that was taken almost verba-tim from her campaign website. The second question, asked by a young woman in Ohio, asked the democratic candidate whether any young people had impacted her while on the campaign trail.
She spoke about a young man she met in Iowa who wanted to open a bowling alley, and how she plans to create a moratorium on student debt if a person wanted to open a business. It was a succinct, if an odd response.
She then ended the call abruptly, after 35 minutes. The original schedule still held, even though the candidate was late to the party. For any listeners who might be on the fence about which candidate is best, this was not the best impression of Clinton.
I had a feeling that if I had been allowed to ask my question, it would not have gone over well. I was curious to know how she could tout such brilliant environmental reform while simultaneously taking millions of dollars in donations from prominent fossil fuel lobbyists.
It seems that Secretary Clinton has already moved into the final phase of her campaign and is no longer interested in pushing for millennial voters who might be unsure of who to vote for in November. Instead, they solidified their need to get voters registered and to the polls, banking on the fact that many left-leaning millennials will instead choose the lesser of two evils.
Her strategy seems to be working among her supporters. Anyone looks like a saint when standing next to Donald Trump.
For any voters listening who weren’t outright supports of the Clinton campaign, the call left something to be desired. The lack of adherence to the schedule left me feeling like an afterthought on an already busy day for her. Despite the recent reports of her pneumonia, that was not disclosed as a reason for the tardiness. Her brief remarks and lackluster responses to just two questions were not adequate, either.
Try again, Secretary Clinton.