During a speech Thursday at Aurora University, political analyst David Axelrod said President Donald Trump’s showmanship and perceived authenticity won him the November election, claiming that Democrat Hillary Clinton’s inability to connect with voters on a similar level cost her the White House, the Daily Herald reports.
According to the report, Axelrod, one of former President Barack Obama’s chief strategists, said Trump capitalized on Clinton’s inability to connect with certain voting blocs, allowing the Republican to galvanize large swaths of the electorate, namely white, working class, males.
“She said we don’t need you,” Axelrod said. “It made Trump’s job easy. His message to them was you’re disrespected. I think (Clinton made) a big mistake.”
Axelrod argued that Clinton has a big heart but was unwilling to display it on the campaign trail. He reflected Thursday on visiting an epilepsy clinic with the former Secretary of State, a trip that the she ultimately flipped into an unscripted fundraising speech for his epilepsy charity.
“It was very powerful and impactful,” Axelrod said Thursday. "And that’s a very big part of who Hillary Clinton is. She is worried about the political consequences of that. Authenticity is a really big factor. The more authentic candidate almost always wins because (voters) want someone they feel is being straight with them."
“Whatever you think of Donald Trump, nobody ever says, ‘I wish he would speak his mind,’” he added.
Nevertheless, Axelrod, who now hosts a popular podcast and serves as a commentator on CNN, said Trump’s first weeks in office have revealed his vulnerability, noting that the real estate magnate will likely face resistance from fellow Republicans if he loses favor with the party’s changing base.
He claimed congressional Republicans “would be willing to put a boot to (Trump’s) butt and show him the door,” claiming they favor Vice President Mike Pence, a former congressman.
“But Trump should not be underestimated,” Axelrod said. “He is a major talent when it comes to media. If they put the boot to him prematurely, very likely they will get the boot put on them and find themselves in primary races.”
“Part of what binds the Republicans to him is commonality of interest. The other part is abject fear, fear of a base where (Trump) has more loyalty that they do,” he added.