Can Clinton beat Trump?

Hillary Clinton has been officially nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate and competing for the US presidency against the Republican candidate Donald Trump. But commentators doubt for several reasons she has what it takes to beat him.

Open/close all quotes
Financial Times (GB) /

Clinton making the same mistake as Brexit foes

As was the case in Britain, the widespread fear of immigration could cost Hillary Clinton the presidency, The Financial Times believes:

“In the British case, the Remain campaign never found a way to deal with public anxiety about immigration, and the Democrats may be falling into the same trap. Mrs Clinton's declaration last week that 'We will not build a wall' drew huge cheers from the floor of the convention. But the British experience suggests that declarations of this sort might simply be interpreted as a refusal to engage with public concerns about migration. Mr Trump is certainly making that case, tweeting recently that 'Hillary’s vision is a borderless world where working people have no power, no jobs, no safety'.”

Magyar Idők (HU) /

Her past will catch up with her

Hillary Clinton will be brought down by the Clinton Foundation, the charity organisation founded by her husband, Magyar Idők believes:

“The foundation, which manages billions of dollars, has frequently acted very inconsistently in a number of developing countries from Africa to Haiti … Although it would be extremely difficult to prove corruption on the part of the Clintons it is very suspect when someone charges 700,000 dollars in fees for giving speeches all over Africa. … And worse still, when the Russians bought Canada's biggest mining company in 2013, which also owned US uranium mines, the sellers transferred almost 2.5 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation and another half a million came from the Russian side. And all this bearing in mind that the deal required the prior approval of the US State Department, which at that time was led by none other than the former first lady.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

American women leaving Hillary in the lurch

According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll only 52 percent of registered American women voters support Clinton, regrets The Irish Times:

“When indeed, however anticipated, the moment is a genuine milestone in US politics, the first nomination by a major party of a woman candidate as its choice for president. Objectively it is a cultural turning point of huge significance, but underwhelming to many women with shorter memories or who have not identified with the struggle for women's equality. Unlike blacks, who rallied to Barack Obama in huge numbers, the significance of his election was clear to them personally, women appear less willing to do so for Clinton to enable her to achieve what many seem not to see as a breakthrough.”

Delo (SI) /

Trump smoothes the way for Clinton

The crudeness of her opponent will be the most significant factor in helping Hillary Clinton to become the first woman to rule America, believes Delo, who cannot take the Republican candidate Trump seriously:

“Even if the more liberal Democrats have problems with Clinton, the New York real estate magnate is her greatest 'ally'. With his 'Trumpism' - this mix of cheap demagogy and cynicism - the Slovenian-by-marriage is driving away moderate and educated Republicans who - according to social networks - are watching with envy the sophistication and rationality of the Democratic election campaign events. As a result Clinton now has the chance in the election campaign that begins in September to convince the American people that she and not Trump is the person who stands for positive change in Washington.”

Pravda (SK) /

Clinton will have to fight hard

Hillary Clinton will have a hard time beating Donald Trump in the election, Pravda suspects:

“The former first lady is the least popular Democratic candidate in recent history. And the fact that Trump is even less popular doesn't alter that. There are many reasons for her unpopularity. Some accuse her of being too close to the establishment, others don't like her hard line in foreign policy. … Trump may be like a bull in a china shop when it comes to foreign policy, but the Americans are tired of costly military operations abroad. They want the US to focus more on its own problems. … Clinton faces a tough final sprint if she wants to deliver on her promise that Trump will 'never set foot in the Oval Office'.”

Dnevnik (SI) /

Democrats starting a new world war

The Democratic Party is showing itself to be highly undemocratic and this does not bode well for a Clinton presidency, warns Dnevnik:

“The Democratic Party apparatus ousted the candidate who had the support of the people and championed the candidate favoured by the billionaires. The people whom the party represents have been called upon in the name of party discipline to show unity and to support a candidate whose politics run counter to their interests. ... And furthermore, the apparatus and its leading candidate blamed the Wikileaks revelations on an external enemy, claiming that the emails were hacked by the Russians to help Trump. ... By trying to turn Trump into a Russian agent, the Democrat elite is telling us what to expect from the US if their candidate gets elected. These people are starting a new world war.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Only a united Democrat front can win

Wikileaks has leaked hacked emails from the Democrats showing that the party leadership was pro-Hillary Clinton from the outset. In spite of the scandal supporters of her rival Bernie Sanders should still stand behind Clinton now, the Guardian urges:

“Meanwhile, the Republicans are using the leaks as evidence of a corrupt and conniving Democratic establishment. ... We don't know how much more will be leaked, and when. But it is safe to assume it will be timed and arranged to cause the maximum damage to the Democrats. Already, some of Senator Sanders' delegates have booed him for endorsing Senator Clinton. These are dangerous passions. Both sides need to remember that a Trump presidency would threaten a fate much worse than the election of the wrong Democrat, to calm down, and to carry on together.”

HuffPost Italia (IT) /

No one can stop Trump, warns Michael Moore

In an open letter film director and Bernie Sanders supporter Michael Moore explains why Donald Trump will win the presidential election. The letter was posted on Moore's website and is also printed in the Italian Huffington Post:

“So in most elections it's hard to get even 50 percent to turn out to vote. And therein lies the problem for November - who is going to have the most motivated, most inspired voters show up to vote? You know the answer to this question. Who's the candidate with the most rabid supporters? Whose crazed fans are going to be up at 5 AM on Election Day, kicking ass all day long, all the way until the last polling place has closed, making sure every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Bob and Joe and Billy Bob and Billy Joe and Billy Bob Joe) has cast his ballot? That's right. That's the high level of danger we’re in. And don’t fool yourself - no amount of compelling Hillary TV ads, or outfacting him in the debates or Libertarians siphoning votes away from Trump is going to stop his mojo.”

Libération (FR) /

Most-hated candidates have won out

The presidential election is the result of social rifts that have only deepened during Obama's tenure, Libération believes:

“Far from healing the wounds as many had hoped, Obama's presidency has rekindled racial tensions. Many Americans never digested the election and re-election of a black president. You'll find them today at Donald Trump's rallies. Not all Trump supporters are racist, that goes without saying. Fear of what tomorrow will bring, anxiety over America's decline and anger at the elites are fuelling this disconcerting campaign. And what to say in this context about Bernie Sanders? ... Not without difficulty, the Clinton machine claimed victory over Bernie the revolutionary. On November 8 the idol of the young won't figure on the ballot sheets. Instead, Americans will have to choose between the two most-hated candidates in the country.”

Kaleva (FI) /

Battle of the sexes

The battle lines will be drawn along the gender lines in the upcoming US presidential election, Kaleva surmises:

“This time around the campaigning will be particularly virulent, a fight in which no holds are barred. The initial situation is spiced up by the fact that both candidates' parties are divided in their support. ... The candidates' gender is likely to influence the election outcome, though it could swing both ways: Trump could rake in the votes of the old codgers in the Democratic Party, while Clinton could secure the votes of female Republicans.”

El País (ES) /

Don't reduce Clinton to her status as a woman

Hillary Clinton is not just a woman but also an excellently qualified candidate for the post of US president, El País is convinced:

“Although without doubt her victory is a historic achievement that breaks a glass ceiling for women, it would be extremely unfair not to consider the Democratic candidate's brilliant career as an equally important factor. She is a successful lawyer who, after an enforced break so as to avoid a conflict of interests with her husband - which, however, didn't stop her from initiating major health and education reforms - went into politics, first as senator for New York, then as a candidate for the US presidency and finally as the chief of US diplomacy.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

Is Trump a fascist?

How dangerous would Donald Trump be as US President? Jutarnji list asks:

“Trump is closest to fascism in his leadership dimension and his fixation on his role as America's saviour. … Clear resemblances with Mussolini, Franco and Hitler can be detected here. Trump has fascist traits and Trumpism has fascist elements, but when you look at the whole package there are also clear differences. In this respect it seems more important to ensure that the country's control mechanisms adequately protect the US political system and prevent the transformation to a fascist state. However US legal experts are sounding the alarm because Trump clearly doesn't respect the constitution, especially when it comes to the separation of powers and the primacy of the rule of law. Both conservatives and liberals are warning that as president Trump could plunge the US into a constitutional crisis.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Democrats making history again

Independently of the primaries and for the most part unnoticed by Europe new ground is being broken in the US, Aftonbladet points out:

“Completely obsessed by the crackpot Trump, we've overlooked another major development: the US is shifting to the left. In his new book the [Swedish] author and US-expert Martin Gelin describes how American voters' support for the rights of women, homosexuals and minorities has skyrocketed in recent decades and how criticism of the growing economic inequality goes hand in hand with such support. As much as Trump and the duly-hyped conflict between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have grabbed the public eye, the big story in American politics is that after eight years with a black president, a woman now stands to enter the White House whose platform calls for a higher minimum wage, more daycare facilities and parental allowances. That is historic in many respects.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Clinton's biggest weakness is Bill

Clinton's nomination is assured but she hasn't been able to whip up much enthusiasm, NRC Handelsblad comments:

“Her biggest weakness is her husband Bill, president from 1993 to 2001. ... His pragmatism led to the Nafta free trade agreement and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act or crime bill, a tough law that hit young black men unjustifiably hard. A lot of the anger voters feel can be traced back to these decisions. Free trade is as suspect as the political centre. And the crime bill is an indirect cause of the huge dissatisfaction among Afro-Americans and the movement Black Lives Matter. The American left is currently redefining itself, which is yet another reason for the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton. She presents herself as a hard worker who wants to do things a bit better. In this day and age that's not a very popular approach to politics.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

Trump's recipe for success is aggressiveness

Lies and aggressiveness can get you a long way, Jutarnji list notes in view of Donald Trump's success:

“A study by Missouri Western State University proves what everyone already knew: 50 percent of the Republican candidates' statements were aggressive in nature. In particular those by Donald Trump, only six percent of whose statements contained political proposals. Trump has been the most aggressive and at the same time the most successful candidate in presenting false facts, insults and fabricated stories. … Why is it easier to create the image of a strong man with aggressive gestures and slogans than with serious political projects? Projects can be opposed with counterarguments and stretched into endless debates that finally drag the whole project down. … But there are only two responses to an aggressive challenge: you either let the idiot blather on or you shout him down. In both cases aggressiveness wins out.”

LRT (LT) /

The US needs a third candidate

The web platform LRT is keen on the idea of a third, independent candidate, as advocated by many Republicans unhappy with Trump:

“His goal would be to lure away as many votes as possible from Trump and overtake him in the polls. The most successful independent candidate so far was Ross Perot, who ran against the Republicans and Democrats in 1992 and won 19 percent of the vote. But he started his election campaign at a much earlier stage. Now there is too little time for a new candidate to build up the necessary infrastructure. The optimists believe this could be done with the help of the smaller US parties. … The pessimists point to the example of Michael Bloomberg. The ex-mayor of New York announced in January that he couldn't stop Trump and was therefore pulling out of the race. On the other hand there are many decisive and active people in the US - which is why there could still be a few new developments before the elections.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Why the conman could end up winning

A recent survey shows that both Trump and Clinton are equally unpopular with 60 percent of the US population. But Trump could emerge as the winner of this duel between unpopular presidential candidates because he casts himself as the underdog, La Repubblica concludes:

“Hillary embodies the establishment, confirmation of the status quo. The Donald, his supporters claim, represents change. No matter how many risks that change entails. … So it's not his own strength that Trump is benefiting from but the weakness of his opponent. She embodies all those things that millions of Americans, and not just the poor and ignorant, despise: the 'power' that has punished and excluded them. … He is the 'anti-power', and not even the paradox of him, a man who became a billionaire through property speculation and tax fraud, ranting and raving against the upper caste will deter his supporters from a jump into the void rather than achieving change in the old painstaking ways.”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

White men won't decide the outcome

Donald Trump has the support of a large number of white male voters but it will take more than that to win the election, Helsingin Sanomat reminds its readers:

“The dissatisfaction of the white lower class and male workers has secured Trump the Republican candidacy. Even if Trump doesn't win the election this autumn, his voter base will remain a political force to be reckoned with. That may be reflected in both foreign and domestic policy - or at least in the way the political debate is conducted. ... The problem with the Republicans, however, is that their party has become a party of white men. Simply provoking the anger of the Latinos and women could decide the election in Clinton's favour. The biggest risk for Clinton now is any kind of scandal.”

The Independent (GB) /

Trump as president may not be such a bad idea

The Independent can't understand the warnings about Trump's political inexperience:

“It can surely be argued that experience of elected office might at the very least be over-rated. With confidence in all politicians so dismal, and living standards in low-growth first-world economies stalling, someone with a different sort of experience, different methods and different ideas might just have some new answers. Like it or not, Trump certainly has business acumen. Successful businesspeople also tend to choose staff and advisers well. Trump could turn out to be a far better deal-maker than Obama with Congress. And something similar could apply abroad. … We may see a very different Donald Trump in the months to come. It might even be a Trump we could imagine, if not supporting, then at least as someone we could do business with.”

Irish Independent (IE) /

Four years of purgatory

The choice between Clinton or Trump is a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, the Irish Independent complains:

“The American political system has managed to narrow the race down to two supremely flawed human beings, neither of whom remotely deserves to be in the White House. On the one hand we have Hillary Clinton, a scandal-ridden, uninspiring candidate whose left-wing policies would destroy what is left of US exceptionalism; on the other is Donald Trump, a demagogue who specialises in whipping up hate and threatening cataclysmic trade wars. This depressing choice comes at the worst possible time for the US: the country is bitterly divided, faith in the American Dream and US constitution is receding, and many would like nothing better than to shut themselves off from the world. Meanwhile, the threat of terrorism remains as high as ever. … There will be no good outcome, so it is time for the world, as well as America itself, to begin preparing for four years of purgatory.”