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Moulitsas: Women key for Clinton

Moulitsas: Women key for Clinton
© Moriah Ratner

The long-running conservative argument against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNSA leaker Reality Winner released from federal prison Monica Lewinsky signs production deal with 20th TV Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide MORE can be neatly summed up: She’s cold, she’s calculating and she’s self-serving. Every crazy right-wing conspiracy theory fits into that narrative, whether it is the death of Vince Foster or whatever it was they think happened during Whitewater. 

Think about their latest nutso theory: Benghazi. The former secretary of State didn’t care about those diplomats, denied them proper security, refused to allow the military to save them when they were under attack, then lied about it all to cover it up. This has all been disproven by eight Republican investigations, but it isn’t stopping Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE from claiming in a fundraising email that he will “indict Hillary Clinton and find her guilty of all charges” if elected. When it comes to crazy Republican Clinton hate, reality need not apply.

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The left-wing primary arguments against Clinton focused more on her commitment to progressive ideals. She’s addressed those in recent weeks, making clear in speeches that she is not pivoting from her primary-season promises, to end the Hyde Amendment prohibiting federal funding of abortions, to create more oversight of the nation’s shadow-banking system, to increase Social Security benefits, and to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. With Trump’s help, and with a hefty assist from Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAdams, Garcia lead in NYC mayor's race: poll Exclusive: Democrat exploring 'patriot tax' on multimillionaires' wealth McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats MORE (D-Mass.), Clinton’s party is mostly united. 

But also with Trump’s help, she has a real opportunity to expand the map for her party. Her first target? Republican women.

To that end, Clinton has launched a barrage of commercials with a single theme: her lifelong commitment to children. “Through the years there have been challenges, setbacks,” says one of the ads. “But for Hillary, one thing’s never changed: helping children has been the cause of her life and always will be.” The ads speak to her advocacy work for disabled children after graduating from college, school reforms in Arkansas, her instrumental work in establishing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and her work as secretary of State to stem the trafficking of women and girls.

How can Clinton be cold if she’s focused so much of her considerable efforts on children? If she’s calculating, it’s only to help those less fortunate. And how could she be self-serving when she passed up a chance to cash in at some prestigious law school to do children’s advocacy work instead?

Not only do those ads take direct aim at the dominant conservative narrative, they do so in swingy lean-Republican states, like North Carolina, Nebraska and Indiana. Forget Democratic-leaning swing states — Trump isn’t challenging those any time soon. This is a campaign so confident, it can begin the cycle eating into Republican turf. 

Not that the prototypical Republican angry white male gives a damn about children. The GOP’s presumptive nominee certainly hasn’t bothered to even acknowledge the existence of children. When asked what traits his infant daughter had inherited from her mother, he answered, “We don’t know whether or not she’s got this part yet [cupping his hands around his chest], but time will tell.” And as she grew up, the mogul hasn’t stopped talking about how he’d date her if he weren’t her father. It’s probably best that creepy Trump stay clear of the subject of children.

It’s clear that Republican women aren’t happy with Trump, with about three-quarters of them holding negative views of him, according to pretty much every poll. Clinton has now given those women a viable alternative, and one that dispels much of the conservative mythology around her. 

Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.