For one, the video was relentlessly, insultingly vapid — a Verizon commercial without the substance. “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” Clinton said in what passed for a meaty message. “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”
Seriously, this makes Ronald Reagan’s gauzy “It’s Morning Again in America” commercial look like a Brookings Institution seminar on economic policy. Understood — an announcement video isn’t the moment for a detailed policy platform, but it is, or should be, a venue for at least nodding to specific goals.
In 2007, for instance, Clinton cited specifics: “how to bring the right end to the war in Iraq … how to make us energy independent … how to end the deficits that threaten Social Security and Medicare … how every American can have quality affordable health care.”
Sunday’s announcement — well, I just quoted the entirety of its substance. The Clinton campaign is focused on reassuring voters, as a campaign official put it in a conference call Monday previewing Clinton’s Iowa trip, “it isn’t about her … this is about … everyday Iowans.” But everyday Iowans deserve to hear more from the woman who would be president about what, exactly, she intends to do in office. It disrespects them to spend precious video seconds on the cute boy playing a fish in his school play.