Hillary Clinton is infinitely wiser than Donald Trump, or so we are lead to believe. You might think, then, that she and her clever campaign team would be wary of hubris. They should know better than to take victory for granted, and that excessive pride leads to a fall.
Well, they don’t. Clinton may have a seemingly unassailable lead in the polls. And yet Hillary, her staff, and the Democrats seem to be doing their damnedest to invite nemesis —in this case, a Donald Trump presidency — by showing off too soon, and putting off millions of American voters simply by being smug. They've ignored the great Texan proverb: ‘Don’t taunt the alligator until after you've crossed the creek.'
Listen to Freddy Gray discussing Hillary Clinton's smugness with Christopher Caldwell
Take, for instance, a remark Clinton made on Sunday. ‘I don’t even think about him anymore,’ she said, when asked about Trump’s — completely fair, actually — point that the media was in cahoots with her campaign. How stupid of her; she managed to make herself look both false and conceited.
And then, yesterday, to mark her birthday, Hillary Clinton’s Twitter feed produced this:
The vanity! In fairness, that tweet was presumably composed by some sycophantic staffer, who must have thought voters would look at the picture of Hillary as a sweet girl and think ‘awwww … she’s human after all’. The trouble is, most Americans find Clinton grim but still think they'll vote for her. But many Americans who read that tweet would probably think ’that’s gross’, and be less inclined to support her.
Barack Obama is getting ahead of himself, too. This week on primetime TV, he read out a tweet from Donald Trump, which said: ‘President Obama will go down as the worst president ever.’ 'At least I will go down as a president,' said Barack. 'BOOM!' added all the left-liberal idiots on social media. Again, however, most level-headed Americans watching would have reckoned that Obama had just given rather a large hostage to fortune.
The Democrats are in luck, in that they can’t exactly out-arrogant The Donald. And perhaps this year’s election really is over. Still, voters like nothing less than elite smugness. And the Democrats should remember: it ain’t over until the old lady is sworn in.