Commentary

Hillary Clinton Is Already Running A General Election Campaign

The Hillary Clinton campaign is in general election gear and looks to have been there for some time. Back in early November, Time wrote of Clinton’s performance at the MSNBC Democratic forum, hosted by Rachel Maddow: “[she] seemed to already be looking ahead to her potential Republican opponents.”

Republican contenders seem to be on the same page, focusing virtually all of their attacks on Clinton rather than Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley. Trump briefly went after Sanders, but is back to Clinton-bashing as are most of his rivals.

How sure is Clinton that she will win the Democratic nomination?

The starkest signs of confidence came at the third Democratic debate this past weekend. She didn’t shy away from business-friendly rhetoric even when asked point blank whether “Corporate America [should] love Hillary Clinton” - responding aptly: “Everybody should!”

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Clinton quickly doubled down on middle-of-the-road rhetoric, explaining she wants to be the “president of the struggling, striving and successful.” Sanders tried to capitalize on these policy differences when asked a similar question, noting he would be unfriendly to corporate America and especially so to Wall Street.

The Democrats have developed a robust wing of the party that favors economic populism over the current approaches to economic policy. But the threat to Clinton isn't enough to dedicate more time than necessary on her nominal Democratic opponents.

Clinton focused her time in the debate appealing to swing voters.

In her closing statement, she particularly spoke about the difficulties the country would face under a Republican president. Without referring to either of her primary opponents, Clinton focused on the significance of this election: “This is a watershed election. I know how important it is that we have a Democrat succeed President Obama in the White House.

Both Clinton and Sanders would win handily against Donald Trump in a general race, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll. It’s a different story if the Republicans nominate someone else. Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz would give Clinton a run for her money.

Considering endorsements, money and polls, Clinton is right to show confidence in her primary chances. It's understandable she's started to build her case against any Republican contender she may face.

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