Originally Posted: October 11, 2015
Hillary Clinton is getting off her back foot after a clumsy start to her presidential campaign.
After being buffeted for months by the controversy over her emails and seeing her dominance in the polls decline, Clinton has made aggressive moves to shore up her support on the left and take the fight to the Republican field.
A strong performance on the debate stage during the first Democratic clash, set for Las Vegas on Tuesday night, could help the former secretary of State maintain her altitude, quiet talk of a White House bid by Vice President Biden and slow the rise of her main rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“We’ve seen all email, all the time,” said David Birdsell, a debate expert at Baruch College in New York. “This is the first sustained encounter with her in which voters will have the opportunity to hear about something else.”
Clinton has been trying to change the subject recently, with some success.
Her announcement last week that she opposed the trade agreement known as the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, came as a welcome development to liberals who have been skeptical of her candidacy.
She also seized the initiative on gun control, perhaps the one issue in which she can convincingly run to Sanders’s left, after a mass shooting in Oregon.
On Friday, Clinton met with activists from the #BlackLivesMatter movement — a constituency that has given Sanders considerable trouble — later tweeting, “Racism is America’s original sin.”
And Clinton has even sought to turn the Benghazi probe to her advantage.
Her campaign pounced last week after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) appeared to suggest that the House panel investigating the 2012 attacks deserved credit for lowering Clinton’s poll numbers. READ MORE