Wednesday 7 December 2016

Hillary shifts attention to real enemy as momentum builds

Nick Allen

Published 03/03/2016 | 02:30

Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally in Miami. Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally in Miami. Photo: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images

After a string of victories in the race for Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton has begun to turn her attention to the General Election, and to Donald Trump.

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The former secretary of state won seven of the 11 contests held on Tuesday, with six of those victories coming by margins of 30 points on more.

Bernie Sanders dodged the potential knockout blow, tallying victories in the geographically distant states of Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Vermont, and proving that he is far from a one-state wonder.

When Mrs Clinton took the stage at her victory rally, however, her only reference to the Vermont Senator was a brief offer of congratulations.

At its heart her speech was a rebuttal to the Republican front-runner who won seven states of his own on Tuesday and now appears all but certain to be the party's nominee.

"America never stopped being great," she said, scolding Mr Trump implicitly for the pessimism of his own campaign slogan. "We have to make America whole," she added, before making a plea for more "love and kindness" in American society.

Democratic strategists believe that message is a preview of the approach Mrs Clinton will emphasise should she face off with Mr Trump in the General Election. She intends to avoid the type of gutter war that Mr Trump has proved so adept at waging, they say, relying instead on her temperament and resume to carry the day, and deploying her husband and President Barack Obama as attack dogs where necessary.

For months her advisers ignored Mr Trump's political rise, treating it as an amusing sideshow and watching gleefully as the Republican Party tore itself apart.

With Super Tuesday cementing her status as her party's standard bearer, though, her campaign has begun to draw up a plan to defeat Mr Trump in November.

Telegraph.co.uk

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