“Demographics and regional electoral factors do matter in the general election. But deep and emotional judgments about candidates ultimately drive Americans’ choice of a president,” Sasso wrote in a Boston Globe op-ed piece, (“The values battle in the general election,” 5-19-16).“The most salient variables,” he continued, “are voter perceptions of three characteristics: a candidate’s personal political strength, voters’ trust in the depth and sincerity of the candidate’s convictions, and, most importantly, whether the voters think that the candidate ‘cares’ about people like them.”
In Sasso’s opinion, “The experience of recent presidential elections suggests that convincing swing voters that you possess these qualities can make all the difference in voters’ final choices of a president.” He concluded with: “This values battle is one that Clinton will welcome, wage ferociously – and likely win.” (The Globe editors should have underlined likely.)A political mastermind, Sasso helped to put two Democrats from Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis (1988) and John Kerry (2004), within reach of the presidency. We can always profit from heeding him but perhaps no more so than now, as we absorb the effects of Trump’s coronation this week in Cleveland by the GOP and anticipate the responsorial moves Hillary Clinton will make next week at the Democrat convention in Philadelphia.
The more I think about what Sasso wrote -- and I have re-read “The values battle” several times over again today -- the more I agree with him: Hillary will win in November.I figure that Trump will win the contest in voters' minds over the first characteristic, personal political strength, while Hillary will win it on the third characteristic, caring about people like them.
The shooting match could then come down to whom the voters trust to have the deepest, most sincere convictions. The electorate will have a hard time making that call. Ultimately, more will decide that Hillary holds her beliefs more genuinely than Trump.A majority will make that judgment, I think, based on Hillary’s lifelong political activism and involvement, and compared to Trump’s late-in-life, impulse-is-king plunge into politics at the highest level.
Disclosure: I’ve known John Sasso casually for 17 or 18 years. I like and admire him because he’s very smart, he's not the least bit self-important, and he seems to have a very good time doing what he does.Think I’ve gone overboard calling him a mastermind?
Consider that Sasso has made a good living as a solo practitioner in the fields of government affairs and communications for close to 30 years and that his company, Advanced Strategies, does not even have a web site.
And if this John Sasso has a LinkedIn profile, I’ll be damned if I can find it.