David Brooks on Hillary Clinton's foreign policy speech:
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I agree it was her best speech of the campaign, I thought.
And I would add a few more counts. It was very good for independent voters, because it is not an ideological left-right attack on Trump. It’s, this guy’s unstable. And that’s something — doesn’t matter what you believe. You can buy that argument.
And she did it in a way without sinking to his level. And that was something — a problem that Marco Rubio and other opponents have had. They get in the gutter with him. But she did it from a haughty, contemptuous, serious way, really. And so I thought it was quite a compelling speech.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Technically, that’s the kind of — the meta look, is, essentially, do you have to change the tone of the debate, does it have to become more coarse, does it have to become more personal?
And this is technically before they’re both presumptive nominees or leaders. But they’re not even the candidates yet, and we’re already seeing this basically go negative.
DAVID BROOKS: Well, we’re going to see that when you have two unpopular candidates, as we’re going to see.
But how you go negative and whether she would get dragged down was the real challenge. And she struck the right note. In politics, the lows are lower than the highs are highs. When somebody makes a mistake, it’s much worse than the benefits when they do something right.
And so people, voters are very nervous about politicians who seem unstable and disordered. And Trump — she’s painting Trump as unstable and disordered. And that plucks at something that genuinely has had a lot of resonance in fall elections.