Traditional candidates such as Hillary Rodham Clinton run “I’m with her” campaigns. By “I’m with her” (which actually is HRC’s campaign slogan) the campaign defines the candidate using a set of archetypal stories, policy positions, and public appearances. That definition is presented to the public, and the candidate asks supporters to identify with the position. In effect, the definition of the candidate becomes a sorting mechanism — one either agrees with the prevailing definition or one does not. HRC, at this point in time, has similar negatives in terms of numbers as Donald Trump. But, HRC has nowhere near the fierce loyalty displayed by the Trump supporters. HRC is well defined — you are with her or you are not.
Donald Trump is successfully running a “He’s with me” campaign... The difference between these two campaigns is what will make the 2016 election.
Politicians ... who seek to challenge the powers that be are not stuck running “I’m with her” campaigns. Indeed, HRC faced such a ... candidate in 2008. Barack Obama campaigned not on details but on the possibility of hope and change. Hope and change are and were vague. That vagueness allowed Obama supporters to see in the slogan whatever it was that they were hoping to have accomplished as a goal. Supporters’ hopes and dreams were the promise of candidate Obama. Not specifics. Not a definition. But the individual hopes and dreams of the individual supporters... In 2008, Barack Obama successfully ran a “He’s with me” campaign.
In 2016, it is Donald Trump who is running the “He’s with me” campaign. The vague promises to make America great again … I will make you feel good … I express your anger … I am your vehicle ... are all Donald-isms for “He’s with me,” [and] “He’s with me” will beat “I’m with her” every time.