Trump vs Clinton: Let the character campaign begin

Sonia Chopra
Sonia ChopraApr 20, 2016 | 12:53

Trump vs Clinton: Let the character campaign begin

The results of the crucial New York Primary were no surprise. Donald J Trump coasted to victory and sent a powerful message to the Republican establishment. Hillary Clinton reaffirmed for the Democratic Party once again that she should be the nominee.

She won her adopted home state easily as she severely wounded her opponent Bernie Sanders after an overwhelming victory which was propelled by support from women and black community.


Both Trump and Clinton have effectively erased doubts about the commanding leads and they are moving a step closer to their nominations.

In my opinion, the political contest is over. The mathematics is done. Now the character campaign begins.

How the two winners handle themselves and portray themselves as classy, dignified presidential figures to win their voters and delegates will be the real test. History and their own parties will judge them by their conduct.

Both Trump and Clinton are acutely aware of the expectations and they have made their speeches largely presidential with positive messages.

A Democrat supporter after Hillary Clinton won big at New York Primary. (AP) 

Trump, who has distinguished himself with his arrogance and brash talk, appears to be a changed man, who is trying to strike a calm tone.

In his victory speech, he shocked me by referring to his closest opponent Ted Cruz as Texas "senator Cruz" instead of his taunts of "Lyin' Ted." And he didn't even attack Hillary, indeed he failed to mention her.

However, he did add that "Sen Cruz is mathematically eliminated". But if you know Trump at all, that is polite.


Furthermore, he refused to take questions from the media. This is a newer, improved version of a grown-up Trump. How long will it last is hard to say, but he is trying, even a harsh critic like me has to give the devil his due. He couldn't hide his glee as he cheered "I love New York."

But he actually put his message on the forefront. "Our jobs are being sucked out of our states. One of the big problems is economy and jobs and that is my wheelhouse."

Clinton stayed focused on her message: "New York is a place for dreaming big. But New Yorkers also like to get things done."

She declined to attack Sanders, who hasn't been that kind to her, and in recent days, he was extremely negative. Today, his campaign manager Jeff Weaver sought to underplay Clinton's victory, saying that she won in New York because she had "a special relationship with the people" of that state, but added that "the fact that she did very, very well in New York doesn't mean the same thing in these other states".


Clinton does have a special relationship with New York. Voters elected her twice to the US Senate in 2000 and 2006.

"New Yorkers, you always had my back and I've always tried to have yours. Because of you, this campaign is the only one - Democratic or Republican - to win more than 10 million votes."


By the time I was writing this story, 90 per cent of the Democratic votes were in and Clinton was leading Sanders 57.4 per cent to 42.6 per cent. (Some channels rounded it up to 43 per cent.)

While on the Republican side, 84 per cent of the votes were in and Trump was in the lead with 59.9 per cent and Ohio governor John Kasich was at 25.2 per cent with Cruz at 14.9 per cent.

But even with this win, no opponent has announced that they will withdraw. It could be because they believe that New York is unique.

Trump is a Queens native and a Manhattan resident, whose famous last name appears on real estate properties around the city. And Clinton was a New York senator for eight years, she owns a house in Chappaqua and her campaign headquarters is in Brooklyn.

Perhaps the opponents believe that they will prevail in other states, but I believe that we are in for a Trump versus Clinton race.

Last updated: April 21, 2016 | 11:37
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