Hillary Clinton famously handed the Russians a red “reset” button when she took the helm as secretary of state. Now, she’s hitting that same button on her campaign message – unveiling a new slogan as she struggles to simultaneously heal divisions in the party and take on a surging Donald Trump.
That slogan? “Stronger Together.”
The Democratic presidential front-runner repeatedly used that phrase in a weekend interview, when asked to explain her campaign’s “big idea.”
“Look, we are stronger together. We are stronger together in facing our internal challenges and our external ones. We are stronger together if we work to improve the economy,” Clinton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
She repeated the phrase five times, while also acknowledging that “slogans come and go and all the rest of it.”
For Clinton, several have come and gone.
The former first lady and senator launched her campaign last year under the rallying cry, “I’m With Her.” But that message quickly was eclipsed by Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” and Democratic rival Bernie Sanders’ call for political revolution. (Sanders’ slogan is “A Future to Believe In.”)
Clinton then tried to pivot and road-test some anti-Trump slogans after Super Tuesday. Speaking in Miami that night, Clinton sounded the message: “Make America whole.”
She called for “love and kindness,” and a push to “break down barriers” and “build ladders of opportunity.”
Within minutes, Trump was mocking her, asking “what is that all about” and telling supporters: “Make America great again is going to be much better than making America whole again.”
After sticking with those slogans for a brief period, Clinton seems to have moved on. Lately, the campaign has been pushing “Love Trumps Hate” stickers as the candidate weaves in “stronger together.”
But Trump, too, has moved to do some branding of his own, hammering his new moniker “Crooked Hillary” at campaign speeches and on Twitter. He did so again on Sunday, while also touting new polling that shows Clinton’s consistent lead in general election match-up polls narrowing to within the margin of error.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed her leading Trump 46-43 percent (down from an 11-point lead in April). A Washington Post/ABC News poll showed Trump edging Clinton 46-44 percent (again, down from an 11-point Clinton lead earlier this spring).
The warning signs come as Clinton still fights to put away the Democratic primary challenge from Sanders, who is vowing to take his bid to the nominating convention in July.
As for whether her new slogan can help, Gravis Marketing President Doug Kaplan said it does serve to at least strike a contrast with Trump.
“Hillary Clinton wants to differentiate herself from Donald Trump. In the past, she has said ‘it takes a village’ which pushed a message of community rather than individuality,” he told FoxNews.com. “It’s the same message this time too.”
He said Trump’s “Make America Great Again” works well for the presumptive Republican nominee, and Clinton is trying to counter that.
“It’s a hard message to break down. ‘Make America great’ is a hard thing to tear apart,” he said. “What her goal is, is to show that when Trump’s saying ‘Make America Great Again’ [he] means make America great for some people, not everyone. … Her message is inclusive, not exclusive.”