This presidential election is occurring in the age of anti-politics, as Robert Reich says ("Here's why Trump can win," May 25), and Donald Trump is a classic anti-politician. He revels in incorrectness, disdaining advice from cognoscenti and doing his own thing in an unscripted manner. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is so scripted that she risks fragmenting when confronted by an unrehearsed question. She is so weighed down by handlers that she resembles a marionette, dancing this way and that way until a spokesperson can clarify what she meant to say. Mr. Trump is genuine, even if often wrong, but Ms. Clinton is a cookie-cutter candidate in a time of dissatisfaction with the usual.
Of course, there are a multitude of other reasons why America's lady-in-waiting might lose, most associated with her dismal public record. She is hobbled by bad decisions from her time in the political limelight. It began with health care reform during her husband's first presidential term, her ill-fated attempt to foist a top-heavy health care system on a populace that to this day remains suspicious of government edicts on anything as private as medical services. After the fiery end of that effort, she proceeded to enmesh herself in the White House Travel Office firings, the Rose Law Firm billing walk-about and the cattle futures bonanza, all the time blaming a "vast right-wing conspiracy" for the first couple's deepening personal problems, which included Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones and others.
But the real measure of her incompetence is found in her service as U.S. Secretary of State during President Barack Obama's first term. With the understanding that foreign policy is set by the president, it remains that her tenure at Foggy Bottom was a cavalcade of failure. From the use of a personal email server which put national secrets at risk to a Russian reset that went off the rails early on to withdrawal from Iraq without a status of forces agreement to calling Syrian dictator Bashar Assad a reformer just before he began slaughtering his own people to her failure to classify Boko Haram as a terror organization to all things Libya, only missteps stick to her name. Her record is so devoid of substance that she is celebrated for a miles flown and countries visited number, which is nothing other than defining diplomacy down.
This record of failure would usually disqualify a presidential contender, but not this time around, not when her opponent is as unready for prime time as she is.
Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati, Ohio