Despite her dropping numbers, Hillary Clinton is “having fun” on the campaign trail. At least that’s the messaging she’s sending out. Whether it’s believed, or absorbed by the general public, or even matters to people, is another thing. What really matters is she must be authentic and truthful.

1. The “FUN” campaign trail.

Hillary Clinton enjoys her chance to meet people on the campaign trail.

2. Defining a “Joyful” campaign trail.

At her first campaign stop, in response to a question about her strategy, Clinton said, “I’m having a great time.” Later that afternoon: “We’re having the best time.” Next day: “I’m having a great time.” In the Des Moines Register, as if to confirm these statements, an Iowa-based Clinton aide added, “She really had fun.”

Five months later, the campaign is bigger and faster — and far more mired in challenges. But Clinton has said, even when appearances suggest otherwise, that the good times keep coming. In August, she had a “great time” at the Iowa State Fair, surrounded by a crush so thick that conversation was nearly impossible. In July, she had a “great time” at a parade in New Hampshire, just paces from a heckler screaming insults.

Clinton is perhaps the most beleaguered candidate of the season. But she did not hesitate on Saturday at a press conference in Portsmouth, N.H., when asked if she considered herself a “joyful candidate.”  “I do,” said Clinton. “I do.”

“Look,” Clinton said on Saturday, “when you run for any office it’s a very challenging experience. Some days are better than other days. But from my perspective, I really like listening to people. I like getting out and talking and figuring out what’s on people’s minds.”

Before she left, Clinton told reporters she was ready for the next phase of the campaign: “making the Labor Day turn” to “the finish line,” she said. There will be more policy problem-solving. And of course all the other problems, less easily resolved: more email releases, server stories, and tightening polls. More of the grind. 

“And off we go, joyfully!” Clinton said. via BuzzFeed

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