CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – WMBF News' political expert breaks down recent headlines on the Decision 2016 race to the White House with eight weeks to go until Election Day.
One of the first issues was whether or not it was a misstep in Hillary Clinton's campaign to not acknowledge her pneumonia diagnosis sooner.
"I think it is a bit of a misstep in that the diagnosis was made on Friday," said Holley Tankersley, with Coastal Carolina University. "They could have released a statement saying Sec. Clinton has been diagnosed with pneumonia, she's going to take a few days to rest and she'll be back out on the campaign trail. Instead, I think they tried to just shrug it off. It may have been the candidate's preference. It may be just she said, 'I'm going to soldier on and I'll be fine.'"
Tankersley went on to say not reporting the diagnosis sooner fed into the perception that Clinton is not transparent enough on certain issues.
"Now, that's also a double-edged sword, because there's transparency on other facets of life as well," she said. "And you've seen the Clinton campaign try to spin that around a little bit and talk about Donald Trump's failure to release his tax returns as a matter of transparency."
Regarding Trump's returns, Tankersley suggested he release old returns or any financial breakdown that gives the public a clear look into his fiscal responsibility.
"That would not compromise a tax return audit necessarily," she said. "And I think the longer he goes without doing this, the more questions that are raised with his own transparency and that hasn't hurt him terribly in the past. But as we've seen with Sec. Clinton, the longer these things linger, the worse they become."
The dominating headlines from Week 8 of the Decision 2016 countdown surround Clinton's comments about Trump supporters.
"To just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. The racists, sexists, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it," Clinton said.
Tankersley said one of the issues with her statements is the use of the term delplorables, or irredeemable.
"And I think even Sec. Clinton will acknowledge that it was a mistake," Tankersley said.
She added the other issue is why is the Trump campaign attracting those views, even as vice presidential nominee Mike Pence has come out and said they are not welcome.
However, there is one more thing Tankersley believes voters should pay attention to.
"I think the most interesting part of that comment is the one that hasn't gotten a lot of play in the media so far. And that is after Sec. Clinton made that comment, she also said that a lot of Trump supporters are people who feel disillusioned with government and left behind," Tankersley said. "They don't have any hope and don't see things getting better. I think that's where we should be focusing as a matter of policy."