Hillary Clinton finally launched a full out attack on Donald Trump that put the bully in his place - for a moment. Delivering a foreign policy speech in California on Thursday Clinton came out fighting, skillfully throwing targeted punches at Trump. She showed the kind of strength that many Democrats have been waiting to see these past months. Framing her attacks on experience, Hers vs. His, she worked hard to get under what she called Trump's 'thin skin'.
"He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility."
Clinton spoke substantively about foreign policy, but wove jabs at Trump as efficiently and effectively as any prize fighter. And it seemed to work. Trump was watching and Tweeting comments throughout her speech.
"Crooked Hillary no longer has credibility - too much failure in office. People will not allow another four years of incompetence!"
Using a combination of broad strokes backed up with Trump examples, Clinton subtly opened the doors to Independents and uncommitted Republicans for whom Trump is problematic. Perhaps the big tent approach anew. The audience present in the room loved it. Ratings from the bigger audience are yet to come.
Hillary Clinton kicked off this last phase of her presidential campaign with a speech that will likely be viewed as one of the more important speeches of the 2016 race. Her tone was strong and strategically determined. Her words weren't used to whip up a frenzy, but used as well crafted weapons. They were designed to invigorate an audience and position her opponent as a man with "dangerously incoherent" ideas. It's an approach we're sure to see and hear much more of going forward. And she gave us an opportunity to think that all positive is not lost. Something that can only be described as refreshing at this point in a very long and divisive race.
"Don't let anybody tell you that America isn't great. Donald Trump's got the country all wrong. This election is a choice between two very different visions ..."
"One that's angry, afraid and based on the idea that America is fundamentally weak and in decline. The other is hopeful, generous and confident in the knowledge that America is great, just like we always have been."
Hillary Clinton has appeared to be searching for her true voice during this campaign. The California speech on foreign policy helped her find it.