Hillary Clinton on Friday did what has eluded her this election season; she made herself interesting and funny.

In her foreign policy speech in San Diego, she hilariously eviscerated Donald Trump as a silly, unprepared and thin-skinned whack job capable of impulsively leading the U.S. into nuclear war.

Clinton’s humor about such a deeply serious subject was hard-hitting, refreshing  — unlike her boring, wonky speeches of the past.

As the 2016 primaries roll along, it seems more and more likely that the general election will put Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump was reduced to hurling personal insults after Hillary Clinton attacked his qualifications to be commander in chief. Wikimedia Commons

Humor is the best way to shake down a bully like Donald Trump, who takes himself very seriously. Like many other bullies, he unravels in the face of ridicule.

In her speech, she mocked Trump’s so-called experience: “He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia.”

Clinton said later, “The stakes in global statecraft are infinitely higher and more complex than in the world of luxury hotels.”

She poked fun at his global policy statements saying, “Donald Trump’s ideas are dangerously incoherent. They are not even really ideas, just a mix of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies.”

Clinton highlighted some of Trump’s more peculiar past statements: “It’s no small thing when he suggests that America should withdraw our military support for Japan, encourage them to get nuclear weapons and said this about a war between Japan and North Korea — and I quote — ‘if they do, they do. Good luck. Enjoy yourself folks.’ I wonder if he even realizes he is even talking about nuclear war.”

She says Trump’s simplistic, bragging approach to foreign policy is based on “a series of nasty tweets.”

Hillary Clinton speech
Hillary Clinton’s Friday speech was more roast than foreign policy address. Screen shot

And then she further taunted him by saying she imagined he would be hovering over his smart phone right then, composing some nasty tweets to impulsively respond to her speech.

As Clinton predicted, Trump quickly unleashed a series of lame tweet rebuttals starting with: “Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton. Reading poorly from the teleprompter! She doesn’t even look presidential!”

When it comes to a woman, any woman, physical looks are what matter to Trump, not content. Even when talking about his smart and highly accomplished daughter on the “Howard Stern Show” he emphasized not her negotiating skills but her hotness.

“My daughter, Ivanka, she’s 6 feet tall, she’s got the best body.”

In her speech, Clinton went on to lambaste Trump for his admiration of tyrants, including North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

She said, questioning The Donald’s mental stability, “I will leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his attraction to tyrants who have no love for the United States.”

And she ridiculed Trump’s claim that being a global business tycoon equips him with a special understanding of foreign affairs.

“You know, there’s no risk of people losing their lives if you blow up a golf course deal,” she said. “But it doesn’t work like that in world affairs.”

In a more serious section of the speech, Clinton characterized Trump as thin-skinned, quick to anger and not someone who should ever have the U.S. nuclear weapons code.

“Do we want his finger anywhere near the button?”

“Even if I weren’t in this race, I’d be doing everything I could to make sure Donald Trump never becomes president because I believe he will take our country down a truly dangerous path.”

Donald J. Trump
Donald Trump is proving to be far more comfortable when he’s on the offensive than when he has to defend himself. Courtesy: Ninian Reid/Flickr

Trump, instead of lashing back immediately with examples of Clinton’s own foreign policy recklessness, relied on his specialty — the personal insult.

“Liar. Lyin’ Hillary. Liar.” Trump said. “Ted Cruz is no longer a liar. We don’t say Lyin’ Ted anymore. We love Ted! We don’t want to say Lyin’ Ted. Lyin’ Crooked Hillary!

“She’s a liar. She made up my foreign policy! She said Donald Trump is going to do this, I never said that.”

He says he will soon have a formal rebuttal to Clinton’s Donald Trump roast speech.

In that rebuttal, instead of his usual ad hominem attack, he could speak logically and calmly about the role Clinton played as secretary of state in the dangerous destabilization of Libya. He could refocus attention on Clinton’s unwillingness to fess up about the wrongness of  using her personal email server in her home to conduct sensitive State Department business.

But that wouldn’t be a likely rebuttal from the impulsive Trump, who above all doesn’t want to be boring.

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger wonders if Trump isn’t trapped inside of his own persona.

Henninger says Trump contends his outlandish statements have kept him alive in the race.

He quotes Trump in Anaheim, California, saying: “If I was nice to everybody, I wouldn’t be here today. I’d be watching television right now.”

The irony is the smarty pants remarks Trump has crafted in the past, which he says he will continue to craft to get attention, will continue to make him look stupid and woefully unqualified when dissected with humorous finesse by the flawed but better-prepared-to-lead Clinton.

I am hoping for a fun summer with many more Donald Trump roasts.

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