Sweet: Trump’s ‘nasty woman’ insult a gift for Clinton

SHARE Sweet: Trump’s ‘nasty woman’ insult a gift for Clinton
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U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (left), accompanies Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on stage at a rally at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. | Andrew Harnik/AP

Follow @lynnsweetWASHINGTON — Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton “such a nasty woman” at their final debate last week, hurling an insult that perhaps he thought would stick.

Indeed it did.

The phrase is now a rallying cry for Clinton’s backers.

Really, it was an in-kind donation from Trump to the Clinton campaign. A great gift.

“That last debate was like an early birthday present,” said Clinton, campaigning on Tuesday in Coconut Creek, Florida, the day before her 69th birthday.

OPINION

Follow @lynnsweetIt’s much the same way some of Trump’s supporters prided themselves for being in Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” after she rolled out the phrase at a fundraiser in September.

She free-lanced with her “deplorables” riff, which led to unplanned headlines.

She said in informal remarks at a fundraiser, “to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.”

“Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that.”

Clinton’s team of pollsters, ad makers and messaging specialists and strategists weigh everything they can to avoid her getting into a jam — and yet she did it to herself when she went off-script at that September funder.

How hard do they work on a message? In one of the stolen John Podesta emails, released by WikiLeaks, about 10 operatives were trying to figure out a tweet for her to send out after President Barack Obama delivered his 2015 State of the Union address.

Clinton traveling press secretary Nick Merrill wrote the Clinton message team on Jan. 20, 2015, with three alternatives. “Some options. Edits welcome but would love to send her an option right after the speech. Appreciate the feedback.”

We also know from WikiLeaks’ Podesta emails how Clinton and her team try to anticipate a plethora of scenarios in debates.

It was fairly predictable that Trump would hurl some insult at “Crooked Hillary” at the Oct. 19 debate. So when he did, Clinton was practiced in her response. She ignored him.

Clinton was talking about her pledge to raise taxes on the wealthy to put more money into the Social Security Trust Fund at the debate.

After a light jab at Trump, “My Social Security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s, assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it.”

Trump interrupted her to declare, “Such a nasty woman.”

Bingo.

Singer Katy Perry, a Clinton surrogate, wore a white “Nasty Woman” T-shirt at a student rally at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, last Saturday, the first day of early voting in that state.

On “Saturday Night Live,” Kate McKinnon, who plays Clinton, held up a “Nasty woman” cup in the cold open debate skit mocking Trump, played by Alec Baldwin.

On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., stumping with Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, decided to be the top nasty woman.

“Get this Donald, nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart and nasty women vote. And on Nov. 8, we nasty women are gonna march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever.”

Turning to allegations from women about sexual misconduct, Warren said, “He thinks that because he has a mouthful of Tic Tacs that he can force himself on any woman within groping distance,” she said.

“Well, I’ve got news for you Donald Trump, women have had it with guys like you. And nasty women have really had it with guys like you.”

Clinton sat and grinned.

On Tuesday, over at “The View” twitter account, “We own the word!” @JoyBehar says of @SenWarren taking aim at Trump over ‘nasty woman’ comment. “We’re taking it!”

The best way to defuse a political insult is to embrace it — early on. Make the minus a plus, the insult a compliment.

As actress Helen Mirren said when she received ELLE’s annual Women in Hollywood event on Monday, “I am going to be the nastiest of all nasty women.”

See? Nasty woman? That’s a good thing to be.

Tweets by @lynnsweet

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