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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Is it too late for Hillary Clinton to gain voters' trust?

Few people have known Hillary Clinton longer than Alex Sink, Arthenia Joyner, and Nan Rich, together on the convention floor Wednesday night

Adam Smith

Few people have known Hillary Clinton longer than Alex Sink, Arthenia Joyner, and Nan Rich, together on the convention floor Wednesday night

28

July

..."I have been struck — this is anecdotal, it's not statistically significant — in the last 48 hours of this convention how many Democrats, elected officials, I've had conversations with who said, 'I learned a lot of new things about her,' " said David Plouffe, who led Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and is advising Clinton's.

Former state Sen. Nan Rich of Broward County has known Clinton for 31 years, since the first lady of Arkansas sought her help starting a preschool education program. Rich is convinced Clinton can reverse the negative perceptions.

"I really don't think it's too late, and that's because when people say, 'Oh, I hate Hillary,' and you ask them why, they cannot give you an answer," she said. "They may know about whatever negative things have been put out there over the years, but they don't know about her history as a champion for children and families and women's issues, and that's why this convention is so important."

Clinton's image has been shaped by years of Republican attacks and also her own actions.

Alex Sink, Florida's former chief financial officer, former top-level Bank of America executive, and 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, feels like she can relate to Clinton's image problems and communicating difficulties. A strong, barrier-breaking woman, Sink said, an opinionated, powerful woman like Clinton, takes a lot of criticism.

"My experience is that over time, you kind of build up a shield to protect yourself. You learn that if you're not measured and careful with every word that comes out of your mouth, somebody is going to misconstrue something or criticize," said Sink, who hosted a Clinton fundraiser earlier this year.

Sink especially appreciates some of the TV ads, and convention video clips showing Clinton interacting in more private settings. "Let's get beyond that perceived facade and expose Hillary Clinton's many accomplishments and who she is as a mother and who she is as a leader and the genuineness that her close friends have seen all along."

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[Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2016 9:04am]

    

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