Early this month, I went to Toledo, Ohio, to meet with Hillary Clinton, to sit down with her for a while and take the measure of her ordeal. It was five weeks before an unnervingly high-stakes Election Day. Every campaign produces candidates declaring that “the most important election of our lifetimes” is at hand. Usually this is true only for the person running (no doubt 2012 was the most important election of Mitt Romney’s lifetime). But this year’s stakes feel legitimate. This is not only for the milestone that Clinton’s election would achieve, and all the cultural Rorschach tests, gender dynamics and political scar tissue embedded within. It’s because of Donald Trump, an astonishing figure unlike any who has ever come close to assuming power in this country. “Near existential” is how Tim Kaine recently described this campaign, and it did not come off as complete hyperbole.

Clinton had a rally scheduled in a run-down section of Toledo, the northwest Ohio city that ranked as the fourth-most economically distressed of the nation’s 100 largest.

By: Mark Leibovich, The New York Times

Read the full article here.

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