'...as a candidate, she’s proven herself to be jaw-droppingly bad. When she called this election, on April 18, May, had a poll lead so large it may always have been illusory. But then she seemed to set out, methodically and with great purpose, to reduce it.'
May did no such thing, unless of course the thrust of Freedman's piece is to suggest May is actually would not mind a hung Parliament or a way to back off from the Brexit upon which she will be judged. As this was only 'triggered' by Article 50, Labour was bound to start off badly when it claimed it accepted 'Leave'.
As May's poll lead slipped, Corbyn appeared to give much of the electorate policies on economy and society that the electorate actually like and as support gathered momentum, many of the 48%ers unreconciled to Corbyn and Brexit might have seen more of a chance of sabotaging Leave by voting him.
In other words, voting Labour is tactical for some 48%ers and Labour at the constituency level has often disassociated itself from the leadership and emphasised Labour. May, being quite the functionary, was unable to press home a responsive message that Labour could be pretending to support Brexit while deceiving.
From a tactical point of view, May is useless. She was advised to push one pre-packaged Brexit in the national interest pitch that depended more upon spin and repeating soundbites as though winning the election was even a tedious formality both May and the Party had to go through just in order to go on with Brexit.
Brexit alone was never going to be quite enough to gain the huge mandate May assumed she would get. When the polls showed Corbyn surging, she lacked the political intuition and nous to respond spontaneously to shifts in popular mood. May is a functionary 'delivering' formats and packages and pre-formed political lines.
In the days before social media and 24/7 wall to wall coverage, May would have had fewer problems. She and her 'team' are fighting a campaign using obsolete corporate methods of mass conditioning and either/or binaries to cajole the public that are stuck in the era of high Blairism but without the optimism of 1997.
If Blair was borne aloft in 1997 with 'things can only get better', May is far more down beat while peddling repeated soundbites about 'strong and stable leadership' as part of a one big gamble: that no matter what Labour offered or whatever it promises, people just would not vote Corbyn as he's 'not credible'.
However, that might not pay off because May looks wobbly when not in a choreographed surrounding. She is terminally incapable of answering any question with a direct answer. One pitch saw her repeating 'it's about' a whole lot of bland sounding positives that was so hollow it was entirely meaningless drivel.
Corbyn is hardly that great but he emerged as more personable and, though he slipped, his lack of banal choreography and conviction could well appeal when he talks about policies and why he thinks they are needed and would work. This could well appeal to younger voters and those not influenced by the 'msm'.
May's team is assuming the public consists of dense unthinking individuals that vote as required through herding them through the hypothetical benefits of a Brexit under them and fear of a doomsday alternative. That method failed with Brexit, it failed for Hillary in the US and it could well fail for Theresa May.