Hillary in 2016? Not so fast
It was not such a long time ago that former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton was viewed by the Democratic poobahs and her worshiping public minions as a shoe-in for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and ultimately the White House. But life happens, and life has found Hillary Clinton.
In a recent Politico article, “Delay of Game“, we’re getting another read-between-the lines indication that Clinton, Inc. a.k.a. “Billary” (Bill + Hillary = Billary) is in rethink/regroup mode. This run for the presidency is as much Bill’s as it is Hillary’s. And she will need him in full campaign/strategy mode if she has any shot at all for the presidency. But are “they” running?
It’s been common knowledge since the media began profiling the public Hillary all the way back to her Wellesley days that she was considered to have the necessary bona fides and moxie to become the first female President of the United States. Now in the waning days of 2014, Hillary’s early 2015 announcement for the upcoming bid for the White House is changing from a bullet train into a heavily laden freight train which may yet derail.
The Clintons have numerous problems, chief among them, the Democratic Party itself. During the 2012 election cycle, Obama no doubt crafted a Faustian bargain with Bill which led to the latter’s rousing convention speech. However, that speech spoke to a core demographic of the Party that in the 2014 midterms either left the party for the Republicans or stayed home. It is this voting bloc — white middle class, working class, Blacks — that propelled Clinton to the governorship of Arkansas, the White House, and stood steadfastly by the Clintons from Whitewater to Monica, and for whom there is still strong appeal. Today, the Democratic Party is perceived as the Obamacare Party, synonymous with Socialism and other forms of more radical-leaning groups. In other words, today’s Democratic Party is not the Party of Tip O’Neill, Richard J. Daley, or even Joe Manchin.
The second major problem for Clinton, Inc. is the president. Now nearing the end of his game, Obama is taking provocative executive actions whose consequences may roil Hillary’s campaign. And Obama has given no clear indication other than the 2012 nationally televised Kumbaya moment, that he will lift a finger to support the Clinton candidacy. Senator Reid was able to spare the president a veto moment over Keystone XL, however, for Mrs. Clinton, she has thus far refused to take a position on Keystone, which is hurting her. She needs the fund-raising and backing of the powerful environmentalist lobbies on her side, yet her noncommittal stance is placing her within the cross-hairs of the aforementioned voting bloc who desperately want the pipeline and see it as a jobs creator.
Allies and supporters are attempting to create an opening for Hillary to distance herself from the president. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) recently spoke at the National Press Club about the mistake of pushing Obamacare at the expense of the middle class when the populace was more concerned about jobs and the economy. Next, Michele Flournoy, another Clinton acolyte considered a front-runner for the Secretary of Defense position, took herself out of the running with the speculation that she didn’t want to be a “doormat.”
Clinton problem number three is the Republicans. Should she decide to run, candidate Hillary will be Reagan’s age (70) if she reaches the White House in 2017. While that may not be of consequence to many voters, it could be a factor with others, especially if she is up against a Chris Christie or Scott Walker, or another Republican governor who has a demonstrable record to run on. Mrs. Clinton’s record, on the other hand, is not that strong. Up until the White House, she rode on Bill’s coattails. Afterwards, she carpetbagged her way into the New York Senate seat against a more qualified candidate. Her record in the Senate was hardly noticeable; except for her Iraq war vote, because she was already prepping for the presidential run in 2008.
And finally, there is Mrs. Clinton herself, who is proving to be her own worst enemy. She’s gaffe-prone when away from her handlers, as in the “we left the White House broke” remark. There’s no doubt in conventional wisdom circles that her histrionics before the Benghazi Committee will come back to haunt her should she decide to run. A sagacious Republican strategist can take that moment and project it onto a split screen with photos of service members. As the words are spoken, “what difference does it make,” people can visualize those words spoken about their family members.
Additionally, Hillary is not Bill. One either likes her or can’t stand her. There’s no middle ground. From her initial “baking cookies” comment and her first “stand by your man” performance, to the soft, warm and fuzzy, dressed in pink attempt trying to explain her role in Whitewater and as cattle futures queen, to her second stand by her man in a “vast, right-wing conspiracy” meme, Hillary can be seen as one calculating politician.
And so back to Bill and Hill. Will they make a run for 2016? The Clinton campaign machine, while still formidable in many respects, is not as daunting as it once was because of the shifting demographics and loyalties. They may very well have reached the conclusion that a White House run is not in the offing, and it’s better to be kingmaker than another bruising run at their ages and health. They’ll still be visible and rake in the cash, but odds could be that they’re using their time right now to scour the innards of the Democratic Party in search of the next “Bill,” whose appeal will be more centrist, and who’ll be capable of returning to the fold the millions of voters who feel party-less and out in the cold.
If Bill and Hillary can do that, their greatest legacy will not be the White House, but saving the Democratic Party.
Originally published December 5, at www.americanthinker.com