Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hillary’s “Choice” Not So Hard?

It’s early for the 2016 presidential election. We haven’t really even gotten into the 2014 midterms. But Hillary is on a book tour, she’s made a couple of slips, and the media can’t stay away from any Clinton heading for the White House. Is she or isn’t she? If anything, the speculation should make for book sales. (Apparently, however, it doesn’t--early sales of Hard Choices are well below expectations).

Hillary told People magazine just before the tour:
I'm certainly in the camp that says we need to break down that highest, hardest glass ceiling in American politics. To have a woman president is something I would love to see happen, but I'll just have to make my own decision about what I think is right for me.
Later, she said, “One thing that has never been a hard choice for me is serving our country,” an even stronger sign she’s running.

Tom Bevan, a conservative who runs the popular poll-centered political website “RealClearPolitics,” has given “5 Reasons Hillary Won’t Run.” Perhaps engaging in wishful thinking, Bevan argues:  

1. She's just not that good at campaigning.

But: Hillary’s tough, extremely bright, the head of an alpha women army believing, as does Hillary herself, that a woman president is long past due. Plus, her spouse loves to campaign (especially to get himself back inside the White House), and at campaigning, there is none better.  

2. The “fire in the belly”question.

But: It-is-unfinished-business, and she’s fitter, brighter, and, at 69 by 2016, just as driven as another 69-year old was driven in 1980 to reverse his previous just-missed primary election defeat--Ronald Reagen.  

3. It ain’t gonna be a coronation.

But: Running in 2016 gives her a big advantage over her last run--no primary. She can plan, raise money, and conserve her energy for the general while Republicans duke it out, exactly as Obama did in 2012.

4. Obama is leaving a mess.

But: Except for foreign policy, it’s not her mess. As we have seen, she will run against Obama as much as she will run against the Republican (triangulation).  

5. The country wants real change.

Not sure about this. “Change,” for sure. But real change, as in a government that shrinks and does less for our hurting majority? The cosmetic change Hillary offers--a female in charge--will be real enough for tens of millions.

I watched Hillary yesterday afternoon stand up to two Fox News interviewers: Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren. She seemed well-prepared for the conservative slant the questions took, and responded in a relaxed, friendly manner, in marked contrast to Obama’s guarded, somewhat combative approach to Fox News journalists. I believe in earlier interviews with ABC’s Diane Sawyer and NPR’s Terry Gross, she stumbled because she expected soft balls from her liberal sisters, and ran into actual reporters instead. In any case, Hillary’s appearance on Fox helps her.

Here’s the danger Hillary may face. Obama’s already so yesterday that Hillary is already today’s and tomorrow’s news. Therefore, we truly may tire of her by November 2016.

Tommy Vietor is an Obama campaign veteran who, according to Toby Harnden of the conservative Sunday Times (U.K.), was among the group of Democrats who gathered at the Third Way think tank to hear Philippe Reines, Hillary’s longtime spokesman, brief about Banghazi. Harnden reported Vietor telling the group that his new job with Clinton was "another reminder that aren't Clinton camps and Obama camps any more. We’re all on the same team.” Naturally, Vietor expects it’s the next president’s team.

No comments: