Smug, self-satisfied and phenomenally rich Hillary Clinton has officially declared herself a candidate for the presidency… again. Only someone that rich could, with a straight face call herself the champion of the people.
Apparently, she is trying to give the lie to the old American adage that you can’t fool all the people all the time.
Hillary’s is not the first, but hopefully hers will be the last paper candidacy. By that I mean that her resume looks great on paper but lacks substantive achievements. It gives new meaning to the concept of “token.”
Why is she running?
Easy question; easy answer. Hillary believes that the American people owe it to her.
Considering what she had to endure at the hands of Bubba, considering the serial humiliations she suffered to make him and to keep him president, she believes, not irrationally, that the country owes it to her. If you thought that the Obama campaign was a massive guilt trip, get ready for the Hillary guilt trip.
Unfortunately, the start of her campaign did not augur well. In her press release she defined herself with a poorly written sentence that was marred by a Freudian slip. Commentators have called it a typo, but when you leave a word out, that’s called a Freudian slip. A typo is this: tipo.
The sentence reads. Note how many times she uses words about children. She is appealing to mothers:
From her mother’s own childhood – in which she was abandoned by her parents – to her work going door-to-door for the Children’s Defense Fund to her battling to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, she’s fought children and families all her career.
It should be well-enough known by political operatives by now: the American people often judge their candidates by how well they run their campaigns. A candidate who cannot run a campaign is less likely to be able to run the country.
As it happens, we have learned, to our chagrin, that the candidate who ran two of the most masterful campaigns in recent history had no notion of how to govern… but, such is life.
Clearly, a candidate who cannot get her announcement statement right has organizational difficulties and leadership problems. Or else, she is so smug and self-satisfied that she ignores such minor details.
Does that remind you of Benghazi?
It’s not just that Hillary declares in her statement that she “fought children and families”… which may well describe someone who once wrote a book about how villages should bring up children… but that she dangles a modifier and ends up saying that she was doing it from the time of her mother’s own childhood.
Yes, I know that some eminent linguists say that you should not worry about dangling modifiers. In fact, you should. They make you sound barely literate.
As if that was not bad enough, as soon as Hillary announced, a series of posters appeared on the streets of Brooklyn, in the subways of New York and in Las Vegas:
I do not know anything about the group that put them up. The posters are clever and effective. One suspects that a conservative group did it, but conservative groups rarely indulge in street art. When they do they do not do it very well.
Nevertheless, the posters respond to the Clinton campaign’s efforts to control public discourse by preemptively declaring certain adjectives sexist and misogynist when applied to Hillary.
As I said, it was surely effective. It’s all over the media.
As for the fair and balanced approach to the Hillary candidacy, no one is better at forecasting elections than former New York Times and current ESPN wunderkind, Nate Silver.
According to Silver, the odds are 50/50 that Hillary Clinton will be elected president. That will either make or ruin your day.
What are the salient facts?
Silver lists them.
The first is the popularity of the current president, a president who belongs to the same party as Mrs. Clinton:
Clinton’s chances will be affected by Obama’s popularity as he exits office. The relationship between the popularity of the previous president and the performance of the new nominee from his party isn’t perfect — Al Gore (narrowly) lost in 2000 despite Bill Clinton’s popularity, for example — but it certainly matters some, especially given that Clinton served in Obama’s cabinet.
Second is the state of the economy during the run up to the election.
… the economy will matter a lot to voters, and a better economy will help Clinton, the candidate from the incumbent party. As Byron York points out, you should be wary of claims that 2016 will be a “foreign policy election.”3
What do we know about the state of the economy in Fall of 2016? Next to nothing:
Historically, economists have shown almost no ability to predict the rate of economic growth more than six months in advance.
Keep that in mind the next time you are bowing down to some guru economist.
Some have suggested that demographics strongly favor the Democrats.
What about that “blue wall” — the supposed advantage that Democrats hold in the Electoral College?
Mostly, the “blue wall” was the effect of Obama’s success in 2008 and 2012, not the cause of it. If the economy had collapsed in the summer of 2012, Obama would probably have lost the election, and most of those blue states would have turned red.
Another theory — the so-called “Emerging Democratic Majority” — holds that demographic trends favor the Democratic Party. We’ll have a lot more to say about this theory between now and next November, but it’s probably dubious too.4 As Sean Trende has pointed out, it relies on a selective reading of the evidence — emphasizing 2012, 2008 and 2006 but ignoring 2014, 2010, and 2004. Perhaps more important, predictions made on the premise of “emerging” majorities have a miserable track record: Republicans were bragging about their “permanent” majority in 2004, for instance, only to get their butts kicked in 2006 and 2008.
Of course, Hillary is far better known than the other candidates:
Clinton is so well-known, in fact, that it’s almost as if voters are dispensing with all the formalities and evaluating her as they might when she’s on the ballot next November. About half of them would like to see her become president and about half of them wouldn’t. Get ready for an extremely competitive election.
But, how well do voters really know Hillary? Will they continue to find her “likeable enough?” What will the upcoming campaign tell them?