Hillary Clinton has announced what everyone’s known for years: She’s running for the Democratic nomination for president. Anyone not a Democratic partisan who was old enough to be mildly cognizant by the late 1990s is sighing. After all the scandals and lies and claims of victim status, do we really need to go through all that again?
— Michael Deppisch (@deppisch) April 10, 2015
Clinton’s announcement on April 12 comes 16 years to the day after a “Federal judge held President Clinton in contempt of court … saying he had willfully provided false testimony under oath” in a sexual misconduct lawsuit. Yes, the Clinton 1990s were full of absolutely salacious details (I’d avoid footnotes 210 and 237 of the Starr Report) about sexual harassment, regular fundraising scandals involving foreign countries, many lost documents, crony capitalism and everything else. But it was exciting enough the first time. I’m not entirely sure we can handle the second round.
Anyway, here are a few things to look forward to with the very tiring news that a tired Hillary Clinton is running again for president.
1. Reporters Will Never Ask Hard Questions About Hillary’s Record
Yesterday a New York Times political reporter wondered why only Hillary was being pressed by the press to answer why she wants to be president.
Why, among all candidates, is only Hillary being pressed by the press to answer, Why do you want to be pres? http://t.co/dDJfUV7mH8
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) April 11, 2015
The tweet links to a Washington Post article by Dan Balz addressing the question. I jokingly responded, “I’ll take ‘because it’s such a puffball question’ for $400, Alex.” Seriously, are the media really pressing Hillary on anything? If that’s the thing they’re pressing her on, is it because it’s such a nice way to allow a candidate to speak freely about how awesome she is?
From the media, expect lots of emphasis on the mind-blowing fact that Hillary Clinton is a female of the species. Fun fact: So am I, very happy to be so, and yet in no way would I ever in a million years find this a necessary much less sufficient trait for the presidency.
As for questions about any positive thing from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State? That we might not expect to hear much about.
2. Everyone’s Weary of the Clintons
Remember Hillary Clinton’s “I don’t feel no ways tired?” speech? Does it exhaust you as much as it does everyone else? Does this level of phoniness seem somehow even worse than the general levels of phoniness endemic to the politician subculture? It is! Hillary Clinton’s skill set does not include pandering with even mild convincingness.
3. She ain’t no ways Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton is definitely going to wrap up the older, single female demographic. Baby boomer females who are also liberal love her. No question about this. But unlike President Barack Obama, who can get any number of constituencies to behave like teenagers at a One Direction concert. Hillary’s appeal to other key Democratic demographics such as Hispanics, millennials and even progressive activists is in question.
4. No accomplishments
Name Hillary Clinton’s top three accomplishments. No, being born a female does not count.
5. She’s an epic liar
From the time she “found” subpoenaed documents two years after the fact in a White House closet to the time she found herself under sniper fire in Bosnia (in a Brian Williams sense) claimed she set up her own private server and then deleted all evidence from it for the sake of convenience, rhetorical prestidigitation is her game.
6. She doesn’t have her husband’s likeability or political gifts.
Say what you want about Bill, the man had raw political talent. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, couldn’t stave off a challenge from a junior senator in 2008 even with all of her money, resources and support in Washington.
7. She hasn’t won a single tough election
Speaking of her lack of political gifts, the woman has only run for office three times before this. The first time she ran was for the Senate seat from New York in 2000. Rudy Guiliani was supposed to be her opponent but
his personal life was such a disaster that he had to withdraw because he had cancer and other concerns. He was replaced by a moderate Congressman named Rick Lazio who was so lackluster he couldn’t even win much of upstate New York. The second time, was for her 2006 reelection when the Republicans were unable to field anyone with name recognition to run against her. The 2008 race for the Democratic nomination was tough and she didn’t win it. But even when it wasn’t tough she fared poorly. I mean, she lost to John Edwards in Iowa. John Edwards.
8. Get ready for a frequent emphasis on victim status.
Hillary Clinton likes to paint herself as the victim. When her husband was embroiled in a scandal involving lying in a sexual harassment suit, she developed a theory about a “vast right-wing conspiracy” that sought to undermine him. As much as we all love good conspiracy theories, this one failed to explain how, exactly, the aforementioned group had tricked the president into lying under oath.
Sometimes, however, claiming victim status works well for her. When she cried during a campaign stop in New Hampshire in 2008, Clinton briefly turned around her political prospects there. The (new) New Republic noted that “Americans love her when she is vulnerable and scrappy and loathe her when she is powerful and coasting.”
Get ready for lots of vulnerable Hillary and downplaying of dynasty Hillary.