A popular theme on Planet Clinton is that poor Hillary is always
in mortal danger of being undone by her charming cad of a hubby. “She can’t
control him” is how insiders express their fear that Bubba will have a bimbo
eruption and crash the coronation.
On a long list of possibilities, that scenario must be included.
But my reading of the Clinton Chronicles points to a much bigger threat to the
restoration of the family monarchy.
That would be the stumbling performance of the lady herself.
On top of the tactical blunders, there was an overarching reason
why sure victory eluded Hillary Clinton in 2008. She simply was not a very
appealing candidate, offering neither charisma nor a compelling message. She ran
with a sense of entitlement that the Oval Office was owed to her.
If anything has changed, it’s a well-kept secret. Already, her
run this time is marked by mistakes, gaffes and reports of ethical
corner-cutting, which adds up to watching the same bad movie twice.
It’s a strange way to make a fresh start given the dreary end of
her time as secretary of state. To describe her four-year tenure as empty of
accomplishment doesn’t do justice to the damage. She was complicit in the
foreign-policy disasters now erupting around the world.
Remember her clever Russian reset? Benghazi, Syria, Egypt, Iraq,
Iran, Israel, China — the list of things that got worse on her watch is long,
while it is a challenge to name one significant advance in America’s favor.
That record is who she is. Once viewed as a smart, passionate
woman whose brilliance would shine when she was liberated, she is, at 67,
getting long in the tooth to be talked of in terms of potential.
To justify faith in a big upside from here, there should be
abundant evidence of recent excellence. But what has she accomplished other than
winning two elections as senator and losing one for president?
There’s no breakthrough doctrine or novel idea or even a
successful policy or law identified with her. After 25 years in the circus,
she’s still a celebrity guest, not a star performer.
Her new campaign is more of the same. Instead of offering
coherent principles and establishing a message, she’s running the Rose Garden
strategy of a favored incumbent.
Let the other candidates scrape for attention by responding to
the world’s woes. She’s still giving paid speeches, believing she can float
above it all like a giant balloon in the Thanksgiving Day parade.
In another sign that she sees herself as president-in-waiting,
she’s got a reported 200 advisers, suggesting she’s already staffing an
I wouldn’t bet the house she’ll get the chance. Sure, she’s a
lock for the nomination — unless another Barack Obama comes along. Far-lefty
firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she’s not running, but any more
head-shaking revelations about the Clinton Foundation’s sleazy fund-raising
could change her mind.
The foundation accepted millions of dollars from foreign
governments while Hillary was America’s top diplomat, The Washington Post found.
It said that at least one gift, $500,000 from Algeria, violated loose ethics
rules drawn up by the Obama administration to separate her duties from the
The Wall Street Journal also found a suspicious pattern of
corporate giving. General Electric, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft and Boeing were among
60 companies that lobbied the State Department during her tenure and donated a
combined $26 million to the family foundation, the paper reports.
It found several cases where her lobbying of foreign governments
on behalf of specific American firms came just before or after those firms made
hefty donations to the Clinton Foundation or another nonprofit she created,
Vital Voices. Walmart gave to both groups, and to a separate fund Clinton
established at the State Department.
Any claim that there was no quid pro quo should be made under
oath. Most of the corporations have their own foundations, so why would they
give their money to the Clintons to spend? Who suggested they do so?
Because a black hole doesn’t yield much information, Clinton
beat reporters often turn spin into news. A New York Times story went big with
the “news” that Clinton would “spotlight gender” this time.
Wow, stop the presses. The Times must have missed that 2008
movement to “shatter the glass ceiling” and the talk of the “pantsuit posse.”
In fact, gender pitch redux shows Clinton once again waving
group identity as her chief qualification. In that case, she should go all the
way and just say this: I want to be president because I deserve it.
That at least has the virtue of honesty