2008 Deja Vu?: Hillary Clinton Could Run Into Another Political Tsunami

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Hillary Clinton -- not a word on Ferguson after Darren Wilson allowed to walk

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton has been many things in her illustrious life.

A brilliant honor student at Wellesley College. One of America’s most influential attorneys. Former First Lady of the United States. A highly regarded Democratic US Senator from the great state of New York. 2008 Democratic presidential candidate. Former Secretary of State within the Obama Administration. Bestselling Author.

This time last year, all signs pointed to Mrs. Clinton declaring herself as a 2016 presidential candidate. This time last year, her declaration would have caused a political tsunami – causing viable candidates from both parties not to run because they didn’t want to run against the Clinton political machine. Mrs. Clinton was largely thought to be a stone-cold, lead-pipe lock to win the 2016 Democratic nomination for President.

She was supposed to be a prohibitive favorite to be the first female American President. But what a difference a year makes. That was then, and this is now. More and more, an inconvenient truth is emerging to the surface. Hillary Clinton is many things, but she is not inevitable.

I ponder this label affixed upon her. I find it curious. Who deemed her to be inevitable in the first place? Was it Democrats – who consider her inevitable because of her stellar qualifications, her own fame, her fortune, her popularity, and of course the fact she is married to William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton?

He is easily one of the most popular American Presidents this nation has had in the last 50 years. Or was Hillary’s assumed cloak of inevitability given to her by Republicans – who loathed the thought of attempting to find candidates to run against her because it was once assumed to be a futile effort? And if so, were the Republicans being sincere towards Mrs. Clinton? Or cynical? Or both?

To run – or not to run? In light of the rout the Democratic Party suffered in the 2014 midterm elections, Mrs. Clinton’s decision looms larger than perhaps ever before. In my not-so-humble opinion, the Democrats got their clocks thoroughly cleaned in the midterms because they didn’t run their races on their own terms.

Democrats allowed the Republicans to dictate how campaigns were run. They let Republicans dictate which issues were center-stage. They let Republicans trick them into purity tests foreign to Democratic candidates: Did you vote for Mr. Obama? Do you support Obamacare?

Most crushingly, Republicans successfully managed to employ the Jedi-mind trick on Democrats on numerous issues. Did you hear any Democratic candidates on the stump telling anyone that the unemployment rate in the US is 5.9% - the lowest it has been in several years? No. Did you hear any Democratic candidates touting the fact that the American stock exchange is currently at the highest it has ever been? Nope. Did you hear any Democratic candidates driving home the point that in the last year, over 10,000,000 previously uninsured Americans are now covered thanks to the Affordable Care Act? Absolutely not. Which is why Democrats just got their hats handed to them.

A troubling development is that Mrs. Clinton seems to be following those same disastrous trends. On recent social issues in America – such as the George Zimmerman and Officer Darren Wilson court decisions – Mrs. Clinton has been silent.

Wouldn’t you expect to hear from such a prominent lawyer on matters pertaining to justice and race relations in America? On recent political issues – such as the Keystone XL pipeline debate and the proposed restructuring of the National Security Agency (NSA) – mum’s been the word for Mrs. Clinton. What are her thoughts on what should – or shouldn’t – be done? How does Mrs. Clinton feel about Obamacare? It should be an issue still near-and-dear to her heart – especially when you recall that she was a driving force in the early to mid-1990s for the Clinton health care plan – a failed predecessor of today’s Affordable Care Act.

Mrs. Clinton has reportedly been pondering running for President in 2016 for at least the past year or two. Her would-be political donors are in place. Her volunteer apparatus is largely in place. Everything is ready – except for Mrs. Clinton. Why the extended delay? Is it go time, or no time?

I recall in 2008 when Mrs. Clinton was considered inevitable. All was going along swimmingly for her – until Barack Obama got hot. We know what happened next.

Mrs. Clinton needs to get in touch with her own inner Taylor Swift. Shake off Benghazi. Shake off your critics.

By January, serious Presidential candidates will have to announce their campaigns. Keep your eye on Elizabeth Warren.

Mrs. Clinton has the power, prestige, political connections, and professional qualifications to be President. Nothing, however, is guaranteed. What happened to her in 2008 could happen again if she didn’t learn her lesson.

Long story short: Hillary’s not inevitable.

 

 

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