Hillary Clinton Makes Another Attempt at a Clinton Dynasty

The former secretary of state is hoping issues like gender inequity will resonate with Americans.

By Rachel Alexander Published on April 17, 2015

It came as a surprise to no one when Hillary Clinton announced on Sunday that she was formally entering the race for president. Most political observers think she will easily win the Democratic nomination, since few Democrats dare to challenge the Clinton dynasty.

The former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State made the announcement via video, apparently to show her “digital media” savvy. Jon Stewart described the video on The Daily Show as a “State Farm commercial gone viral.”

It didn’t seem like a campaign announcement. It featured a series of mostly conservative-looking young people, discussing happiness and hard work. One couple talking about their dog sounded like participants on the dog-whisperer show Cesar911. There was a token gay couple expressing their delight to be able to get “married” — an idea Clinton used to oppose. A bit later there was a lesbian couple — or maybe just a couple of cuddly women comfortable in their heterosexuality — nose nuzzling.

Heady stuff.

“There’s no pumping rock anthem or cheering supporters waving ‘Hillary’ banners,” reported CNN. Instead, the announcement consisted of vague statements like, “Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion.”

Neither the announcement nor Clinton herself in the lead-up to the announcement has done much to counteract the perception that she is worn out from politics. Unlike her charismatic husband, she’s had problems convincing the electorate to like her. Saturday Night Live immediately spoofed her announcement in a skit portraying her as a scary, narcissistic elist, unable to relate to average Americans.

The spoof quickly went viral, perhaps because it fit the stereotype Clinton can’t seem to live down. She hasn’t driven a car in 19 years. She is known for her extravagant pantsuits and gowns. She took the most overseas trips of any First Lady: 79. She told Diane Sawyer in an interview last June that she spends all her time giving pricey speeches (from which she’s earned $5 million) because she and Bill Clinton were “dead broke” after they left the White House. And her daughter Chelsea just bought a new $10.5 million apartment in Manhattan, across the street from her husband’s $4 million “starter pad.”

Clinton rails against the one percent, yet she’s in the one tenth of one percent. In her announcement speech, she said, “The deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.” She should know.

She can’t easily separate herself from either her husband or Obama. She served as Secretary of State under Obama and is associated with the attack on our embassy in Benghazi. Every scandal associated with her husband during his presidency risks sticking to her like cat hair on a pant suit: Whitewater, Travelgate, the Rose Law Firm, Vince Foster’s suicide, and her own failed effort as First Lady to force through healthcare “reform.”

Meanwhile, the scandal involving her use of personal email to conduct State Department business continues to unravel, reviving questions about her handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack. What in her emails from that debacle is she so eager to hide? The sight of Hillary forced to testify before Congress while running for president may test to the breaking point the old saw about there being “no such thing as bad publicity.”

She takes credit for the diplomacy that led to the talks with Iran — though that’s not an obvious credit since much of the electorate sees the talks as appeasing a brutal regime that sponsors terrorism. She was also a strong advocate of the U.S. military intervention in Libya, which many suspect led to the ruthless Muslim Brotherhood taking over the government. And the Clinton Foundation, which she runs with her husband and daughter, has raised eyebrows for accepting money from foreign governments while she was serving as secretary of state.

Clinton doesn’t lack for credentials. She graduated from Wellesley College and met Bill Clinton at Yale Law School. And she has held several notable positions in her career. The knock on her is that she hasn’t accomplished anything notable. She even flunked the Washington, D.C. bar exam.

Her political pedigree is especially troubling to many. She wrote her college thesis on the radical tactics of community organizer Saul Alinsky, which she refuses to release. See seems every bit as progressive as Obama politically, toeing the party line on issues like abortion, the welfare state, gun control, race-based preferences, Common Core and amnesty. She worked extensively with the radical group Children’s Defense Fund. She has made rude statements about women who choose to be stay-at-home moms. Her speeches are often peppered with feminist bromides about gender pay equity and paid sick leave.

Is a Clinton Dynasty a Done Deal?

If she wins the nomination, some may vote for her “to make history.” She will also have the advantage of positive coverage from a compliant media. She can count on easy debate questions and scant coverage of her ethical scandals. She will have the benefit of a longer courtship of moderates and independents than the Republican nominee will, since she is not likely to have a serious primary challenger. She is likely, too, to have a huge funding advantage, since Wall Street and Beltway mega-donors apparently haven’t gotten the campaign memo that she is all about the little guy.

On the other hand, she carries the Clinton baggage. She has been embroiled in so many of her own scandals, some still ongoing, that not even a supportive media can completely ignore them. While Bill Clinton was very popular in 2008, she was unable to ride his coat tails to the White House. She lost to a candidate who was less experienced and considered poorer at debating, but who brought more energy and optimism. GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio and others are already calling her yesterday’s news.

Americans are frustrated with a struggling economy under Obama, and Clinton is offering no fresh economic ideas. ISIS is becoming a bigger threat, despite Obama’s military interventions and Clinton’s 112 diplomatic trips around the world. If the Republicans field a weak candidate, perhaps none of these problems will prove fatal. But at the moment, a Hillary Clinton victory hardly seems inevitable, especially if her campaign continues to focus on having one of the world’s most powerful women recycle 20-year-old complaints about a “glass ceiling.”

 

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