Clinton’s presidential chances threatened by her own blundering
A popular theme on Planet Clinton is that poor Hillary is always in danger of being undone by her charming cad of a hubby. Michael Goodwin argues there might be more to the story.
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.
Human Abedin, Clinton’s long time top aide, said her boss is “often confused” and needs plenty of guidance to understand her schedule according to fresh e-mails revealed . Who would vote for a president that is “often confused” ? Most likely the terrorists would be willing to vote for her, even meeting with her at the White House.
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, released new e-mails from Abedin that show concern among State Department staff that then-Secretary of State Clinton didn’t know who to call. In one-email exchanged from June 26, 2013, Abedin asks fellow staffer Monica Hanley whether Clinton knows to call then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
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. Abedin stresses the importance of reviewing the schedule with Clinton: “Very imp to do that. She’s often confused.”
It’s not the first time the word “confused” has been used to describe the Democratic presidential front-runner. Clinton herself has admitted in e-mails that she gets “confused” and even apologized to her staff for mix-ups while she was secretary of state.
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 administration.
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 foundation.
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.