WASHINGTON, June 5, 2014 — If Hillary Clinton does not run for President in 2016, she will be making a mistake. If they do not nominate her, the Democrats will be making a mistake, and they will leaving the race open to Republicans.
If recent polls are any indicator, the House will remain in Republican hands after the midterm elections. Republicans seem to have learned from 2012 and chosen some strong candidates for the Senate, and Senate chambers may have to be redecorated in GOP red after November. 2014 may be the year of the elephant.
Perhaps that is what Clinton is worried about, and that is why she has yet to pull the trigger. She is a shrewd politician, and she is most likely waiting to see how things turn out in November before she commits. As far as politics is concerned she is an old, wily general who will not commit the battle until the wind is right.
But if she does not run, the Democrats will have to pinch hit with crazy Uncle Joe Biden or Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. The thought of either of these at the top of the ticket is slightly to unbearably hard to contemplate. Biden has been a chair stuffer, and O’Malley wasted millions of tax payer dollars on Maryland’s failed ACA rollout, which had to be scrapped and redone.
Either of them would be mince-meat for any Republican with a head of steam right now. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul would deep fry them and serve them up next to a nice victory steak in November of 2016, especially if the winds of change blow to the right in the coming November elections.
But Clinton can throw fire on that grill faster than you can think. Do not pass go, GOP, do not collect the White House. And while Clinton is no sure thing to hold the top spot in the “Free World,” she most certainly has the potential to give the two Southern senators some sleepless nights should she throw her hat into the already crowded ring of potential runners.
The DNC needs Hillary Clinton to run; she has the best chance to beat whoever the GOP throws at her. Like her former boss, the man who currently runs the country, she has a characteristic as a candidate that draws many potential voters out of the wood work, something that lights the fire under the liberal media, stirs up the pot of the progressive voter base, and gets equal rights groups all hot and bothered.
What is that characteristic?
Being the first _______ President.
President Obama was the first African-American president, and he inspired such hope and change that he was able to whip the GOP twice. Obama has garnered huge support and devotion from minority groups, minority advocate groups, the liberal media, and the Democratic party. A lot of it has to do with the fact that he represents a profound boundary being crossed in the history of the United States; he represents the “hope” and “change” that being the first African-American president could bring around.
That is powerful, because through all of the scandals, through all of the controversy, lies, misinformation, power grabs, and law breaking, Obama still enjoys widespread support. And if anyone in the GOP criticizes him, it is because he is black. It is not because he has no experience, or because he seems to have no idea what is going on in his own cabinet, but it is because old white men are racist and hate him because he is another color.
Hillary Clinton will be able to use the same basic principle during her campaign to become the first female President of the United States of America. Women will overwhelmingly support her, progressive men will flock to her banner, and Democrats will champion her as the leader of the new, forward-thinking America.
Anytime anyone from the GOP questions her competence or credibility, the Democrats and their allies will snap back with the charge of hating women, just as they did with Obama.
That is why the Democrats would be fools not to run Clinton; she has the protection of her gender in the eyes of the media.
This is where the Republicans need to tread lightly. This is a mine field for any candidate, whether it be the GOP in the general election, or even fellow Democrats in the primaries. They need to be ready to address the idea that Clinton will enjoy Obama’s immunity to attacks and criticism.
Being “the first” is a powerful weapon, but not a grand slam. Clinton is an outstanding politician, but she has few actual achievements in terms of civil service. Her record is only slightly better than Obama’s was in 2008 in terms of executive experience and positions held. As Secretary of State she was at the forefront of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy decisions, but Obama’s foreign policy is incoherent and ineffective. Clinton’s most important foreign policy skill was her ability to deflect blame.
The GOP should be ready for Clinton. For over five years they have been forced by his race to be careful about how they criticize the president. They need to bring that experience to bear when Clinton runs. The GOP needs to keep the focus on what makes a person qualified for the job, and they need to be aggressive about it.
Republicans need to turn it back on the Democrats and let the nation know it is not about being “first”; it is about being “best.” They need to demonstrate that their opposition to Hillary Clinton in the White House has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her politics and her lack of qualifications.
That is the idea that the GOP needs to push. Now is not the time for the “first” anything, now is not the time to be pushing social progressivism on a country that is still reeling from a bad economy and a lack of faith in government.
If Hillary Clinton runs for president, this is the game that will play out. NBC will run story after story about the importance of a first female president, Dianne Sawyer will do an interview with the former first lady on the power of gender equality, and Fox News will counter with stories of strong conservative women. If Clinton decides to launch Hillary 2016, the GOP will have their hands full telling a socially progressive voter base why they should not vote for the first female president.