CHARLOTTE, NC, June `5, 2014 – A funny thing happened on the way to Hillary Clinton’s publicity campaign for her new book; a national yawn and a new terrorist group called ISIS.
Some say the book was supposed to be a grand prelude to a potential run for president by Mrs. Clinton in 2016.
Whether or not that is what it was supposed to be, the week that began with so much hype ended with even more speculation about what the next two years will bring.
Ever since Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012, both print and broadcast media have been pondering who the candidates will be for both parties in 2016. Hillary, of course, is a prime topic of conjecture and, depending upon whatever political crisis dominates the news on any given day, that story pretty much determines which way the media will swing on her candidacy on that day.
But the events of last week created some interesting twists that might ultimately have a relevant affect on the 2016 presidential race.
The first qualifier is that it is still too early to make definitive predictions about who will run or what events might determine the final list of candidates.
Only now is November 2014 beginning to be noteworthy and the results of those mid-term elections will probably play a major role in the presidential roster two years later. At the same time however, it is precisely the early speculation that provides the fuel for the 2016 political bonfire that looms within the next 30 or so months. Naturally it will be simple to analyze the reasons for whatever happens after the election, but what about pinpointing those potentialities in advance?
Barack Obama is mired in the quicksand of controversy which is slowly causing the president to sink beneath its surface. Obama doesn’t realize his personal danger at the moment, so he continues to grasp at sticks and twigs rather than reach for stronger sources of aid that could pull him out of his quagmire.
Multiple high level scandals being glossed over as “politics as usual” with untruths and deception combined with on-going foreign policy gaffs have finally taken their toll in the overall degree of trust Americans have for Washington.
It is debatable whether Hillary Clinton’s role as secretary of state in the first term of Obama’s presidency will be a factor in her candidacy. In the eyes of the media Mrs. Clinton was a diplomatic rock star. At least until Benghazi.
Forget that Clinton’s overall record was far from distinguished, her image was all the mattered and that image, though inaccurate, was strong.
For that reason, Hillary’s memoir “Hard Choices” about her diplomatic globetrotting achievements was supposed to strengthen that image. Unfortunately for Mrs. Clinton, an ill-timed statement about leaving the White House in poverty combined with the rise of a terrorist organization called ISIS in Iraq, quickly changed the focus of the story.
That bit of irony makes for interesting conversation for the media. On the one hand, is it really too early to be examining Hillary Clinton’s credentials for a presidential run?
Or, on the other, given Barack Obama’s track record in foreign policy, which shows no sign of improving and will likely continue until he leaves office, and given Hillary’s lack of statesmanship, which laid much of the foundation for the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, will that carry over for the next two years?
Stir Benghazi into the recipe, which will certainly be a talking point for the opposition, and then explore the national disinterest in “Hard Choices” and you have to wonder how it will all play out.
Could the apathy over Mrs. Clinton’s book be a rejection of her, or possibly the Obama administration’s policies or, a combination of both?
It will all be speculation, of course, until it the elections are held and the analysis becomes hindsight.
Meanwhile, as an afterthought, keep in mind how prophetic Bill Clinton was when he made the statement, “That depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”
You see it might just be ISIS that ultimately does Hillary in.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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