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May 20 2014

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Why Hillary Clinton?

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Airbrushed and wonting....

Airbrushed and wonting….

Are guilt, entitlement or “buyer’s remorse” enough to win the Democratic nomination?

Is estrogen enough to win the presidency?

Harsh.  Not politically correct. But essential to ask.

Amid an ocean of ink that has been spilled by media acolytes chronicling Mrs. Clinton’s every step and utterance, very little has been said about the truly unique territory she inhabits in today’s political and public consciousness. Issues, at least as they were once understood as a tool for assessing potential candidates, have taken a backseat in an unprecedented effort to position Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

 ”Est ergo illud esse.”  “It is, therefore it will be.”

The effort is remarkable in several ways.

Mrs. Clinton is a private citizen, doing work with her family’s foundation and giving speeches. She has not provided any public utterance regarding her future plans for public office.

Yet, beginning with Mrs. Clinton’s retirement from the State Department, the machinery of politics began moving almost immediately.  There are now at least seven pro-Hillary Super PACs that have registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  One of those Super PACs has already raised over $5 million.

More stunning, a full two years before the 2016 primaries, 19 Democratic Senators and 41 House members have already endorsed Mrs. Clinton. Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago and POTUS’ first Chief of Staff has also come out for Mrs. Clinton.

The critical infrastructure of any serious, national campaign, experienced staff – including former Obama staffers – are making initial moves to position themselves for a Hillary run.

This extraordinary confluence of detailed, advanced preparation and political unanimity on behalf of an ostensibly private citizen, is unheard of in modern politics, particularly for Democrats. You might hear more about this except that the Mainstream Media has fallen into an Obama-like love affair with a Clinton candidacy, looking to sustain the “high” as they realize they are running out of Obama.

But why?

What is so thoroughly compelling about Mrs. Clinton that has effectively cleared the field for her candidacy?

Quick, name the one issue that sets Clinton apart from any other Democrat?

Or name the one, well-known accomplishment that she can tout on the campaign trail?

Healthcare failed spectacularly when she ran the Initiative as First Lady, a failure that cost the Democrats their 40 year hold on the House as well as the Senate. Although Mrs. Clinton received high marks from fellow Senators for not resting on her celebrity, her Senate career produced no major bills or laws. Rather, like Obama, her Senate seat was always seen as a launching pad for a presidential bid. When that bid finally materialized, and Mrs. Clinton was the heavy favorite, she was out-managed and out-hustled by a novice with a better plan and a better team. For all of her travels, meeting and press conferences as Secretary of State, today she is best known for Benghazi.

Yes, Mrs. Clinton is experienced. She has been in the corridors of power for over a generation. But even after she was liberated from the White House (and her husband) to strike a path that was truly her own, Hillary either accomplished the paltry or failed trying. Experience is an under-valued but a vital presidential prerequisite (as we can plainly see from the current incumbent), but so is a record of accomplishment to accompany it. Mrs. Clinton simply does not have it.

Which brings us back to less noble motives for a Clinton candidacy.

A lot of Democrats jumped ship on Hillary in 2008, swept away in Obamamania. They had been stalwart supports of Bill, and had joined the inevitability bandwagon and the Clinton restoration project, after two terms of the “hated” Bush.

But next to the youthful, charismatic Obama, Mrs. Clinton suddenly looked stale. Obama was the idealistic outsider, closer to the base on the core issues – Iraq in particular – than Hillary. Mrs. Clinton was suddenly and unceremoniously dropped by erstwhile supporters like a bad habit. When she punched back (as only the Clinton Machine can) against the Obama campaign’s Chicago-sharpened elbows, the media turned on her as well.

Bill Clinton, the first “black” president, was all but branded a racist by the media after the South Carolina primary in ’08.

2016 is an opportunity to make up for all that.

For those that left the Clinton fold, it is a chance at redemption, either to relieve guilt or (possibly) to alleviate buyer’s remorse at the mess Obama has made of governance; a mess that Hillary is believed to be so well suited to fix.  And of course, there is the central, overarching goal – only eight years delayed – to ensure that the historic honor of becoming the first woman president is for Hillary and Hillary alone.

But how to get there?

 ”Est ergo illud esse.”  “It is, therefore it will be.”

Move past assessment to assumption. Hillary Clinton is inevitable.

The very act of running becomes proof of her qualification.

It is masterful – but hollow, and eventually self-defeating. You cannot be all things to all people, particularly among Democrats.

– Does Mrs. Clinton support the energy revolution that is making America energy independent? Would she approve Keystone?  Or does she want to expand regulation, kill coal and funnel government money into dubious renewable projects?

– Does Mrs. Clinton support Obamacare? As President, would she veto a Republican bill to repeal Obamacare? Does she favor changes? If so what changes and why?

– What are Clinton’s views on the economy? She recently touted her husband’s economic record, but 42′s policies were practically Republican by today’s Democratic standards, including a cut in the capital gains tax. Does Mrs. Clinton believe in higher personal income taxes? Higher capital gains taxes? Higher corporate taxes? What about Wall Street regulation? Is income inequality the reason for middle class distress, or the lack of job creation by an over-regulated economy?

– What about entitlements? Senator Elizabeth Warren, a voice for the Left, wants to increase payments to seniors through Social Security, even as this program, Medicare and Medicaid face financial crises in the next decade. Would Mrs. Clinton support raising the retirement age? Curbing payments to future beneficiaries?

– How would Mrs. Clinton deal with Iran? How is this different from President Obama? Did she carry out a policy that she personally didn’t support as Secretary? What is Mrs. Clinton going to do about the rise of China and the threatened stability from Kurile Islands the Singapore?

– Does Mrs. Clinton support NSA programs as currently structured? Does she support Justice Department guidance which allows a sitting president to execute an American citizen without due process if that person is associated with a terrorist organization?

We don’t know the answers to this or a host of other crucial questions. Indeed, will it be “sexist” to hold her accountable for her views and her past, and the inevitable contradictions and sordid compromises?

All we know, is that a Hillary Clinton presidency would make gender history, coming right after America broke the race barrier to the Oval Office.

Symbolism over results.

Historical firsts are great. But is that enough to be president?

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