Hillary Watch 2016: An Obama Minefield Awaits Hillary On The 2014 Campaign Trail
Our last edition of Hillary Watch 2016 posed the question: Will Hillary be forced to run for Bill’s third term rather than Obama’s third term?
The answer to that question assumes the following:
Obama’s overall job approval rating will continue downward.
As of this writing, the Real Clear Politics (RCP) poll average has Obama's job performance at 45.8% approve and 49.3% disapprove. However the RCP average of his handling of the economy is more dismal, with 43.3% approving and 52% disapproving.
Hillary’s presidential non-campaign gains momentum.
Just check out the Ready For Hillary PAC web site and you will feel the momentum building for the forthcoming massive social movement to elect the first female president -- initially fueled by Hollywood and the mainstream media. On “Ready for Hillary” you will notice that Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is the first female Senator to publically pledge her support for Hillary in 2016. McCaskill is then followed by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
As reported in The Hill, Shaheen, who is up for reelection in 2014 said, “We’re talking to her about helping me in my reelection effort, and I know that she’s taking a little break. But I am hopeful that she will and I ‘m also hopeful she’s going to run for president.”
No surprise that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is also quoted on “Ready for Hillary” after looking up to a higher authority saying, "I pray that Hillary Clinton decides to run for president of the United States.” (Watch this space for whether the Almighty actually listens to Nancy Pelosi.)
More Hillary less Obama in the 2014 midterm election.
This week the aforementioned Hill piece had the following headline: Dems start Obama to Clinton transition. The piece reports:
Requests are flooding in for the former Secretary of State to campaign for candidates.
Of course, President Obama remains the most sought-after figure, but his star power could fade in the coming months as the chatter about his successor intensifies. His approval rating has fallen as his administration has grappled with a variety of controversies ranging from IRS overreach to government snooping.
“The political focus of the Democratic Party will shift to Hillary, and in some ways it has already,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), who, as a staunch Clinton supporter, has an interest in seeing his forecast come true.
He noted that while Obama will be the policy leader of the party, there will be an “inherent transition” politically to the person Democrats see as the next leader.
My three word summary of The Hill piece is the sound of Democrat's crying, "Hillary help us."
Ready for Hillary vs. Ready for Reality in 2014.
The “Ready for Hillary” concept sounds way too easy and "way to easy" usually means trouble ahead. (See Hillary vs. Obama 2008.)
So now the conventional wisdom is Hillary has become the de facto leader of the Democrat Party. She has the 2016 Democratic nomination locked up and the 2014 midterms will act as both her 2016 show-prep and IOU collection machin
As Hillary is crisscrossing the nation raising buckets of money for Democrat candidates and collecting piles of IOU’s, the 2014 midterm campaign trail will be fraught with deadly IED’s that she must avoid. These IED's will have Obama's name all over them. For even though Obama will not personally be on the ballot in 2014 his policies and legacy will be front and center.
Hillary, by request of the candidates, will be actively campaigning to give Obama what he so desperately wants: to win back Democrat control of the House and keep Democrat control of the Senate. But come 2014, Obama could be politically toxic, and ObamaCare, having kicked in full throttle, could potentially be extremely unpopular once people experience the negative impact of increased costs, declining care and loss of full-time jobs.
But out on the campaign trail, Hillary must give voters good reasons to cast their ballots for that congressman/woman or senator from a red/purple state up for re-election. Usually, in midterm elections, those reasons are to support the President, his policies and his vision for America.
So how will Hillary support Obama while running from Obama?
That will be tricky, especially if his current approval rating continues its downward spiral. Then, after the 2014 election, if many of the candidates Hillary campaigned for were defeated, that could reflect poorly on her and she could be perceived as a weaker presidential candidate.
Just imagine the video of Hillary defending Obama with all those, “Give Obama the Congress he deserves” speeches that will be replayed non-stop in 2016.
However, as we have come to know, Mrs. Clinton is a pro at being disingenuous, so there is no doubt she will find a way to Kabuki dance with Obama while she dances over Obama. For there is no way Hillary Clinton is going to let Obama defeat her again. Therefore, watching how she maneuvers through the 2014 minefield laden campaign trails should be award-winning political theater.
Is the Republican Party headed for a 1964 -style presidential landslide defeat?
Finally, my usual Hillary Watch 2016 question is, “Name the Republican leader who can win 270 electoral votes and defeat Hillary?” That question and answer depresses me even more lately as my computer is being targeted with Ready for Hillary pop up ads like the one I captured on display above. (I assume this is because the super-computers controlling the universe think Hillary Watch 2016 is a pro-Hillary site.)
But I have stumped the algorithms! For the mission of Hillary Watch 2016 is not to support her, but to watch her very closely while waiting for a GOP candidate to emerge. Meanwhile, my greatest fear is that there will be a Republican Party replay of the 1964 presidential election landslide defeat between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater.
Although way too early to matter, this news still gives me the chills because in my paranoid political mind, 1964 looms large. For as every Republican knows the path to the White House runs through Florida. On the other hand, I expect neither Bush nor Rubio will be the Republican nominee in 2016. But still the question remains, “Is there anyone on the GOP bench who will be “Ready for Hillary?”
Thankfully a Stop Hillary 2016 PAC is now gearing up. But WHO will be the one to stop her?
All and any attempts to answer that question are welcome.