Hillary Clinton, Reactionary
Amid the Trump psychodramas, the public has forgotten not just Hillary Clinton’s latest contortions over her emails, but Mrs. Clinton herself. Hillary has assumed the position of a tired vice president in waiting, without any of the perks that might accrue from a lame-duck president to his dutiful VP.
Ostensibly Clinton’s candidacy is to be a continuation of her boss’s eight years. The problem, however, is that for all Obama’s iconic status, the president polls well below 50% in approval ratings. He lost both the House and Senate, and the majority of state governorships and legislatures are now Republican, if not solidly conservative.
His signature legacies -- Obamacare, the Iran nuke deal, open borders, and massive deficits -- poll poorly. Is borrowing another $8 trillion Clinton’s agenda? Cutting another 25% from defense? No one believes that Obama’s liberal boilerplate -- more government regulation, zero interest rates, higher taxes, bigger deficits, smaller defense, more illegal aliens, greater racial hyphenation -- is working.
The logical liberal trajectory of abortion on demand is the Planned Parenthood fetus emporium, of race-based grievance politics is the “hands up, don’t shoot” (and Trayvon as the son Obama never had) fantasy, of open borders is the murder of Kate Steinle, and of therapeutic foreign policy is the Iran deal, reset with Putin, Benghazi, red lines with Assad, the collapse of Iraq, and the birth of ISIS.
The result is Hillary is sort of stuck. She can mouth Obamisms that remain unpopular, with the realization that the polarizing rhetoric needed to energize an Obama black or Latino bloc voter in the past had often ensured turning off a working-class Reagan Democrat. Hillary needs to win both groups, but so far there is no indication that her “first woman president” theme will energize minorities in the fashion they had flocked to “hope and change.”
Or Clinton can go full-populist, damning Wall Street, the elite, and the one-percent, while again changing accents to reflect regional audiences. Here the challenge is twofold: all three Clintons swim most comfortably in plutocratic waters. Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea are all multimillionaires, precisely because they leveraged their political connections and the Clinton name, in quid-pro-quo fashion, to extract millions from cash-flush Wall Street and banking concerns. The world of the Clinton Foundation, the family’s jet-setting, the Clinton son-in-law, and the speaking fees of all three Clintons are elitist to the core and simply unfathomable to 99% of the population.