Don’t blame me for the headline — blame Bill Press. Here’s a little something for you from his latest column for The Hill:
It’s a huge mistake to treat the 2016 nomination as the coronation of Queen Hillary.
Clinton’s got a lock on the White House, her supporters rhapsodize, because she has more experience and a more powerful political machine than anyone else. But this is exactly what we were told in 2008.
Instead of gleefully climbing aboard the Hillary Express, Democratic leaders should be encouraging other Democrats to run in 2016 — not against Clinton, but for president.
Why? For one very simple reason: Democrats want to win.
If they really want to hold onto the White House in 2016, Democrats would be monumentally stupid to put all their eggs in any one candidate’s basket. There is, for starters, the possibility that Clinton might decide not to run. It seems unlikely, yes, but in case she does decline to jump in, is there a plan B?
The short answer is: Not really. You might recall a report from three weeks ago that Democrats are in a “panic” about what to do if Clinton were to choose not to run. They’re even starting to notice in Britain, where The Sunday Times’ Toby Harnden included the following in a fairly glowing piece on Democratic proto-contender Jim Webb:
Webb is careful not to criticize the former secretary of state by name but there is little doubt about the disdain he feels for everything she represents.
“This country is suffering from leadership fatigue,” he told The Sunday Times outside a Democratic party event in Columbia, South Carolina, a city that Union troops burnt to the ground in the American Civil War.
“People are looking for new ways to move forward with people they can trust. They really want to see a different approach.”
The Clintons, along with the Bushes, have been among those leaders. The recent furor over Clinton keeping a secret computer server and destroying 30,000 emails during her time as secretary of state reminded many voters of the bitter disputes of the 1990s and question marks about her honesty.
But the odds of avoiding a Queen Hillary coronation seem …long… after reading stories like this one:
On Monday evening, mainstream media reporters reportedly gave Hillary Clinton a standing ovation after she joked about her private email scandal and took no questions from the press–at an event honoring excellence in journalism.
According to a National Journal report, Clinton took no questions after her 20-minute speech in Washington, D.C., which prompted the Washington Post‘s Dan Balz, who won this year’s Robin Toner award for excellence in political reporting, to reportedly make Clinton an offer: “I am happy to yield my time back to you if you want to take some questions.” Time reported that “Clinton received a standing ovation” anyway “from the journalist-heavy crowd.”
If anyone is “Ready for Hillary” it would seem to be the members of our national media — perhaps eager to make up for the damage done to her 2008 campaign, when the MSM put its thumb firmly on Barack Obama’s side of the scale. By “thumb” I mean “media appendage the size of a ’60s Cadillac” and by “firmly” I mean “with enough force to create its own event horizon.”
It worked in 2008, because in Obama the media had a “reflective” candidate running on a laudable, if not entirely true, biography. If Obama’s accomplishments were thin, his ability to make himself loved and adored worked in perfect lockstep with the MSM’s own desires.
Clinton’s political biography can be a weary one, filled with scandals and other best-forgotten unpleasantness. Her accomplishments are difficult to detect, despite having been the First Lady of a state and a country, a Senator from a major state, and the nation’s Secretary of State.
She’s just not as easy a sell, so the “War on…” memes are being played harder and earlier than they were in 2012.
That more than the candidate herself is what we need to be ready for — because political memes are Plan B. And Plans A, C, D, E, and F, too.