I recall my Democratic friends telling me quite matter of factly back in 2007 that Hillary Clinton was going to be their nominee in 2008 and that she was the going to “mop the floor” with any Republican nominee in the general election.
Well things did not work out so well when a “community organizer” and first term U.S. senator bested her for the nomination and was elected president.
In 2008, despite Bill Clinton’s political infrastructure that got him elected and re-elected and despite Hillary’s own operatives in New York and beyond, not to mention their fundraising prowess, she was beat.
The Clintons have been on the public state for over 30 years. The youngest voters in 2016 were not even born when Bill Clinton was elected in 1992. And therein is the problem for Hillary.
The Achilles' heel for politicians regardless of party is when they overstay their welcomes. Government service should be an opportunity, not a career. When they do not know when to move on, voters will remind them. Former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian summed it up best when he said this recently: "She’s been living 30, going on 40 years with somebody bringing your coffee to you every morning. It is more ‘Downton Abbey’ than it is America?”
Many of the same Democrats who in 2008 said Hillary was unbeatable are saying it again now. They insist that no Democrat has the money or the infrastructure to stop her. This is a calculated effort to scare away any possible challenge, but it will not work. I submit that Hillary Clinton is much more vulnerable today than she was in 2008.
A kink in the Clinton armor can be found in her less than stellar or profitable book tour she is currently on. This is what CNN reported with a headline — “Clinton’s Memoir: A Best Seller, A Bomb or Both?” and then went on to report: “But the pro-Clinton praise of ‘Hard Choices’ don’t come without caveats because the numbers are indisputable: Clinton’s book is not flying off the bookshelves especially when compared to her last memoir.”
The facts are that if you compare to sales of Hillary’s first memoir. “Living History," which sold 438,000 copies in its first week of sales compared to her latest book which reportedly sold 85,721 copies in its first week it is clear that interest in what she has to say has waned substantially.
The Hillary of 2014 is not the Hillary of 2007. Because of her support of Obama and her service to him and the nation as his secretary of state it will be very difficult for her to distance herself from him and from her own failings in 2016.
She has much to overcome and explain. Whether it is her role in the before, during and after of the attacks on Benghazi or the failed “reset” of relations with Russia or the meltdown of the Middle East or the failures in Afghanistan or the collapse of Iraq to name a few all happened on her watch.
Add to this is her unabashed support of Obamacare and she has real hurdles to her taking the nomination of her party or the oath as president of the United States.
While book sale numbers may not be dispositive about the viability of a candidacy for president — polls may be.
Hillary’s poll numbers have dropped dramatically since she left the State Department. According to a CNN Poll reported on June 16, 2014 — Hillary favorable ratings went from 67 percent in March 2013 to 59 percent this fall to 57 percent in March 2014 and that’s before her latest gaffes on her and Bill Clinton’s income and her poor book launch. Bill Clinton has a higher approval rating than Hillary.
Eric Cantor’s loss should be a warning shot over the bow of establishment politicians from both parties.
The same CNN poll shows that rank and file Democrats are not so enthusiastic about Hillary 2016 — only 41 percent asked said they were “enthusiastic” of Hillary being the nominee, while only 42 percent said they would be satisfied. So, only 1 in 4 Democrats said they would be excited to have Hillary as their nominee. That is very telling.
It should never be a person’s “turn” to be president. When a party decides who the nominee will be in advance of the primaries they do so at their peril. Voters do not like to be told how things will turn out on Election Day before they cast their vote.
Democrats in general and Hillary in particular should remember that you have to be selected by the party before you are elected by the people. Hillary should have learned that in 2008.
It is not about who has the most money or who has the most foot soldiers. And it is not about who has been on the public stage the longest.
The one thing Clinton “inevitables” are missing is that being on the public stage for has long as the Clintons have may at the end of the day prove that they have overstayed their welcome.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University and is a Board Member of Sports Fans Coalition and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.
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