Hillary Clinton's Greatest Enemy: Herself

Monday, 30 Jun 2014 08:21 AM

By Jon Friedman

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Right now, Hilary Clinton should be feeling quite confident. She has distinguished herself politically since upstart Barack Obama came virtually out of nowhere to snare the Democratic president ail nomination in 2008 and go on to win back to back national elections.

Clinton has served as secretary of state and acted as a stateswoman on many occasions. She has waited as patiently as she can for 2016 and the opportunity to gain the nomination for herself.

At the moment, she is so far ahead that her prospects resemble Secretariat galloping to a one-sided victory at the Belmont Stakes. Just as there was not another thoroughbred in the television screen that day, there is really no other serious Democrat in the political picture, either. But that condition can change overnight, if some enterprising, ambitious Democrat believed that Clinton was suddenly vulnerable.

She really has only foe who can turn the tide against her: herself.

She is in danger of saying the wrong thing off the cuff and turning the media against her, a kiss of death in today's world of digital communications, where whatever you say is preserved for eternity thanks to Google, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Curiously, she alluded that she and her family are not "truly well off."

She wanted to stress that there are plenty of people who are far more comfortable — and I suppose it is true. But she shouldn't have said it like that. It just sounds like something she didn't need to say, especially now when she has no need to defend herself or her financial standing.

Indeed, it resembled verbal kryptonite to someone who has the presidential nomination in her grasp. She is doing well financially, by all accounts. Clinton's new book is selling briskly, and she has called the tony Westchester suburb of Chappaqua, N.Y., home.

To the millions of American voters who consider the Clintons to be quite wealthy, Hillary Clinton's remark could come come across as sounding callous and, for lack of a better word, ludicrous. The last thing she wants to show is that she might be out of touch with ordinary Americans.

Yes, President George H.W. Bush won Desert Storm, but his 1992 election prospects suffered with middle-class voters when he seemed to be out of touch with their concerns and problems.

Clinton seems to occasionally forget how the media work. I'm part of the community so I know what I'm talking about. We love to discover you when you're on the way up. We trip over ourselves to build you up to a superhuman level.

Then, we resent you because you've gotten so big. Then we can't wait to tear you down. Anything questionable that you say or do from that moment on is fair game for us. I've done it, too, as a matter of fact. It stinks.

What Hillary Clinton has to guard against is saying something that can and will be used against her — in the media's court of public opinion.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Matrix blog for Indiewire.com. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)Invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution." Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.

 


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