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Ron Christie: Hillary Revving Up Class War, Identity Politics

By    |   Monday, 13 Apr 2015 04:05 PM

The short video that Hillary Clinton released on Sunday to announce her second presidential run speaks volumes about her plan to employ the same divisive identity and class-warfare politics that President Barack Obama used to defeat her in 2008 and win re-election in 2012, says Republican strategist Ron Christie.

"What we've seen from the Obama years is that class warfare works, and she is trying to replicate, again, that coalition that the current president has used to put himself in office twice," the CEO of Christie Strategies told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Monday.

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The video cross-cuts between real people of different ethnic backgrounds, and from traditional and non-traditional households: single, married, gay, straight, and with and without kids, or expecting.

"What you saw yesterday was Hillary Clinton's version of a hyphenated America," said Christie.

In just over two minutes run time, people are shown at home and work, at all career stages from graduation to start-up to retirement. Clinton herself appears only briefly, toward the end, as an aspiring "champion" of "everyday Americans" who "have fought their way back from tough economic times."

"But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top," says Clinton, who was earning more than $200,000 per speech as an undeclared, unofficial candidate over the last year.

Christie said the campaign rollout entwines class envy with gender politics to gloss over the contradictions and distract from Clinton's record in public life.

"She's trying to use that, of course, to appeal to people's sensibilities of, well, maybe it's time that we have a woman in there, or, well, maybe it's time that we go against the 1 percent of those who are keeping us behind," he said.

"As opposed to, what are your real accomplishments?" Christie said of the former first lady, senator and secretary of state. "What have you done in the public life that gives you the privilege and the honor to represent us? What's her record? She doesn't have one."

Clinton is grouping people by gender and class "rather than appealing to Americans as fellow citizens to elect her," he said.

Christie called the campaign's first pitch a "typical" and "cynical" Clinton family gambit to "get in power and stay in power … without articulating a clear message as to why they should be there."

Clinton's strategy will be to keep the focus off her time in office and her background, and deflect criticism and scrutiny by appealing to the historic nature of a female candidacy and by insisting, "I'm fighting for you," said Christie.

"We're going to hear all about that for the next year, and then some," he predicted.

"But where was she fighting for the people in Benghazi?" said Christie, referring to the deadly 2012 U.S. embassy compound attack in Libya, which is under investigation by a House select committee that wants Clinton's testimony by May 1.

Clinton used private email to conduct diplomatic business and had her personal email server erased on leaving office, after deciding on her own which correspondence to preserve for government records. She has rejected the Benghazi panel's demand to allow a third party to inspect the server.

Christie said this nagging sense of the Clintons "playing by a different set of rules" will "resonate in a bad way with a lot of American voters."

"Most folks understand, 'Hey, I've got a computer. I've got an email at work. I can't scrub that. How can she scrub that when nobody else can do that?' " he said.

Clinton's focus on domestic issues is also an acknowledgment that she would have difficulty running on her foreign policy record, or defending it, given failures, including the attempted "reset" with Russia and the unraveling of the Middle East, with Iran's rise as a hostile "hegemonic power," said Christie.

But he cautioned that Republicans' presidential campaigns can't focus too heavily on the shortcomings of the probable Democratic nominee.

"You're always at your strongest when you're talking about your vision … how you'd move the country forward, as opposed to what your opponent in politics would do," he said.

"So, it would be unwise for Republicans to unload on her now," said Christie, urging the growing GOP field to do "a better good job of really telling the folks what they're for and why they should be put into office."

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The short video that Hillary Clinton released on Sunday to announce her second presidential run speaks volumes about her plan to employ the same divisive identity and class-warfare politics that President Barack Obama used to defeat her in 2008 and win re-election in 2012, says . . .
Ron Christie, class, war, video
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2015-05-13
Monday, 13 Apr 2015 04:05 PM
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