Hillary is Conservatives' Dream Opponent
Leftists are tone-deaf. Their whole lives are immersed in a surreal reality of ideological rhetoric and self-adulation pampered by sycophant press, sympathetic professors, and similar propagandists. This means that leftists routinely miscalculate, and this accounts for the macabre obsession that leftists have today with Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton.
This unpleasant, dishonest, and utterly unappealing woman now offers her party two bad options. First, reject her and throw the Democrats into a real dogfight for the nomination, which will make it very hard to hold on to the White House. Second, take a deep gulp, crown this terrible candidate, and run the risk of suffering a political tsunami in 2016.
Just how bad might Hillary be for Democrats in a presidential election?
Consider first her unlikeability. Successful presidential candidates almost always are likeable, whether this seems fair or not to us. Ike, Reagan, Clinton, and, yes, Obama – those two-term presidents since the end of the Second World War – seemed like nice guys.
The contrast between Mr. and Mrs. Clinton is particularly stark. Although Bill Clinton’s policies failed and his administration was pocked with scandals, Bill always seemed friendly and relaxed. In the presidential debates in 1992 and 1996, Clinton’s engaging personality trumped the staid and dry George H. Bush and Bob Dole.
Hillary, by contrast, never seems anything but vain and testy. That comes across on television. No presidential candidate in the last half-century appears so unpleasant. Moreover, that image is pretty well fixed in the public mind, and every effort Hillary makes to counter that image has the additional problem of looking phony.
Hillary also is physically unappealing. She was never pretty, but now she is old and tired. While many of us may pine for the days before looks counted so much to our countrymen, it is undeniable that visual response is now the primary source of information for most American voters. When is the last time that someone ugly won a presidential election?
Hillary is also rightly perceived as the ultimate Washington insider. Her whole resume is being Bill Clinton’s wife during the 1990s, and she has been hanging around, leeching on her husband’s popularity, writing puerile books, doing nothing really but to acquire power and influence and money since 1992. By 2016, Mrs. Clinton will have been a fixture in Washington for one quarter of a century – without, however, a single true accomplishment.
Any American who wanted change in Washington would have to choke hard before voting for Hillary, who represents the status quo as well as any politician in America. With a crummy economy and a crumbling foreign policy, the frustration level most Americans feel about Washington could be toxic for any candidate, but a candidate so closely connected with the Washington establishment may simply be unelectable.
As if this were not bad enough, Hillary is a dreadful campaigner. She won election to the Senate in New York, one of the most leftist states in America, but polls showed that had either Governor Pataki or Mayor Giuliani run for Senator Moynihan’s open seat in 2000, either would have crushed Hillary. The only other campaign she waged was for the Democrat nomination in 2008, and her performance in that race was weak indeed.
Worse for Hillary, although she is trying to simply ignore the scandals of Clinton, while being right at the center of those scandals, there is no guarantee that political ads featuring Kathleen Wiley or even Monica Lewinsky would not put Hillary on the defensive through the 2016 campaign. These women, and other women Bill Clinton preyed upon, could create doubt in the minds of millions of women who might otherwise have voted for Clinton.
The danger for Democrats if Hillary wins the nomination would not just be the loss of the White House; it could further increase Republicans' strength in Congress, making Democrats a distinct minority party and allowing an incoming Republican president to make truly transformative changes in the federal government.
The left seems to genuinely believe that Hillary would be a strong candidate in the 2016 election. She would be, instead, the conservatives’ dream candidate.