Stopping the Hillary Juggernaut

It's obvious to any sentient being that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.  Already she has begun the round of speeches at influential venues, the visits to primary states, the media spin, the heightening of speculation on "Will she run?"  All of this, along with a five-part miniseries and full-length documentary planned for release ahead of the 2016 election.  As for fund-raising, that is hardly a problem for the Clinton machine.

Actually, Hillary Clinton is already not only the frontrunner for her party's nomination, but also the favorite to win against any GOP candidate.  The polls and oddsmakers here and abroad already confirm this assertion.

Clearly, stopping Hillary at the polls should be the first priority for conservatives. But the only way to stop her is by employing the same ruthless tactics Democrats used against Romney in 2012.  Identify her greatest weakness, isolate it, and pound on it from now until November 2016.  In Hillary's case, the weakness is Benghazi.

Conservatives should remind voters that Hillary Clinton was in charge when four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.  As she attempts to wriggle out, as she will, they should play that video of her admitting responsibility.  Play it alongside the video of the burning consulate.  Play it with the photos of the men who died there.

Remind voters how she failed in her most basic duty as secretary of state: the responsibility to protect American embassy staff abroad.  Then remind them of the cover-up in which she participated for weeks after the attack.  Then let them know how she tried to duck responsibility altogether, assuming that the whole matter would just slip away and be forgotten.

For that to happen, she had to avoid testifying in the months following the event. How convenient that she suffered a fall and was unable to appear before the congressional hearing on Benghazi.  She seems to have fainted and suffered a mysterious concussion -- so mysterious that she at first couldn't say how it happened.  Then she decided that it was the result of dehydration -- probably resulting from the heat she was about to take on Capitol Hill.

But unlike most cabinet members, who would have been rushed to the hospital following a concussion, Hillary seems never to have been examined by any medical staff other than her family physician.  She just stayed home, taking it easy, while those unpleasant and overly strenuous congressional hearings were taking place.

In other words, Hillary Clinton's duties as secretary of state were so demanding that she was unable to perform them without fainting away.  So what makes her think she can perform the duties of the presidency?

It won't do, though, just to remind voters of these facts.  The point has to be drilled in.  That's where the Democratic Party tactics of 2012 come in.

Even before receiving his party's nomination, Romney was shadowed during the primaries by protesters raising questions about his corporate background and his stance opposing new taxes on the rich.  At one Iowa State Fair event, he was mercifully heckled and practically driven from the stage.  Now "it's my turn" to speak, he kept repeating, but the hecklers never gave him a chance.  As a result, he appeared weak at a crucial moment in his campaign.

Similar tactics should be used against Hillary, but they need to start now.  The "primary" is all but over -- the general election has begun.  Peaceful volunteers need to shadow Hillary wherever she speaks.  Preferably volunteers wearing T-shirts emblazoned with photos of the Benghazi victims and carrying placards with their photos and birth and death dates as well.  For those who have forgotten, four Americans died at Benghazi, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens (1960-2012), Foreign Service Information Officer Sean Smith (1978-2012), Glen Doherty (1970-2012), and Tyrone Woods (1971-2012).  Doherty and Woods were both security personnel (and former Navy SEALS) contracted by the CIA.

And every time Hillary speaks, those peaceful protestors need to remind voters of where the four died:

BEN-GHA-ZI

BEN-GHA-ZI

BEN-GHA-ZI

BEN-GHA-ZI

After a few minutes, they might repeat the names of the four heroes, and remind Hillary that their safety was her responsibility:

Chris, Sean, Glen, and "Tee,"

Your responsibility

Chris, Sean, Glen, and "Tee,"

Your responsibility

Finally, they could segue into a five-beat refrain:

WHAT DIF-FERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

WHAT DIF-FERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

WHAT DIF-FERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

WHAT DIF-FERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

"What difference, at this point, does it make?" was, of course, Hillary's outrageous comment to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in January 2013, a mere four months after Benghazi.  Did she really believe that "at that point" it no longer mattered?  That was her inference.    

I'm sure Hillary already has an answer for all of this, and that her answer has already been circulated to the national press for distribution.  She'll point out that she didn't micromanage every one of the hundreds of State Department outposts around the world, despite evidence that she had ordered Ambassador Stevens to Benghazi.  And besides, Republicans in Congress had cut the funding she had requested to defend our embassies and consulates.  If they had only given her unlimited funding, Benghazi would never have happened.  It was Boehner's fault.

And there will be other excuses.  Maybe she had fainted when the attack began and had misplaced her smelling salts.

The national media will do everything it can to elect Hillary in 2016, even more than it did for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.  But at least the public would hear the other side.  And the truth might just sink in.  "What difference does it make?" is one of the most callous and self-serving statements ever uttered by a high government official in the history of the United States.  Conservatives need to remind people of that.

Imagine George W. Bush addressing the nation following the World Trade Center attack and coming out with "What difference, at this point, does it make?"  Instead, he stated eloquently and simply that "Today, our nation saw evil," and he resolved to "find those responsible and bring them to justice."  America would not rest until those responsible had been brought to justice.

That was very different from the tenor of Hillary's remarks in the days following Benghazi.  For days she was unsure, at least publicly, that a terrorist attack had actually taken place.  I suppose she had to clear it with Obama.  Then she was half-sure it was a terrorist attack.  Well, it might have been.  And she was totally vague as to what we were going to do about it.

By the way, what exactly have Hillary and her boss, Barack, done to bring the perpetrators of Benghazi to justice?  Dozens of militants, including hard-core al-Qaeda fighters, took part in the attack.  As of yet, there have not been any convictions.  I can't think of a five-syllable phrase to convey that thought.  Maybe it will be enough to remind voters during the debates.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books on American politics and culture, including Heartland of the Imagination (2013).

It's obvious to any sentient being that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.  Already she has begun the round of speeches at influential venues, the visits to primary states, the media spin, the heightening of speculation on "Will she run?"  All of this, along with a five-part miniseries and full-length documentary planned for release ahead of the 2016 election.  As for fund-raising, that is hardly a problem for the Clinton machine.

Actually, Hillary Clinton is already not only the frontrunner for her party's nomination, but also the favorite to win against any GOP candidate.  The polls and oddsmakers here and abroad already confirm this assertion.

Clearly, stopping Hillary at the polls should be the first priority for conservatives. But the only way to stop her is by employing the same ruthless tactics Democrats used against Romney in 2012.  Identify her greatest weakness, isolate it, and pound on it from now until November 2016.  In Hillary's case, the weakness is Benghazi.

Conservatives should remind voters that Hillary Clinton was in charge when four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.  As she attempts to wriggle out, as she will, they should play that video of her admitting responsibility.  Play it alongside the video of the burning consulate.  Play it with the photos of the men who died there.

Remind voters how she failed in her most basic duty as secretary of state: the responsibility to protect American embassy staff abroad.  Then remind them of the cover-up in which she participated for weeks after the attack.  Then let them know how she tried to duck responsibility altogether, assuming that the whole matter would just slip away and be forgotten.

For that to happen, she had to avoid testifying in the months following the event. How convenient that she suffered a fall and was unable to appear before the congressional hearing on Benghazi.  She seems to have fainted and suffered a mysterious concussion -- so mysterious that she at first couldn't say how it happened.  Then she decided that it was the result of dehydration -- probably resulting from the heat she was about to take on Capitol Hill.

But unlike most cabinet members, who would have been rushed to the hospital following a concussion, Hillary seems never to have been examined by any medical staff other than her family physician.  She just stayed home, taking it easy, while those unpleasant and overly strenuous congressional hearings were taking place.

In other words, Hillary Clinton's duties as secretary of state were so demanding that she was unable to perform them without fainting away.  So what makes her think she can perform the duties of the presidency?

It won't do, though, just to remind voters of these facts.  The point has to be drilled in.  That's where the Democratic Party tactics of 2012 come in.

Even before receiving his party's nomination, Romney was shadowed during the primaries by protesters raising questions about his corporate background and his stance opposing new taxes on the rich.  At one Iowa State Fair event, he was mercifully heckled and practically driven from the stage.  Now "it's my turn" to speak, he kept repeating, but the hecklers never gave him a chance.  As a result, he appeared weak at a crucial moment in his campaign.

Similar tactics should be used against Hillary, but they need to start now.  The "primary" is all but over -- the general election has begun.  Peaceful volunteers need to shadow Hillary wherever she speaks.  Preferably volunteers wearing T-shirts emblazoned with photos of the Benghazi victims and carrying placards with their photos and birth and death dates as well.  For those who have forgotten, four Americans died at Benghazi, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens (1960-2012), Foreign Service Information Officer Sean Smith (1978-2012), Glen Doherty (1970-2012), and Tyrone Woods (1971-2012).  Doherty and Woods were both security personnel (and former Navy SEALS) contracted by the CIA.

And every time Hillary speaks, those peaceful protestors need to remind voters of where the four died:

BEN-GHA-ZI

BEN-GHA-ZI

BEN-GHA-ZI

BEN-GHA-ZI

After a few minutes, they might repeat the names of the four heroes, and remind Hillary that their safety was her responsibility:

Chris, Sean, Glen, and "Tee,"

Your responsibility

Chris, Sean, Glen, and "Tee,"

Your responsibility

Finally, they could segue into a five-beat refrain:

WHAT DIF-FERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

WHAT DIF-FERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

WHAT DIF-FERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

WHAT DIF-FERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

"What difference, at this point, does it make?" was, of course, Hillary's outrageous comment to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in January 2013, a mere four months after Benghazi.  Did she really believe that "at that point" it no longer mattered?  That was her inference.    

I'm sure Hillary already has an answer for all of this, and that her answer has already been circulated to the national press for distribution.  She'll point out that she didn't micromanage every one of the hundreds of State Department outposts around the world, despite evidence that she had ordered Ambassador Stevens to Benghazi.  And besides, Republicans in Congress had cut the funding she had requested to defend our embassies and consulates.  If they had only given her unlimited funding, Benghazi would never have happened.  It was Boehner's fault.

And there will be other excuses.  Maybe she had fainted when the attack began and had misplaced her smelling salts.

The national media will do everything it can to elect Hillary in 2016, even more than it did for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.  But at least the public would hear the other side.  And the truth might just sink in.  "What difference does it make?" is one of the most callous and self-serving statements ever uttered by a high government official in the history of the United States.  Conservatives need to remind people of that.

Imagine George W. Bush addressing the nation following the World Trade Center attack and coming out with "What difference, at this point, does it make?"  Instead, he stated eloquently and simply that "Today, our nation saw evil," and he resolved to "find those responsible and bring them to justice."  America would not rest until those responsible had been brought to justice.

That was very different from the tenor of Hillary's remarks in the days following Benghazi.  For days she was unsure, at least publicly, that a terrorist attack had actually taken place.  I suppose she had to clear it with Obama.  Then she was half-sure it was a terrorist attack.  Well, it might have been.  And she was totally vague as to what we were going to do about it.

By the way, what exactly have Hillary and her boss, Barack, done to bring the perpetrators of Benghazi to justice?  Dozens of militants, including hard-core al-Qaeda fighters, took part in the attack.  As of yet, there have not been any convictions.  I can't think of a five-syllable phrase to convey that thought.  Maybe it will be enough to remind voters during the debates.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books on American politics and culture, including Heartland of the Imagination (2013).

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