Clinton Fatigue: Empty Suit or Empty Record?
The underwhelming sales of Hillary Clinton’s new book Hard Choices and ordinary crowd levels showing up for her book release tou, have many questioning whether or not Americans have had their fill of the Clintons. Is the tepid response to Hillary’s book and media blitz simply Clinton fatigue or could her actions and record have something to do with it?
Ben Wolfgang’s June 22, 2014 article in the Washington Times states, “Some political analysts say the former secretary of state runs the risk of seeming like old news by the time 2016 caucuses and primaries begin, with her celebrity standing and pop-culture status ultimately leading to fatigue among voters.” He goes on to support his theory by citing a June 11th Gallup poll dropping her approval to 54 percent from a steady rating near 65 percent while leading the State Department.
A person’s success in most fields can generally be attributable to a few key factors. In Hillary’s case, her rapid ascent in public office might be owed to her own character and abilities, the enduring popularity of her husband, or a combination of the two.
Let's first consider Hillary’s progress in politics on the basis of individual merit. It would seem highly improbable someone could go from being a fired Judiciary Committee staffer, to a law firm partner indicted on fraud charges, to U.S. senator of a newly-called "home state" to secretary of state, based on her unique capacity to meet the needs of so many. Most would agree it would require a willing suspension of disbelief, a phrase Hillary infamously used in an attempt to discredit Gen. Petraeus’ efforts in Iraq, to think her climb has been based primarily on merit. However, if she truly earned such posts, what did she really accomplish in them? There is no legislation bearing her name as U.S. senator. Apart from racking up the most frequent flier miles in history as secretary of state, can anyone honestly claim an improvement in America’s standing in the world as a result of her globetrotting? The most notable and first thing that comes to my mind in her latest position is the tragic death of four Americans in Benghazi, which took place under her watch.
Now let’s explore her ascent based on her husband’s political clout. One of the many problems with this being her primary accelerant, is that he may be considered the most popular Democrat president since Kennedy by default. Jimmy Carter is generally accepted by supporters of both parties as one of the greatest failures in the history of U.S. presidents, while the current commander in chief, awash in scandal and plummeting approval ratings, appears to be steadily vying for at least a share of such a dubious distinction. In addition, for every so many people that think George “W” was a stooge, simply pursuing a vendetta against Saddam Hussein, there are a certain number of people that consider Bill Clinton a twice-charged felon (Draft Dodging - pardoned by Carter and Perjury -- not convicted by Senate), disbarred, impeached president, who committed perverted acts of adultery in the people’s Oval Office. It would not seem likely for Hillary to win over many Republicans, if she can even convince enough Democrats to win a primary contest, based on such mixed sentiments concerning her husband. Especially, with the Republican’s Contract with America widely credited for the strong economy during the Clinton administration and eight years of her party occupying the White House.
There are plenty of talented and inspiring men and women in this country that could dramatically improve its current trajectory as president. If Hillary decides to run and to pitch her experiences to the American people, she may find an overwhelming number asking themselves, “What difference does it make?” She might also find voters are opposed to political family dynasties and very much tired of empty suits, whether traditional or the pant variety!
Ringo Lanzetti is a small business owner. As a strong believer in traditional American values, he is passionate about defending economic and religious liberties to preserve the American Dream. He lives with his wife and two children in Northern Virginia.