More bad luck for Hillary
If she weren’t such a ruthless and pathological power-hungry phony, I would almost feel sorry for Hillary Rodham Clinton. It’s starting to look as though 2016 may be another election like 2008, in which the presumptive nominee runs into sheer bad luck that ends up derailing her plans.
She never anticipated in 2008 that a young, untested, almost unknown freshman senator would trump her “historic first” woman president candidacy with the “historic first” black president strategy. This time around, the problem is slightly different, although a freshman senator who can meet (but not trump) the “historic first” appeal exists in the form of Elizabeth Warren, who has already captured the affections of the Democratic Party’s powerful left wing activists.
No, this time around, the problem is qualitative, a matter of electoral fashion. Who could have predicted that the fickle voters would start craving authenticity? Josh Kraushaar explains the national mood in National Journal:
One of the most underappreciated attributes in politics is a candidate's authenticity. In an era when politicians' talking points are scripted, and they worry about a gaffe going viral, the candidate who comes across as genuine holds a real advantage. It's one reason why Barack Obama was able to defeat Hillary Clinton, why Mitt Romney struggled to capitalize on a favorable environment in 2012, and why someone like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is able to use his force of personality to overcome ideological differences with both Democrats and conservatives.
And the authenticity factor has played a critical role in this year's midterm elections, from the challenges red-state Democrats face in winning over skeptics to the problems establishment Republicans have faced in reaching out to the tea-party grassroots. Just take a look at the successful and flailing candidates this cycle, and a lot of the gap comes down to authenticity.
Barack Obama bears a lot of responsibility for sensitizing voters to the dangers of electing a phony. His notorious lies about ObamaCare are now costing many Americans dearly, in the form of lost health insurance policies, higher taxes, and shockingly high deductibles. He is regarded a untruthful by a majority of the public.
And poor Hillary just doesn’t do authenticity. Witness this very awkward moment with Jorge Ramos of Fusion TV, compounding her earlier problems dealing with her wealth:
Ramos: Do you know your net worth? Do you know how much money you have?
Clinton: You know, within a range, yeah. I mean, we have two very nice houses which we're very proud of and not selling anytime soon so...
Ramos: But millions…
Clinton: Yeah. Yes, yes, indeed.
Liberal Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post seems almost flabbergasted that Hillary still hasn’t figured out how to handle questions about her wealth:
Um, ok. Again, it just seems hard for me to believe that Clinton, who has been repeatedly battered in the media -- and by conservative critics -- about her comments about her wealth doesn't have a clearer answer to questions like the one posed by Ramos.
There is a simple reason why Hillary can’t seem to come up with the right response: she has a chip on her shoulder about money, and is in the process of getting revenge on a large cast of figures who made her feel inadequate and humiliated in past decades, when she was uncomfortable about being poorer than those she regarded as her peers in the elite circles which she was joining.
If she were to be authentic, she would be very unappealing.
And, she is not nearly as good a liar as her husband and the guy who beat her out for the nomination in 2008.
At the age of 67, it is not likely that Hillary Clinton is going to become a gifted actor. She might well have gotten away with her phoniness in an earlier time frame. But now that Obama has poisoned the waters for phonies, she is experiencing her characteristic run of bad luck.