Her Royal Heinous vs. the Democrat Opposition
It’s been suggested that candidate Clinton should leave politics and embrace grandparenthood. The innuendo is clear: Hillary is too old to run for president. That’s a pretty bold and even biased assumption, considering that we’re supposed to be living at a time when 50 is the new 30, which would make Hillary the equivalent of 45 years of age – not even old enough to qualify as a senior citizen.”
Even without imagination, Hillary is younger than Ronald Reagan when he took office, and around the same age as several other former presidents. So it may not be Clinton’s chronological age that concerns some people as much as it is the increasing sense of world-weary entitlement she displays toward the presidency. It’s not the bags under her eyes that rankle; it’s the baggage under the table. It’s not the manner in which Her Highness sashays to the lectern; it’s the bombast she utters once she gets there.
Democrats are well aware of Hillary’s problems and her tenuous lead in the polls. But they find themselves locked into an unusual situation. The Clintons have become enormously powerful, and their pockets extraordinarily deep. Thus far in the run-up to 2016, it’s been assumed that Hillary’s time has come, that her ascendancy will heal any residual hard feelings left over from her rejection by Democrats in 2008. The hubris of her current candidacy has until recently been like an impenetrable shield surrounding an Ice Maiden. But now that the shield is cracking, there is no viable Democrat ready or willing to make a move.
But wait! There’s this politician named Martin O’Malley! As I recall, the last O’Malley to grab the national spotlight was Walter, the late flamboyant manager of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. But Martin comes nowhere close to being a household word. Still, he appears willing to step up to the plate and take a swing at Hillary in the upcoming Democratic primary. He even lobbed a foul ball in her direction, suggesting that a presidential election should do more than pass the crown between two families. That got quite a lot of spin, coming as it did from left field!
Martin O’Malley can do all the grandstanding he wants, since he poses no serious political threat to Hillary or even to himself. He left public office earlier this year after serving as Maryland’s governor for eight years. That position is now occupied by a Republican. While O’Malley was in charge, he flexed his progressive muscles to the extent of passing several landmark pieces of legislation, all of which have endeared him to the far left. Among them is one of the most stringent gun control laws among the states. Others include the decriminalization of marijuana usage, transgender rights, designating certain undocumented immigrants eligible for state college tuition, and legalizing same-sex marriage.
Maryland is a small state whose southern section serves largely as a bedroom community for folks employed in our nation’s capital. During a visit to the area a few years back, I recall being stuck for hours trying to drive east on the Chesapeake Bay bridge. The frustrating fact was that that nobody was going anywhere, due to the gridlock generated by federal employees getting the usual Thursday start to a long – and taxpayer-paid – national holiday weekend. Maryland, bordering on Delaware, is also a state from which Joe Biden might draw support were he to muss up his silver mane by tossing his hat into the presidential ring.
But he won’t. And neither will other hopefuls, like Elizabeth Warren and John Kerry. (The list is brief.) They know that such a move would be taken at their own peril, and would likely lead to party disarray and a Republican in the White House. They also know that even if Hillary loses, the time for them to come into their own would be shortened by half…from eight more years to four. Barring Hillary’s unlikely disbarment from running, those in the Democratic dugout will cool their heels.
So as primary season approaches, Hillary stands virtually alone – and not all that tall. The best she can hope for is to go about washing her latest dirty laundry in the courtyard of public opinion, and to hope that as the months pass, it will be overlooked as “old news.” Hillary may be technologically challenged, but she is bright enough to realize that with the vast array of electronically delivered diversions, Americans don’t stay focused very long on anything. In fact, many Americans don’t stay focused on political issues at all. So candidate Clinton is hoping that in time (for her election!), her e-gate fracas, like her personal server, will have been wiped as clean as a whistle from voters’ minds.
Before the latest snafus, Hillary’s campaign may have assumed that her unchallenged ascendancy would allow her to look down in scorn on the field of Republican contenders. Some of her minions are already comparing them to the Seven Dwarves, even if the number may be more or less. (Likely there will be two “Docs,” for example.) Perhaps she thought she’d imperiously let them duke it out on the national stage, confounded by unfriendly moderators, and collectively emerging from their debate schedule much the worse for wear.
The problem is, however, that lacking competition in a primary race can have a serious downside. For starters, it hardly grabs the headlines. Instead, it tends to sideline the sole contender and bore the electorate. That will surely happen to Hillary if somebody does not make at least a pretense of challenging her in the Democrat primary. Perhaps that’s what relative unknown Martin O’Malley is all about. But the fact remains that if Hillary cannot haul herself over the finish line, the best her party faithful can do is to set up roadblocks to prevent her Republican competition from doing the same.
That’s why this coming election is likely to be one of the nastiest and most expensive in political history. From Her Royal Heinous’s chambers will come the blood-curdling cry of “Off with their heads!” On the public podium, however, Hillary will reconstitute her image as an underdog battling a conspiracy of right-wing male chauvinists. She has plenty of practice in the art of saying anything – truth be damned, and no apologies. The only card the Red Queen can count on now is the gender card, and it will trump everything else in her bid for the White House.
Whether a lightweight like Martin O’Malley steps up to liven things up as her occasional sparring partner in scheduled Democrat primary debates is superfluous. Hillary is the only one who can help herself out of the mess in which she’s landed. And nobody – Republican or Democrat – is hedging bets against her being able, somehow, to pull it off.