Who other than college students enamored of voting for the “first woman president” — because voting for the “first black president” has worked out so well — will be inspired by the candidacy of Hillary Clinton?
I don’t mean in contrast to any of the increasing number of interesting Republican candidates whom liberals object to with unbecoming condescension.
I mean in her own right.
Putting aside what many of us understood to be the true nature of Barack Obama and despite his vapid rhetoric about “hope and change,” the man was to many Americans an inspiration.
Ronald Reagan, because he understood and spoke honestly of the true nature of man and of Soviet communism, remains an inspiration and will do so long after history doles out to Barack Obama the verdict of failure he so richly deserves.
Other candidates have had individual traits that offered some inspiration, or at least a commendable example of how to live a life, even if the men in their entireties were not great candidates (if they lost) or not great presidents (if they won). These — and there can be honest disagreement about the praiseworthy aspects of each of them — could include essentially every Republican and Democratic presidential nominee since, but not including, Jimmy Carter.
(I realize this is very generous to both Al Gore and John Kerry, neither of whom I can think of a serious reason to compliment, but let’s play nice. After all, John Kerry managed to marry two women each with nine-figure fortunes while appealing to the anti-war Left and Algore invented the Internet, or at least had the cojones to suggest as much, while appealing to anti-humanity environmentalists who want us to use only one square of toilet paper per evacuation. It’s also worth noting that these two men — the most difficult since Carter to laud based on their characters or ability to inspire normal people — both lost, for which I thank them.)
But whom does Hillary inspire? And if you have an answer please explain how she does so.
She’s tied at the hip to Goldman Sachs, the bane of the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement and Liz Warren Progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Add to that her $4,000 per minute speaking fees and she’s hardly inspiring for even less radical detractors of “the 1 percent” and the growing gaggle of “income inequality” worry-warts. Does anyone buy her claims to want to “topple” the rich,” notwithstanding that income redistribution is, as the Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell puts it, “economically foolish and politically impotent”?
Hillary is thought of as a foreign policy hawk in comparison to Barack Obama, no use at all when trying to inspire the same Code Pink types who couldn’t push John Kerry over the finish line but were an important part of the Obama base.
(We can thank the former secretary of state for what Senator Rand Paul calls “Hillary’s war in Libya” which is now giving ISIS a safe place to hide in North Africa while — and I suppose here’s her one act of real inspiration — rousing thousands of refugees to flee and, earlier this week, hundreds of them to die in the attempt, trying to escape the wreckage that replaced the suboptimal but essentially stable Gaddafi regime. And then there’s the Russian “reset,” but don’t get me started…)
As Charles Krauthammer asked rhetorically at a Hillsdale College event in Colorado on Monday night, “What has Hillary accomplished?” The only answer anyone ever offers boils down to “she flew a lot.” I, like Krauthammer, am yet to meet a Hillary supporter who can name a single accomplishment of hers. Hint: Being born with two X-chromosomes is not one. (For the record, Dr. Krauthammer has a wicked and dry sense of humor that I wish he’d share with the world more frequently.)
Although Bill Clinton called himself “the first black president,” now that we’ve had a real one and the economic impact for African-Americans has been nothing short of disastrous, does Hillary inspire blacks to turn out in large numbers with the solid 90-plus percent Democratic tilt she’ll need to win?
Barack Obama’s two election victories represented the only occasions in American presidential history when blacks as a percentage of voter turnout exceeded their percentage of the population. The odds of that happening for Hillary are roughly the same as the chances of the Cincinnati Reds winning the World Series this year.
Any honest person recognizes Mrs. Clinton as a perpetual liar and as part of a husband-and-wife team who think themselves above the law. That can’t inspire anyone but criminals, fabulists, sociopaths, and Barack Obama.
Hillary wears dark sunglasses into Chipotle (along with her senior advisor, Huma Abedin, whose unusual employment status at the State Department is now the subject of an IG investigation), has the stench of Saudi money wafting through her campaign, embarks on fake “listening tours” with hand-picked, bussed-in Democratic activists, arriving in a van even though we know she hasn’t driven since 1996, deletes tens of thousands of e-mails that we are supposed to believe were about yoga and wedding plans, and is unquestionably the least genuine candidate of my lifetime.
If there’s anything that inspires American voters it is a candidate who is (or at least can make a convincing act of being) genuine. For example, much to the detriment of both the GOP and the nation, Republicans learned during the George W. Bush years that behaving like Democrats-lite by creating new entitlements and spending the way drunken sailors would spend if they were also stupid pushes voters to go for the genuine article. To wit, “If we’re going to spend too much money, let’s give the job to the experts.”
The real thing is inherently inspiring, at least to those who value that thing — and sometimes even that isn’t necessary.
Hillary is unreal. She is unaccomplished. Her policy pronouncements are thus far meaningless populist-sounding gibberish. She possesses, despite a superficially impressive résumé, a minuscule percentage of the substance we are all supposed to genuflect toward. She’s even less likable than Algore (at least before he became the ultra-rich rent-seeking rotund pomposity we know today.) Her campaign is already having to explain “she’s always been a populist,” hardly a sign of acceptance as genuine.
In sum, Mrs. Clinton is comprehensively uninspirational.
A dislike of the other side can be a powerful factor in elections. Republicans learned that in 2006 and 2008. Democrats learned it in 2010 and 2014. Sometimes “I’m not one of them” is enough. Hillary is counting on it in 2016.
But after a rocky start by Republican leadership in the 114th Congress, overall approval of Congress (while still dismal) is higher than it has been in several years. As one reporter put it, “Senate Republicans are on a bit of a roll,” knowing that their performance has implications not just for the presidential election but also for control of the Senate. And the public has for months trusted Republicans more than Democrats on the issues voters care about most: the economy, jobs, and national security.
Unlike 2006 and 2008, the Republican brand will not be on trial in 2016. The Democratic brand will, along with the disastrous Obama legacy from which Hillary will not, regardless of her great efforts to avoid the subject so far, be able to disentangle herself. Therefore, despite the GOP’s proven ability to choose the candidate most likely to lose a winnable election, Hillary Clinton desperately needs to be inspirational in her own right.
She’s not. And she’s not a good enough actress to successfully “fake it ’till you make it.”
Mrs. Clinton inspires very few — and most of those she does inspire are among the least likely American adults to cast a ballot.
That doesn’t mean she won’t get millions of votes from Democrats, feminists, Planned Parenthood employees and people who simply don’t like conservatives.
But with a slate of Republican choices offering at least some inspiration and genuineness, the next president of the United States will not be named Hillary Clinton.