Hillary's Dilemma: How to Distance Herself from Obama
by Jonah Goldberg
In 2008, Obama pandered to liberal hopes while Clinton appealed to their good sense. Obama promised miracles and magic. Clinton promised more homework.
"Cynicism" was Obama's real opponent, he explained. And he used Clinton as a stand-in for it. She played her part, pointing out that the Civil Rights Act got through
And, as we have learned from a president who so often thinks giving a speech is a substitute for solving a problem, she had the better argument. One need only look at the reaction from Democrats to President Obama's handling of the VA scandal to see that even they would trade some inspirational claptrap for a bit more old-fashioned competence.
That attitude helps Clinton immensely. Burned by disappointment, many liberals want to vote with their heads, not their hearts, this time around.
Alas, leaning on your entourage for advice is never a great idea. They may think Clinton would be a fresh start, but will normal voters not similarly invested in her? Americans almost never reward a party with a third consecutive term in the
Clinton's clearly not taking any chances. In her first campaign-style speech on the economy last week at the
Not only was there precious little talk of Obama, there was precious little talk of her four years on Obama's once-vaunted "team of rivals." She listed none of her major accomplishments as secretary of state, probably because she had none. (She did open with a reference to some bureaucratic reshuffling on her watch.) No serious student of foreign policy thinks our strategic standing in the world improved on Clinton's watch as America's chief diplomat. That alone doesn't mean she was a terrible secretary of state -- lots of people in that job tread water. But it doesn't inspire either. Meanwhile, the most famous thing she did in that job was nothing -- on the night of the Benghazi attack. She also traveled a lot, which is nice.
You can understand why Clinton might want to pretend that the Obama years never happened. I certainly get why she wants to run on her husband's record rather than her own. But I can't see how this is adds up to a compelling message outside the
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"Hillary's Dilemma: How to Distance Herself from Obama"