As Joe Trippi, who was the architect of Dean’s antiestablishment insurgency, puts it: “She’s almost the perfect person who can argue that both ideologies are obsolete and that you need someone who understands the old system to put forward some ideas that are new.” [Matt Bai]
A BLIZZARD of posts have flown through the Internet in the last couple of days, all from guys very concerned about Hillary Clinton. I won’t bore you with Andrew Sullivan already being “exhausted” over Hillary, except to share that Paul Waldman makes the point that if you’re tired of Clinton you didn’t like her in the first place.
Kevin Drum embarrasses himself by worrying about how long Hillary Clinton’s been in the public eye, agreeing with Andrew Sullivan that Hillary hasn’t done squat. Sees no value in being first lady and challenging China on their own soil on “women’s rights are human rights.” Sees no pluses in her workhorse ethics as New York senator, or that she fought to bring the foreign service ba—… It’s like I wrote earlier. A trip to the Congo to focus on the massive rapes just won’t be counted. The women she empowered around the world, the Hillary effect on diplomatic appointments for women around the world, it’s just not much. Oh, but not to worry, Drum wants you to “count” him as an “admirer of Hillary,” even if he can’t put breath into his writing about her to find what the hell she would run on.
Then Drum lands on this:
And Hillary has another problem too: By 2016 she will have been in the public eye for 24 years. That’s unprecedented. In the modern era, Richard Nixon holds the record for longest time in the public eye—about 20 years—before being elected president.1 The sweet spot is a little less than a decade. Longer than that and people just get tired of you. They want a fresh face. That’s largely what happened to Hillary in 2008, and it could happen again in 2016.
There isn’t a hint of reality to the history that no woman has been seen as worthy of the presidency in over 200 years and the first one to come close, with 18 million votes, took close to 20 years to get into the position that she could even try. She’s now just been there, I mean, really, way… too… long.
Earth to Mother Jones, running as a woman for commander in chief isn’t like running if you’re a man. You either don’t have the qualifications or if you do you’re seen as a “hawk,” because a “dove” couldn’t get near the football.
It boggles the mind that this still has to be written at this point.
Matt Bai’s “not if, but how” is actually interesting, because it delves into who Hillary Clinton actually is as a politician and thinker of policy prescriptions. Beyond Joe Trippi’s comment comes David Axelrod, who hits on the best way, in my opinion, for Hillary Clinton to run her way in 2016 and never look back, no matter who may come forward through the ranks of a “grassroots rebellion.”
Should she ultimately run again, Clinton might actually do herself a greater service by holding her ground. When we talked about Clinton, David Axelrod, the strategist who spent a career running campaigns against the establishment before guiding Obama to the White House, told me: “The quickest way to authenticate yourself, and the hardest thing to do, is to be willing to put yourself at risk by standing up for things you believe, even if it means taking positions every once in a while that people don’t see as the smart political move.” Which could mean that the real way to prove you’re not just a projection of the status quo isn’t necessarily to mouth tired condemnations of the establishment, but rather to speak hard truth to the partisans who indict it.
Actually, it’s the same way the best politicians rise from hard learned lessons.
What would that mean in Syria, if Clinton was in charge? How about Afghanistan? You can bet it starts with action, because in Syria women and children are dying and starving, with the Taliban ready to move women back into the stone age. State Department will have a budget that would continue to empower the foreign service.
Hillary coming out against further sanctions while Iran negotiations are in play even got AIPAC to realize they were ostracized and alone, so if you think that isn’t power you don’t know what the word means. When Clinton makes a decision having to do with the Middle East, Israeli leaders listen and so does everyone else.
Domestically, there’s no reason to think Clinton wouldn’t take what Maria Shriver and Center for American Progress has been writing about women, family, work equality, child care and challenge Congress to lean in. Obamacare will have a good steward going forward, as the law begins to coast and millions and millions of more people get coverage.
Progressives who don’t like Hillary now won’t like her presidential candidacy either.
Neither will conservatives like Andrew Sullivan who can’t come to grips with there’s not much difference in many things about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s policy beliefs, except that she knows to make Washington work you have to be able to actually work Washington.
It’s interesting that when I look at a Clinton presidential candidacy all I see is doors opening and possibilities for action everywhere. There won’t be anyone she won’t attempt to charm or bribe with the gold of political capital only the first female president in U.S. history can dangle.
Maybe it’s just because I’m a woman and I’ve been one vote among many other girls that helped elect a lot of Democratic men to the presidency who have followed a long line of men who didn’t know how they would run or what they would do either, but somehow got inspired along the way.
As David Axelrod said to Matt Bai, “speak hard truth to the partisans who indict it,” and then say follow me.
Sounds like a plan, but what do I know, I’m only a girl who’s heard a lot less from the boys who ended up winning, and now simply hope next time it will be a woman instead.