“I think that Hillary Clinton probably will be the candidate.” – David Axelrod on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”
IT IS a colossal error for the elite political establishment across the spectrum to conduct an obscene coronation of Hillary Clinton. It makes me cringe. Doubtful that Hillary is paying any attention, but it’s likely her closest war room supporters dread this inevitability march. There are many progressives who aren’t on board and these people are very important to Hillary’s potential run, so all this drumbeating has the seeds of being seriously counterproductive.
Being “Ready for Hillary” is a much different message, which is meant to psyche people up for what is seen by many as an inevitable second run for the presidency. That’s quite different from hoisting a foregone conclusion of nomination, let alone a fortune teller’s worthless prognostication of a certain win, something that doesn’t exist in politics.
Mrs. Pelosi saying Clinton is the “best prepared” candidate is true. Saying “she will win” before Hillary has even announced is not only jarring, even for people like myself who are behind her, and sets up Clinton in a way no man has ever been elevated. The potential fall out for a political candidate is obvious.
“I think the country is ready for Hillary,” Pelosi said Thursday on Andrea Mitchell Reports. “I certainly hope that she will choose to run. I think if she does, she will win. I think if and when she does, I think she’ll be the best prepared person to enter the White House in decades.” [MSNBC]
Nobody being fair is going to deny Hillary Clinton is a formidable politician from fundraising potential to foreign policy. Republicans know this all too well.
ABC reporting Rep. Peter King’s assessment, as he floats his fantasy presidential wannabe wings that is the laughing stock of the political writers in the Washington to New York corridor.
King believes the Republicans don’t stand a chance if they put up the wrong candidate against Hillary Clinton.
“I think she’s very strong on foreign policy, and I think that if we nominate someone from our isolationist wing of the party, she’ll destroy them,” King said, putting Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz squarely in the isolationist category.
“Strong on foreign policy” coming from Peter King is not a compliment, especially when progressives hear this. Clinton’s allies around the world form a formidable list, there’s no doubt. As for King’s “isolationist category,” this is a misnomer. What Senators Paul and Cruz represent is non-interventionist Americans that include many conservatives, but also independents and progressives.
In 2007-2008, we saw Hillary Clinton grow into a formidable fighter. This would not have happened without Barack Obama, with Hillary making him a much better candidate, too, as we saw in the general election. Hillary’s fighter persona was honed and steeled in the trenches of the primaries of 2007-2008 and were the best thing that ever happened to her in many ways, minus the unfairness of the misogyny and Obama media bias that has followed him since he became a national candidate.
The progressive community has supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is a very staunch anti-Hillary core that will only dig in deeper with the offensive establishment parade that is setting up Hillary for expectations that are unfair, if earned. Progressives are important to any Democratic cause, in fact, without this coalition Hillary Clinton’s hope for a potential presidency won’t be near as effective as it could be.
It’s important to note that Hillary Clinton isn’t orchestrating any of this from an undisclosed location or preemptive presidential war room. Of course she’s staying visible, because no one is more aware of the historic potential of her second run for the White House. Her visibility is unmasking so-called critics as having a deep seated Hillary derangement disease. But Nancy Pelosi’s laying on of hands, along with Claire McCaskill and David Axelrod, as well as Suck-up City’s establishment, to use one of Mark Leibovich’s many pseudonyms for Washington, is already breeding opposition from progressives, who will be a formidable voting block during the primaries, because they’ve earned that power. It’s also because they have a vision for the Democratic Party that goes beyond drones, intervention, Wall Street funded candidacies and bad deals with corporations against the people’s interest that is worthy of supporting.
Hillary Clinton is perfectly capable of making her own case and winning over progressives now reticent, even if there will always be some against her candidacy. The reasons for skepticism by progressives begins with Hillary’s strong ties to the Pentagon and military industrial establishment, as well as her old school foreign policy foundation. This ignores her modern soft power projection into the world that begins with private and public economic partnerships, as well as her groundbreaking feminist agenda for women around the world that began almost 20 years ago with the cry “human rights and women’s rights.” There is no record of Clinton on economics, but she comes from the William Jefferson Clinton Wall Street wing, so you can bet she’s got some Rubinites in her orbit. We do know, however, that the lies about her supporting NAFTA were wrong, with comparisons to Margaret Thatcher coming from people who ignore that Hillary would never betray the American worker, the poor or women as Thatcher did.
Shorter complaint by progressives on Hillary Clinton? She’s not Elizabeth Warren. Neither woman would embrace this line of thought and both deserve better, but it’s out there among progressives nevertheless. It’s crossed my email inbox, been on my Facebook page, and filtered through political conversations since the coronation of Hillary Clinton by the establishment began.
That won’t stop Democrats from nominating her and it hasn’t stopped the establishment on all sides from starting the coronation of Hillary Clinton.
Progressives are important to Hillary Clinton and anyone thinking otherwise doesn’t understand 21st century politics. Most of the Hillary dissenters will likely be convinced after seeing the Republican alternative, but that’s less than she deserves.
Unfortunately, for Hillary Rodham Clinton there is another standard, some of it simply hardened because of who she is. Oh, and that she’s a woman, so she’s automatically expected to rise to a different standard than establishment men who make it to the top. As if a diplomatic pacifist could win the White House! Clinton’s a woman, so she should be different, groundbreaking, shattering commander in chief militarism, stop Wall Street in a single term! She’s Super Woman! If she’s not, why not just elect another man?, goes the thinking. This is something Hillary Clinton dealt with after her Iraq war vote, so she’s prepared for it. The right and the media are salivating at the potential delicious smorgasbord of sensational stories they can publish. Then there’s the Bill Clinton factor, with every conceivable stereotypical Game Change scenario already in draft, with Politico already playing stenographer for the insiders.
“We’re supporting anything that is the opposite of Hillary,” he said. “We will play however needed, wherever Hillary is playing. If she endorses in the Virginia governor’s race, we will go there. Assuming she is active in Iowa, we will be there, too, and we will make some considerable noise.” – “˜Stop Hillary’ group ramps up anti-Clinton efforts
Obama promised a different kind of politics, but as I reported in 2007, was simply a politician, but, unfortunately, one who didn’t respect Washington enough to keep from being co-opted by it. If his campaign marketing and political PR, not to mention the media and his fan base, led by Oprah, hadn’t built him up to be The One, things might not have been so rough.
The difference with Hillary is that she knows Washington well and will be able to work it. What she won’t do is try to change it and therein lies the heart of the progressive beef. For me, Hillary’s intelligence and respect for Washington, which The Founders set up not to change, as well as her ability to work the formidable power centers that remain the impediment for liberalism to broaden the pie for all people, whether I agree with everything she does or not, gives her the potential to accomplish new and important things while showing generations of women and the world that American women can lead.
There are a lot of progressives and other Americans that yawn at the prospect of the first female president, some of them women. Progressives in some quarters proclaim “I’d love to have a female president, but just not Hillary Clinton.” She’s a “hawk.” She’s a Wall Street establishment politician. She’s too close to Netanyahu. She aided the Libyan attack. Even, “She voted for the Iraq war.”
Some progressives hold grudges just like Tea Party supporters do. But these forces in politics are important, because as we’ve seen with Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul supporting Senantor Kirsten Gillibrand’s military sexual assault legislation, as well as Senator Paul’s filibuster, their voices shift perception and wake people up. Progressive senators warned of the NSA and PRISM spying programs, with Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) leading the dissent. There’s Rep. Alan Grayson and many more who want to change the economic disparity, along with Independent Senator Bernie Sanders.
Americans are asleep, because our national politics is diseased to the point of cancerous. What makes them pay attention is when our leaders stand up against the status quo, not when they’re endorsed by it.
However, it’s this status quo that elects presidents still.
Through earned loyalty, Hillary Clinton has inspired the respect of many in Obama’s inner circle. She’s going to need them and most will be there for her. If she runs for president, she’s going to need all hands on deck. She must earn the nomination, not have it be ordained by the establishment that “she’ll be the nominee.” There’s no evidence yet she will win the presidency in 2016 and any mantra that this is a foregone conclusion is pure fiction.
Don’t think for a minute she won’t work with Republicans, make deals, compromises, and be tough internationally. The first female presidential hopeful will not be a break from male leadership models, but instead have this as a foundation so voters can recognize it. It’s not the first time I’ve written this and I’ll keep on writing it until it sinks in. We are still a “strong on terror” nation when you spread the voting sample out nationally, something Hillary Clinton knows and is represented by the respect she has across the political spectrum, including Republicans, which is another reason some progressives are wary.
It’s only after a female breaks the commander in chief ceiling that women can begin to find our own voice and offer a new type of leadership beyond the male model that is America’s history and foundation, as well as the modern world’s.
Hillary Clinton has the talent and ideas to earn every vote, which is the only way any man has ever made it to the White House. It should be no different from Clinton even though many of us have been ready for Hillary for years.
[graphic via Ready for Hillary on Facebook]
This column has been updated.