Minggu, 04 Oktober 2015

Hillary hopes to beat the rap on a technicality

Have you ever watched a courtroom drama in which the judge dramatically declares that a whole swath of evidence is inadmissible because its origins were tainted?

That’s what Hillary Clinton is hoping Democrats do for her today with her first television ad.

The new spot no doubt will add further anguish to Republicans contemplating the speakership of Kevin McCarthy. And it will, no doubt, certainly help frame the former secretary of state’s testimony later this month about the deadly raid of 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.

But the point here is primarily about locking up a primary which has proved remarkably difficult for Clinton. She should not be trailing the 74-year-old socialist senator from Vermont anywhere, not even New Hampshire.

And Vice President Joe Biden’s bubble should’ve popped a long time ago. While the two of them have certainly had their disagreements, she and Biden represent essentially the same part of the Democratic Party. Remember: that’s why Barack Obama picked Biden as his running mate in 2008.

Her problems certainly stem from her acknowledged struggle to interact with human beings. A manful effort by her media partners at NBC for the past week notwithstanding, Clinton still struggles with empathy.

But Clinton’s biggest problem is the same one that her establishment counterpart on the Republican side has: electability. Usually the domain of underdogs and outsiders, it is the runners in the inside lanes who have the electability woes in this topsy cycle.

For Jeb Bush, his electability problems don’t relate to him as much as they relate to his last name (though he certainly is making an effort to be his own man in that regard, too).

For Clinton, the reason she is faring so poorly against her would-be general election rivals is that Americans broadly mistrust her and there is baggage still to unpack. Given her misleading, obfuscatory and facile answers to the persistent scandals that have dogged her candidacy, Democrats have good reason to believe that there is more to come.

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