Quotes of the day

“When I look at your Twitter page…the last thing you list is saying you’re a ‘glass ceiling cracker’ and no one feels it would be better to crack that glass ceiling than to have a woman as president,” Roberts said, to audience applause, adding “Many believe that should be you.”

But even then Clinton, literally, didn’t crack.

“I think we should crack it also. I am 100 percent in favor of that. But I have nothing further to say about my path right now,” she said, with a bit of a smirk.


Much of the media and the Democratic Party is lined up in support of Hillary Clinton, and they will glorify daughter Chelsea when it’s her turn to run for office.

They chatter Hillary’s praises, and those who strayed and backed President Barack Obama years ago chatter her praises the loudest. They play the gender card and the Clinton Restoration card, and her party’s nomination trembles as she reaches for it.

Hillary fans don’t have to worry about the reappearance of Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who had an affair with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in the Oval Office when he was her boss.

Monica’s story is in the current Vanity Fair — the National Geographic of wealthy metrosexuals. The story doesn’t hurt Hillary, it helps her. It allows Hillary to put Monica’s anguish away, to seal that envelope so she can tell us later that it’s all old news. And then, ask yourself:

What difference, at this point, does it make?

If Clinton had married a guy named Boris Krapnick — instead of Bill Clinton — would she seriously have a shot at the presidency?

Hillary Krapnick? Really?


Rick Wilson, a Florida-based media strategist widely known in conservative circles for producing a controversial 2008 ad tying Barack Obama to the extreme statements of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, said Republicans should avoid calling up the sordid details of the Lewinsky affair, but instead focus on how the Clinton White House responded to it. “It would be smarter to remind everyone of the massive, government-funded Clinton operation to destroy Monica, and oh so many bimbo eruptions that came before, and Hillary’s bloodless froideur when it came to keeping Bill in power,” he said…

“I think a lot of Republicans view Hillary as calculating and manipulative, and that she went through that Lewinsky process and did everything she could to stay in power,” said Hogan Gidley, a GOP operative who has worked on the presidential campaigns of Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. “That’s fine… but let’s not forget that the House impeached President Clinton and in fact Democrats then picked up seats in a midterm basically around this issue. So, let’s learn from history here and stick to policy.”…

“This is the same trick the Clintons pulled on us back in ‘98,” he said. “We didn’t campaign against the massive overspending, or anything else. We were distracted by this bright, shiny object they handed out which was Monica Lewinsky… It will be the same thing this time: ‘Pay not attention to the reset of foreign policy with Russia, or Libya. Oh look, it’s Hillary the victim!’”


The Clinton coalition this looks more like the coalition that re-elected Bill Clinton in 1992 (with 43 percent of the popular vote) than the coalition that re-elected Obama in 2012. Hillary Clinton is effectively benefiting from the retrospective popularity of the Bill Clinton presidency while not being as handicapped as current Democratic congressional candidates by the current unpopularity of the Obama presidency.

This suggests a dynamic for the 2016 presidential campaign, assuming that Clinton is a candidate and the Democratic nominee. Clinton needs to be seen as running for the third Clinton term, not the third Obama term. And Republicans need to convince voters that she is running for the third Obama term, not the third Clinton term. They need to argue that she doesn’t differ from Obama’s policies and priorities.


Obama’s difficulties do not appear to be hurting Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency in 2016

The roughly one-eighth of voters who disapprove of Obama but nonetheless support Clinton for 2016 may be the most important group in the electorate. If Democratic candidates can collectively manage to corral Clinton’s share of the national electorate this fall, the party would likely keep control of the Senate and might take over the House of Representatives. The latter outcome is now seen (even by most Democrats) as a virtual impossibility. These Hillary Difference Voters, as we’ll call them, could find themselves the most courted contingent in this year’s contests…

While Hillary Clinton, like her husband, can reach moderate voters — thus her popularity among non-liberals — the contours of the Hillary Difference constituency are decidedly populist. The voters Obama and the Democrats need to re-engage are a less affluent, non-elite group for whom the economy is the central concern. In their different ways, both Clinton and Warren may end up pointing the party and the president in the same direction.


Mr. Obama didn’t do well in Florida, but that isn’t necessarily a sign of strength for the Republicans. He was a terrible fit for the state’s eclectic mix of white voters. The Florida Panhandle is full of the culturally Southern white voters who rejected Mr. Obama, as they did across Dixie. Mr. Obama also struggled with whites over age 65, who represent 30 percent of the state’s white voters, and among Jewish voters, who represent about 15 percent of self-identified white Democrats in Florida. Mr. Obama’s strengths — like his appeal to young, socially progressive voters in well-educated metropolitan areas — lack pull in Florida.

All of this will be reversed if the Democrats nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is a good fit for the state’s odd combination of Southerners, New York expats and older white voters. Mrs. Clinton doesn’t even need to outperform Mr. Obama among Florida’s white voters anyway, as she’ll benefit from four more years of demographic change.

A Democratic rebound in Florida would make the G.O.P.’s path to victory extremely challenging. Republicans could flip Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Hampshire and still fall short. To compensate, Republicans would probably need to win states like Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania, which were not seriously contested in 2012 and have been out of the reach of Republican presidential candidates for a generation.


A new Pew Research Center survey, released Monday, underscored the malaise suffusing the American public, and the difficulty Clinton would face overcoming these realities as the nominee. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said they would like the next president to “offer different policies and programs” than the Obama administration—a rate close to the 70 percent dissatisfaction level against George W. Bush at a comparable time. Even with relatively stronger numbers—only 50 percent wanted new policies in 1999—Al Gore was unable to capitalize, in part because of the public’s inherent desire for change. Since World War II, there’s been only one stretch where one party has won three straight elections (Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush from 1980-1992).

Clinton’s challenge will be to maintain her above-water favorability ratings, despite being closely tied to an unpopular administration. As Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne writes, she needs to win over the one-eighth of voters who disapprove of President Obama but view her favorably. According to last week’s ABC News/Washington Post poll, these pro-Hillary, anti-Obama voters are predominantly white (71 percent), blue-collar (47 percent whites without college degrees), and female (63 percent). They’re even less likely to vote in this year’s midterms than the voters making up the president’s core coalition. Many of these voters have become disillusioned under the Obama administration and have been trending away from the Democratic Party. The good news for Clinton is that they’re receptive to her candidacy. The bad news is that once she announces as a candidate, there’s a risk that her appeal fades away with these groups as Republican attacks begin—and she’s unable to match the excitement Obama generated with minorities and young voters.


While the GOP looks downward and backward in its negative politics of derision, aiming its appeal to an extremist faction, Clinton reaches outward and forward in her positive politics of opportunity, aiming her appeal to the nation at large. If she runs in 2016, she could well carry 45 states and sweep into office many Democrats running for the House, Senate and governorships…

ObamaCare? Clinton understands that by November 2016 there will be 12 million people, or perhaps 15 million or more, signed up along with children covered under a parent’s policy.

The Republican nightmare is Clinton in 2016 accusing the party that wants to cut Social Security and Medicare of trying to force 12-15 million consumers to give up healthcare plans they purchased, trying to strip people with preexisting conditions of the insurance ObamaCare provided, and telling millions of parents that their kids lose the insurance that ObamaCare gave them…

War against women? Let Republicans tell voters why Clinton is wrong about pay equity, better child care, paid parental leave and more help for poor women who deserve better than hungry children and premature death.


Does Hillary really want more of this? Being president you may have more power than anyone else in the country, but you quickly discover that you have much, much less than you thought you’d have going in. You’re hamstrung in ways you never dreamed of. That’s truer now than it’s ever been. It’s not that you can’t get anything done. It’s that what you can get done is so paltry compared to what you wanted and expected to get done. You are doomed to disappoint the people who elected you. You’ll disappoint yourself. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg of stress that awaits you.

So knowing all this, why indeed would Hillary run? It’s now clear that given the vile toxicity of the campaign experience and the grueling gridlock of the Oval Office itself, the only reason to run for the highest political office in the land is not the presidency but the post-presidency. The post-presidency, as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have proved, is a win-win. Money, Nobels, the ability to leverage your global celebrity for any cause or hobbyhorse you wish, plus freedom to grab the mike whenever the urge takes you without any terminal repercussions. No longer being President does wonders for your morale. Even the Bushes have seemed happier out from under it. Big George went parachute jumping. Little George medicates memories of his Iraq mistake by painting not-bad pictures…

Now that Chelsea is pregnant, and life for Hillary can get so deeply familial and pleasant, she can have her glory-filled post-presidency now, without actually having to deal with the miseries of the office itself. She is as adored as any ex-president already, she is making a ton of money, and she can expand the real passion of her life, her global mission to promote women’s rights, education, and political participation. The spotlight follows her and always will. If she becomes president at 68 it will be another press onslaught from hell and such a hog-tied two terms, only the festive delights of hip replacement surgery will await her by the time she gets out. Leave the presidency to the people who don’t know what she knows all too well: what it’s really like.




Said Wagner, “Well, this is like — the myth making and also the fear-mongering around the Clintons — like don’t cross them otherwise a door in the floor opens up. Also they are the future of the Democratic party and incredibly accomplished.”

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