Paul: Republicans "need to aggressively go after the Clintons"

Republicans need and “want someone who’s a fighter,” Rand Paul told Megyn Kelly last night, especially when it comes to one opponent in particular.  “I think we do need to go aggressively after the Clintons,” he said, especially “their corruption.” The Clinton Foundation in particular has provided plenty of grist for that mill, Paul advises, and Republican voters should look for a candidate who’s willing to pin the Clintons down until they start providing answers:

PAUL: I think we need to call her out for not being a consistent defender of women’s rights when she’s willing to take money from a country that actually would imprison a victim of rape.

So there’s a lot of hypocrisy on the Clinton side, the whole Clinton, Inc., enriching themselves. And you can’t let that go. And [you’re] going to need somebody who will ask the tough questions about why in Benghazi that she didn’t provide the security that our ambassador needed. These are really important questions. And we won’t win unless we do aggressively combat her and make sure she explains her record as well.

In fact, it’s such a target-rich environment that Republicans may not be alone in their efforts — at least during the 2015 run-up to the primaries. Kelly tells Paul that the national media will be in full character-assassination mode with Republicans, but National Journal’s Charlie Cook wonders if that may not pan out the way Kelly imagines. The stars are aligning in an alarming manner for the Clintons, whose magic may have run out, Cook argues:

While Clinton certainly seems more liberal than her husband was during his campaigns and presidency, the Democratic Party is considerably more liberal now than it was then. A fairly substantial and highly vocal part of the party would like a nominee who is more liberal than President Obama turned out to be. They see Obama’s compromises on the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law and his support for NSA eavesdropping, drone strikes, and the troop surge in Afghanistan as just the beginning of a litany of sellouts of the Left. …

Journalists looking for a good story, whether it truly exists or not, will endeavor to find a challenger and create a David and Goliath narrative, even if it means building David up to the point when he could be a realistic threat to the front-running Goliath. If there are multiple candidates auditioning for the David role, the media will size up each contender and then hype the one that seems most plausible as the real threat to Clinton.

Finally, the ideologues, the true believers, those who endeavor to spurn the good for the perfect, will promote one or more alternatives to put pressure on Clinton to move to the left at the time she is trying to maintain her general-election viability while steering toward a center-left course. Someone will emerge to coalesce disenfranchised ideologues, hoping to reach a critical mass that will attract journalists’ attention.

While Clinton will kick off her campaign with very impressive numbers among fellow Democrats, there are very natural and predictable forces that will make what should be an easy route a much more challenging road than it now appears. For Clinton to waltz uneventfully through to the nomination would defy forces of human nature. Don’t count on that happening.

Well, maybe. Conservatives may recall correctly that this same media who loves to create David vs Goliath stories didn’t bother to do much research into the Goliath of Barack Obama after the primaries made him the Democratic nominee in 2008, but vetted the hell out of Sarah Palin as David when she arrived on the GOP ticket. On the other hand, Hillary was on her way to a coronation in 2008 until Obama arrived as the David of the Democratic primaries, and the media took a highly critical turn against her at that point, too. Her debate performances and the “Tuzla Dash” certainly didn’t help matters, though, and her insistence last year that she pulled herself up by her bootstraps after the Clinton presidency is every bit as laughable as that fable.

Republicans will have an easy time going after Hillary Clinton, in large part because she’s a charmless politician who can’t cover for her dishonesty in the way her husband could, and still does. The question will be whether the media decides it likes a good story better than it likes the idea of a Democratic president.