Heck, maybe she is presidential. “For me, this is pretty straightforward,” Hillary Clinton tells Mika Brzezinski when the Morning Joe co-host asks the Democrats quasi-front-runner for her “core message — which touches off a rambling, three-minute version of a State of the Union speech. Instead of identifying a core message that would explain the necessity of a Hillary Clinton presidency, she offers a generic list of Democratic Party agenda items mixed with enough clichés and platitudes to float a navy (via NewsAlert):
“I still don’t understand your message,” Brzezinski said to preface the question. After this, no one understands the message, nor why Hillary would be indispensable for the nation as president.
Or maybe she isn’t presidential. Ed Driscoll recalls the debacle of another Democrat who couldn’t articulate a clear reason to support his candidacy:
Ted Kennedy, call your office! Shades of 1979 when, “As the cameras rolled, [CBS’s Roger Mudd] popped the now-famous question: Why do you want to be president? Even if he had not been a Kennedy, what followed was stunning: a hesitant, rambling and incoherent nonanswer; it seemed to go on forever without arriving anywhere.”
The difference between 1979 and 2016 is that Democrats had an incumbent president running for a second term on whom to rely — although that didn’t work out too well for them, either. Right now it’s a choice between the Kennedyesque figure from the past running for power for the sake of power, or a self-professed socialist who’s even older than the figure from the past. The only other option within reach would be the Vice President who’s been in Washington longer than any millennial voter has been alive, and who is also older than Hillary. Don’t expect Democrats today to dispense with Hillary in the way they dispensed with Kennedy in 1979.
If so, however … maybe the whole party will go on forever without arriving anywhere. Or at the very least, it’s not the only time-loop problem Democrats and Hillary have, as NJ’s Michael Mishak explains:
When Hillary Clinton launched her presidential bid last year, she and her advisers were determined to avoid the mistakes of her last campaign. They favored small meet-and-greets over large rallies. They drilled down on the liberal causes animating the Democratic base. They even deployed the candidate to late-night talk shows to highlight The Real Hillary.
But as the first nominating contest approaches, Clinton seems to be caught in a political time warp, buffeted by the same headwinds that felled her 2008 campaign as she seeks to blunt the rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders. …
For his part, Sanders is channeling Obama’s past bid, pledging to lead a political revolution while painting Clinton as an establishment politician—a message that is resonating deeply with political independents and young people, the same kind of voters who boosted Obama eight years ago. Sanders’s aides have suggested they would mount a similar state-by-state delegate chase to clinch the nomination.
“It could be that the inevitable candidate for the Democratic nomination may not be so inevitable today,” Sanders said this week.
As Peter Allen once sang, everything old is new again.