The unbearable lightness of Hillary Clinton, 2016 (Part II)

Five months ago, I joined many observing that Hillary Clinton’s cautious approach to the 2016 election cycle had resulted in a campaign devoid of any substance or excitement.

“Everywhere Hillary Clinton goes, a thousand cameras follow. Then she opens her mouth, and nothing happens,” The Atlantic’s Molly Ball observed in September of last year.

In the interim, Hillary Clinton’s status as the Democratic Party’s inevitable 2016 nominee has grown more secure, but that is only due to the fact that her most formidable challengers have opted to submit to the Clinton juggernaut. “It’s her turn,” after all.

But the unbearable lightness of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign has only grown more insufferable in the interim.

On Monday, Clinton appeared before an audience of 5,000 women of influence in the technology industry at a Silicon Valley conference. Just glancing at the hashtag associated with the event, #LeadOnCA, prompted me to issue a challenge to the media to farm a single headline of interest out of the anodyne pabulum to which Clinton treated the attendees. Kudos to The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker who rose to the challenge with, “Clinton: ‘Crack every last glass ceiling.’”

“If we want to find our balance again, we have to figure out how to make this new economy work for everyone,” Clinton said.

“It’s time to have wage equality once and for all,” she added.

“We have to restore economic growth with rising wages for the vast majority of Americans, and we have to restore trust and cooperation within our political system so that we can act like the great country we are,” the former secretary of state declared.

“I’d like to bring people from right, left, red, blue, get them into a nice, warm purple space where everybody’s talking, where we’re actually trying to solve problems,” the likely Democratic standard-bearer insisted. “That would be my objective if I decide to do this.”

Clinton conceded “I don’t think I have all the right ideas” and added that “I don’t think my party has all the right ideas,” and later repeated that her greatest desire is to help ensure “that we could get back to working cooperatively again.”

Hillary Clinton, bridge builder.

It would be a miracle if the press lets Clinton, perhaps the most polarizing political figure not currently occupying elected office, get away with framing herself as a unifier of unique facility. But miracles are commonplace occurrences when it comes to Clinton’s coverage in the political press.

What’s more astounding is Clinton’s deft ability to avoid tough questions (or any substantive questions at all) while she ostensibly vies to lead the free world as America’s next commander-in-chief.

The fact that Clinton’s husband, the 42nd President of the United States, has allegedly taken a trip to “orgy island” with “two young girls” as well as his friend and associate, the convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, raises no eyebrows. For the press, sex sells! Until it involves a Clinton, at which point it is off limits. And, in fact, even bringing this matter up suggests that you’re anti-Clinton and misogynistic biases are exposed.

And don’t you dare inquire about Clinton’s past, recent or distant. According to newly uncovered documents, Hillary Clinton actively promoted the interests of a variety of major American corporations (Microsoft, Boeing, Exxon Mobile, General Electric, et cetera) while serving as secretary of state. In turn, those companies all donated significant sums to the Clinton Foundation. A coincidence, surely. At least, that’s the assumption. We may never know for sure.

And while the center-left media mocks Scott Walker for having the presumption to insist that he converses with God (a claim President Barack Obama also made), few are going to bring up the fact that Hillary Clinton allegedly had “imaginary conversations” with the ghosts of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi. That story is, of course, old news and totally off limits. Would you ask a man whether they commune with the spirits of long dead historical figures, patriarch?

Instead of these and a truckload of other issues that have yet to be thoroughly litigated, Clinton is subjected to withering inquiries like, “If you could wave a wand and change anything about this country, what would it be?” All that’s left to learn is the former first lady’s favorite ice cream flavor.

In a way, Clinton is doing her campaign a disservice in which the press is complicit. These and many other matters relating to Clinton’s competency will be raised by Republicans. Eventually, Clinton will not be able to avoid confronting her past by feigning outrage or relying on surrogates to accuse her questioners of sexism.