Hillary's underwhelming campaign roll-out has the left overcompensating

Independent political observers have issued a verdict Hillary Clinton’s second presidential campaign’s roll-out, and the reviews are not especially flattering. While Clinton’s low-key van trip across the country was dubbed innovative (it isn’t), the false modesty associated with her theatrical efforts to avoid press coverage is a luxury that only a candidate steeped in earned media can afford. Beyond Clinton’s Magical Mystery Tour, her campaign’s digital presence has been underwhelming.

Real Clear Politics analyst Sean Trende noted that Clinton’s campaign botched the timing of the roll-out, and it was marred by a variety of graphical and text errors when it finally did launch:

Other observers discovered cosmetic errors that probably should have been caught at some point during the months of pre-campaign preparation:

The left is, however, unsurprisingly enthralled by the debut of Clinton’s campaign. Some of the usual suspects have embraced hyperbole in order to compensate for the former secretary of state’s apathy-inspiring video.

“Every box was checked,” Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd glowed. “They put out the campaign memo that said ‘We’re going to be a united team, there’s no back biting.’ The video had every part of Democratic coalition represented.”

Indeed, Vox went so far as to itemize the members of the Democratic Party’s “Coalition of the Ascendant” who were represented in Clinton’s video. Vox’s Matt Yglesias didn’t see white collar workers versus service professionals, homeowners versus renters, married or unmarried, childless or parents represented in that video. Merely skin color, gender, and sexuality:


“Then we found out about the road trip and I thought, oh, there’s some spontaneity; it actually felt as if she was having fun,” Todd added, still gushing over Clinton’s campaign debut. “The road trip gives it some humanity. That’s what you really needed at the end. So you throw that in there, you take a B+ launch and make it an A.”

But not everyone on Team Clinton was impressed by the campaign’s unveiling. When asked to review the roll-out on her program on Monday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell observed that Clinton’s introductory video conspicuously lacked any substantive reference to her record at all. The most glaring omission in that video was Clinton’s failure to make note of her record as secretary of state. Mitchell suggested that this was a deliberate choice “because there are a lot of missteps there.”

Indeed, Politico elaborated on the myriad “missteps” that typified Clinton’s career as America’s chief diplomat. When Clinton began to prepare for a second White House bid following the 2012 campaign, her team was certain that foreign policy would not trip her up as it had in 2008 when she lost her party’s nomination to a candidate who campaigned almost exclusively against her Iraq War vote.

“But two years of almost nonstop global chaos — terrorism, failed states, the breakdown of borders — has upended that assumption for Clinton’s team,” the report read. “From Europe to the Middle East to Asia, countries Clinton once cast as foreign policy successes are now crisis spots, and public opinion toward Obama’s overall foreign policy performance has turned sharply negative.”

“Then there are the scandal-tinged questions about Clinton’s management of the State Department, in the form of GOP investigations into the 2012 attacks in Benghazi and Clinton’s use of a private email server,” Politico continued. “While Clinton is sure to argue that her responsibility for geopolitical problems is limited, she’ll also be hard-pressed to come up with clear-cut success stories in response.”

Graded on shallow optics alone, Clinton deserves a far more mixed grade than Todd was willing to give her. On substance, it is hard to come up with a raison d’etre for Clinton’s 2016 bid beyond her sense of self-entitlement and her gender. That’s a dubious debut.