Friday, January 17, 2014


If she wins in 2016, Hillary Clinton would be America's first female president -- right? Wrong, according to Bill Kristol, in this post about why she's not a shoo-in (and, in his view, probably won't run at all):
Wait, wait, wait ... We've forgotten something: Hillary would be the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT! That might be enough to get her to run and conceivably to get her elected. But Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher hadn't been first lady before taking power. Hillary will be the second Clinton president. That fact overwhelms her claim to first-ness. As a feminist, Hillary surely knows that when your husband's been president, you're not really breaking any glass ceilings on behalf of womankind. And lots of other women understand this as well.
Really? Even if she spends years running, wins in a free and fair election, and actually does the job for four or eight years, it doesn't count as a breakthrough for her gender? Gee, I hope Kristol had the opportunity to tell Katharine Graham before she died that she wasn't really the first woman to run The Washington Post, given the fact that she took over after her husband's suicide. I suppose he'd also argue that Indira Gandhi didn't break a glass ceiling in India when she became prime minister, or Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, since they were both daughters of prime ministers. Pity he'll never have a chance to tell them to their faces.

Kristol adds this, which I'm sure he regards as cheeky:
Speaking of Bill, one gathers that he does very much want Hillary to run. It will be a liberating moment for Hillary -- and perhaps an inspiring one for other women -- when she decides that she doesn’t have to do what her husband wants.
Right, because it's inconceivable that Bill and Hillary might agree on this.

Kristol might be a closet Brian Schweitzer fan, to judge from his read on the Democratic voter base:
There's also the matter of winning the nomination. Hillary is very likely to be out of step with the Democratic primary electorate in 2016 -- too close to Wall Street, too establishment, a prominent part of an administration that employed drone strikes and used the NSA in all sorts of dastardly ways. For Democrats in 2016, Hillary Clinton might be too much of a ... Clinton Democrat. She’ll have a tougher nomination fight than everyone now expects.
Oh, right -- it would be such a burden for her to run in the Democratic primaries given her similarities to the sitting president, whose approval rating among Democrats ranges from the mid- to high 70s. Also, she's linked to her husband! Yes, what a burden to be linked to a guy with an overall favorability rating in America of 71%, according to a poll conducted last spring by, um ... Fox News. (Bill Clinton's favorable rating among Democrats in that Fox poll: 94%.)

Kristol's certainty that Hillary either won't run or can't win tells me one thing: she's probably a shoo-in.


Rand Careaga said...

Is there anyone in American journalism--well, media--who has been as consistently, reliably, 200 proof wrong as Bill Kristol? Let us hope that he will always use this awesome power for good, never for evil.

Danp said...

I don't think Hillary would win. Both McCain and Romney tried to make their elections about Obama, since they had absolutely nothing to offer. It didn't work, in part because Obama didn't have any real scandals or outrageous positions. With Hillary, though, it's all about Hillary, all the time. She attracts controversy and surrounds herself with sycophants and sleazy DNC-types. She will be the Republicans' dream opponent.

Victor said...

Yeah, but their own candidates are starting to look more and more, like nightmares.

Victor said...

Thank goodness Bill Kristol chose being a pundit.

If he was a bookie, he would have been out of business after Day 1.
Probably "sleeping wid da fishes," if he tried to reopen for even a day!

Being a pundit means, not only never having to say you were sorry, but never, ever, admitting that you were wrong.

And Kristol's disclaimer list of the times he was wrong, would make all of the words in Russian novel's look like a quick grocery shopping list!

If he's "agin" her, and thinks she can't win, then she can start asking Michelle Obama for the Oval Office drape measurements!

Danp said...


Bush was a nightmare in 2000. Crony business practices, Guard duty, joking about death sentences, not knowing major world leaders. He won, however, because of "lockbox", who invented the internet, where's Clinton?, and reinventing his speech patterns. Add Iraq to the equation, along with the 2000 Florida election, Diebold, Plamegate, etc., and the election was about flip-flopping, purple ribbons and pedantic speeches.

In other words, it really doesn't matter how bad the Republican is.

Mike McCarthy said...

I'd say projection was going on here. BK only got his start in right wing rags because he is the child of 2 heavy weight conservatives - Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb.

Bill knows he a fraud so he thinks anyone else who has an important family connection is also a fraud.