Sunday, June 30, 2013


I really don't believe the public is going to fall for this -- at least not directly. However, I think it's possible that the mainstream press will fall for it, repeat it endlessly, and make it seem plausible to the public:
Stuart Stevens, the top strategist for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, declared to an audience of reporters at a breakfast last month that electing Hillary Rodham Clinton would be like going back in time. "She's been around since the '70s," he said.

At a conservative conference earlier in the year, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, ridiculed the 2016 Democratic field as “a rerun of 'The Golden Girls,'" referring to Mrs. Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is 70.

And Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, seizing on the Fleetwood Mac song that became a Clinton family anthem, quipped to an audience in Washington, "If you want to keep thinking about tomorrow, maybe it’s time to put somebody new in."

The 2016 election may be far off, but one theme is becoming clear: Republican strategists and presidential hopefuls, in ways subtle and overt, are eager to focus a spotlight on Mrs. Clinton's age. The former secretary of state will be 69 by the next presidential election, a generation removed from most of the possible Republican candidates.

Despite her enduring popularity, a formidable fund-raising network and near unanimous support from her party, Mrs. Clinton, Republican leaders believe, is vulnerable to appearing a has-been....
That's from Jonathan Martin, who left Politico last month and is doing at The New York Times what everyone at Politico has done for years: listen to right-wingers' claims that their talking points are conventional wisdom and objective truth, then regurgitate those talking points as if they are conventional wisdom and objective truth.

When enough mainstream journalists do this, GOP talking points become the C.W. and the truth, as far as the political world is concerned. And then the stories get written with the talking point as a given. See, e.g., 2000, when we were all told we thought Al Gore was an annoying dweeb and George W. Bush was America's Big Man on Campus. The repetition of such talking points is what can sway voters.

But in the absence of that, I don't think the public is inclined to reject Hillary for her age. For one thing, the population is aging, with the biggest cohort being the baby boom -- particularly my age group, people born in the late 1950s. Does Hillary seem old? She's not much older than we are.

Beyond that, as Martin acknowledges, older candidates can win young people's votes. Ronald Reagan did extremely well with the young in 1984. (And Martin doesn't mention this, but the last non-Democrat to find favor with a significant segment of The Kidz is Crazy Uncle Liberty himself, Ron Paul, who's more than a decade older than Hillary.)

If Hillary is going to be the candidate in 2016, she's almost certainly going to be up against a guy who opposes abortion and gay marriage and denies that climate change is caused by humans. More to the point, unless Bobby Jindal runs every likely opponent is a pale male whose candidacy stands for a restoration, a return to the rule of white males. And no, I don't care how many Tupac lyrics Rubio recites -- bond traders know their Tupac, too.

But the press will fall for this. (Did I mention sexism? That's one big reason.) I can even imagine middle-aged male journos telling us that Hillary belongs to yesterday because Chris Christie is a big fan of that oh-so-hip Bruce Springsteen -- never mind the fact that Bruce is only two years younger than Hillary. The press might abandon this meme if the charisma-challenged Scott Walker gets the nomination -- even a press that reflexively parrots GOP spin would have tough time selling that guy as a rock star. Otherwise, we're going to hear it. And I hope we utterly reject it.


Victor said...

Ah, the taint that is the Politico-ization of what was left of real news.

Where gossip amongst the obsequious and slavish courtiers becomes the nations political currency.
Where Drudge is the Conservative King's Head Eunuch, spreading tidbits, like gold coins.

And the idiot's who pass as "newspeople" in our MSM, just can't help themselves - they just can't.

A mention from the King's Head Eunuch, means "atta-boy's/girl's," and a round on the house, in the Pressroom.

I give up.
There's no hope for this country.

All we can do, is delay the inevitable downfall to being the world's best armed 3rd World Banana Republic.
All thanks to banana's Republicans.

merlallen said...

I'll have been waiting for her for 8 years in '16, she's got mine and my wife's vote

aimai said...

I'm not terribly worried about this. These campaign slogans have more to do with the terrible "Friar's club" and late night comic routines that Republicans love than they do with actually effective sloganeering. These jokes reek of bad insult comic humor and mothballs: "take my wife, please!" and "The room was so small that the mice were round shouldered." Next they will be saying things that are simply incomprehensible "Hillary Clinton is so old she loves Tony and Dawn of Time."

They can't stop themselves from being irrelevant. They think that "the youth vote" means people who were buttons saying "trust no one over thirty." That's not what the youth vote is going to be about and to them, in any event, all the kinds of candidates the Republicans will actually field are basically going to be grouped with Clinton as alte kockers. The right wing is not going to throw up an Obama like candidate who is glamorous and enlivening. The best they can hope for, with crossover appeal, is Christie who is literally an insult comic and he's no youth vote winner.

Clinton's got a solid lock on the kinds of people who vote regularly and in large numbers. These insults and jokes aren't going to make a dent in the rest of the desirable voter blocks: it won't hurt her with hispanices and it won't hurt her with AA voters. I doubt if "da yout" vote will even notice what the Republicans are argle blarging in their enclaves.

aimai said...

Sorry, that should be "wear" of course.

Buford said...

I don't know about HRC anymore...My feelings have nothing to do with what the GOPers are saying or any of her detractors are saying...If, as a country, we are worried about the corporate coup that has taken place, with the probable exception of the presidency, we need to pay special attention to the next candidate...Hilliary is an exceptional person, I supported her and will continue to support her in everything, except running for the presidency...I, for one, am tired of all of the corporate grovelling by our politicos, and Hilliary is part and parcel of that group...Is winning the top of the list? or is being a real representative of the "humanoid" voter as opposed to the fake "corporate" person?

Never Ben Better said...

It's a helluva dilemma, Buford; I too don't want Hillary as President for a number of reasons, including what you say; but if she's the nominee there's no way in hell I'd vote for whatever the GOP puts up, nor will I throw my vote away on a third-party candidate who hasn't a gnat's whisker of a chance.

Steve M. said...

If you think anyone less corporatist than Hillary can be elected president in this country under present conditions, I think you're living in a dream world. And if your reply to that statement contains the words "Elizabeth" and "Warren," they you're really living in a dream world.

Kathy said...

Well, it's an N of 3, but my 33-year-old, 20-year-old, and 15-year-old daughters will be thrilled to vote for Hillary in 2016.