Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Excuse me, why does The Hill think this is newsworthy?
Team Clinton started talks on 2016 run night of Obama's victory

Members of Team Clinton started talking about a 2016 presidential bid months before the former first lady left the State Department.

The night President Obama won his second term, Allida Black and Adam Parkhomenko, veterans of Clinton’s 2008 campaign for the White House, exchanged emails about plans to start Ready for Hillary -- a super-PAC promoting another run for the White House.

While Clinton didn't formally approve the political action committee, Black believed she had Clinton's blessing, according to a book published Tuesday by The Hill's Amie Parnes and Bloomberg's Jonathan Allen....
In addition to the lines of attack on Hillary Clinton we're all expecting from the right and the sneering center -- she's a bitch, she's a philanderer's dupe, she's a ruthless inside player, she's a tired old crone -- I suppose we're going to get this, too: she wants to be president too much. People in her inner circle were planning her 2016 run in November 2012! Can you believe it? (Yes, and I suppose Marco Rubio spoke at a fundraiser for the governor of Iowa a couple of weeks after the 2012 election out of a deep and abiding concern for the future political direction of the Hawkeye State.)

"Hillary wants it too much" would be an echo of a line that was a big part of the anti-Al Gore narrative in 2000, as Bob Somerby used to remind us:
George W. Bush didn't lust for the White House! And not only that: He didn't have a lifelong ambition for the presidency! In real time, this silly narrative came straight from the [Bill] Bradley and Bush campaigns; it was happily adopted by the mainstream press corps -- used as part of its two-year effort to bring down Clinton's successor, Al Gore. Indeed, a great deal of the press corps' "character assessments" during Campaign 2000 were built around this silly construct -- a construct which was always used to take down Candidate Gore...

There was never any evidence that Gore sought the White House from birth....
And yet reporters and pundits talked about Gore's "ruthless ambition," said he "has been running for president his whole life," suggested that the presidency was "his life’s sole goal" and so on -- not (they argued) like Bill Bradley, Gore's primary rival, and then not like George W. Bush.

I worry that Hillary fits the Gore profile in a lot of ways, and that many of the talking points used to hobble him in 2000 will be used against Hillary: dull but overly ambitious nerd, sidekick who aspires to Bill Clinton's success despite a deficit in political talent and charisma, shameless exploiter of a well-known surname. If the press goes with the "too ambitious" line, it may be hard to contrast this with her Republican opponent's lack of ambition (everyone in the GOP race seems pretty damn ambitious), but if it's say, Rand Paul, we'll hear about how all he ever really wanted to do was be an ophthalmologist, and this president thing was just something he pursued very, very reluctantly.

Oh, and what were Bush's people actually doing around the time the polls closed in 1996? You'll be shocked to learn that, according to Lou Dubose's book on Karl Rove, Boy Genius, that they were pondering a 2000 presidential campaign, partly at the urging of political allies who were thinking about 2000 even before the '96 votes were cast:

I am shocked -- shocked! Advance planning of a campaign is going on here!


Victor said...

I'd prefer a more progressive Democratic candidate than Hillary.

However, if she's the nominee, I will work against the coming Conservative shit-storm, to help her get elected.

I think the Republican will pull-out all of the stops, and go full-metal misogynistic.
But they'd better be careful, because they've already pissed-off a lot of women.
It will cost them another winnable Presidential election - maybe in 2016, if they get too carried away.
And, I don't see any reason why they won't get carried away.

Carol Ann said...

Democrats are ruthless. Democratic women are castrating bitches. Republicans are divinely inspired to run and have all that gold light stuff pouring out of them (voir Romney in the novella film Mitt on Netflix)

Peter Janovsky said...

Yes, they will try anything and everything against her, but she will definitely not be Gore. She starts as a superstar And unlike Gore, to whom the idiocies of Matthews, Dowd etc. stuck like velcro, Hillary "eats scandals for breakfast" as Jon Stewart I believe put it.

And Lewinsky? It backfired in 1998. Any effect doesn't go beyond the yammerings of Rand Paul and media idiots like Dowd, whose influence is waning, stupid column by stupid column.

aimai said...

I am so very sick of hearing so called liberal/democratic men uncritically parrot this line--she was so "ambitious" last time, so "ruthless" she "wanted it too much." Even the ones who think they'll vote for her this time around if she is the nominee now think that its because she's been "softened" by being Obama's Secretary of State.

Glennis said...

So two people that worked with Clinton four years before emailed each other in 2012, while they were, presumably, not on her payroll. And this means?

It's pathetic how small and trivial are the straws they grasp.

Glennis said...

Gore's "ruthless ambition," said he "has been running for president his whole life," suggested that the presidency was "his life’s sole goal"

Unlike those nice, unassuming gentlemen, Mitt Romney and John McCain who grudgingly agreed to put themselves forward when their nation begged and pleaded to them.