Friday, June 12, 2015


Here's a current headline at Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Why Does Hillary Clinton Want to be President?
Yes, that's a burning question in the Beltway. What's her campaign's rationale? We saw this yesterday in Amy Chozik's New York Times article about the upcoming Clinton rally in New York:
Mrs. Clinton has yet to put forth a clear rationale for her candidacy since announcing in a brief online video that she would run for the Democratic nomination.

“She has to articulate an authentic, compelling rationale for her candidacy, a cause and vision that is larger than her own ambitions,” said David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama.
And now Goddard quotes Politico's Glenn Thrush, who says the same thing:
... on the eve of Clinton’s formal campaign kickoff in New York this weekend, the “what’s the point of running?” question looms over the presumptive Democratic front-runner and her campaign. Over the past few months, even some of Clinton’s most fervent and loyal supporters have fretted to me, over and over, that she hasn’t yet articulated a compelling rationale for her second race for the White House beyond the sense that it’s finally her turn and her political view that she’s facing a relatively weak Republican field.
Why are we asking this question about Hillary Clinton? Why have even her supporters internalized the notion that the question is meaningful?

Or, rather: Why are we not asking this question about the other top-tier candidates -- you know, the ones in the Republican Party? Oh, sure, we might ask why the hell George Pataki is running when no one likes him. But why is Jeb Bush running? Or Ted Cruz? We might ask this about Marco Rubio and conclude that he hopes to crack a glass ceiling by becoming the first Hispanic president -- but if you think that's a sufficient answer, why isn't it sufficient for Hillary Clinton to say she wants to be the first female president?

You might say that, in each case, the Republican candidates' rationale is that they want to reverse much of what President Obama did. But why does that justify an individual Republican's decision to run? With the possible exception of Rand Paul on a few issues, they'll all pursue the same agenda if elected. So what's the point of any Republican candidate's run if plenty of other people will run on the same platform?

It's absurd, of course. How much more motivation do you need than I believe in a certain set of policies and I think I can get elected and enact them? To the press, that does seem to be enough motivation when it comes to, say, Scott Walker, or even John Kasich. But not Hillary.

This seems to be a variation on the 2000 campaign, when the top Democrat in the race was also someone the press didn't like. In that campaign, the press didn't puzzle over Al Gore's reasons for running; instead, journalistic insiders were certain they knew: Gore was a brooding scion who was running because of unresolved daddy issues -- unlike his general-election opponent, George W. Bush, who was seen as affable and not at all psychologically complex. Of course, it turned out that Bush was a testy brooder with daddy and sibling issues, and some of this emotional baggage helped get us into a couple of ruinous wars. Whoops! Too bad we never looked into that before Bush was sworn in!

This year the press is at least considering the question of W's brother's sibling issues -- but journalists aren't asking whether he has any good reason to run. It's just assumed that he does. Among A-list candidates, it's only an issue with regard to Hillary.


Victor said...

The MSM took Al Gore down.

Never mind the consequences.

Now, they want to take Hillary down.

Never mind the consequences.

Hell, after they took Gore down, many of them got cracks at being War Correspondent's, thanks to W's and Dick's wars and occupations.
Fun times... Fun times...

petrilli said...

"How much more motivation do you need than I believe in a certain set of policies and I think I can get elected and enact them?"

Yeah, what are those policies exactly, Ms. Clinton? I'd like to know. There is a vote on TPP fast track today. She hasn't said squat. Lets start (but by no means end) there.

I sympathize with frustration over the IOKIYR on this subject. That said, It's no real mystery to me where any republican stands on the policies I care deeply about, so I don't really care if the lickspittle corporate press ask them a question we all know the answer to.

Clinton owes her supporters and potential supporters more information than the empty trial balloons and vague posturing she's put out so far. If she doesn't cut the triangulating BS soon, she won't get that support and she could lose.

theHatist said...

EVeryone knows where the Republicans stand:

Jeb: "It's my turn! Daddy said I could be President next!"
Santorum: "If I can't be gay, no one else can be either!"
Walker: "It's what the Kochs pay me to do. Also, no one would go with me to the prom."

However, it's pretty clear that HRC wants to be President to be President.

The only one who is in it for the public good is Bernie. I hope Grayson jumps in the race, and makes Bernie a little less of an outlier. While the Republican voter refuses to vote in their own best interest because they'd rather cut off their nose to spite their faces, the Democratic voter votes against their own interest because they are afraid no one else will vote the same way, so they don't want to waste their vote. Instead, they will vote for a DINO.

Irony, as Shatner once said, can be pretty ironic.

petrilli said...

@hatist: Funny you should mention Grayson. He's seriously considering running for Democratic nomination for Rubio's seat against the conservative annointed WasserDem choice. Oh my stars, how shrill of him. The brute!

oc democrat said...

"Or, rather: Why are we not asking this question about the other top-tier candidates -- you know, the ones in the Republican Party?"

Because it would be the same, boring one word answer for ALL of them: POWER!

Victor said...

I'd prefer someone like Sherrod Brown, or Wyden.

I like Grayson, but he's a bit too much of a grandstander for my tastes.

Both Brown and Wyden are solid liberals.
As is, of course, the great Sen. Warren - but she said she's not interested in running. And I think she's found the place where she can do the most good!

oc democrat said...


To this 62 year old Jew, Senator Professor Elizabeth Warren is MY most ideal Democrat of my lifetime.

Contrary to opinion, I think Obama has tried to be My ideal Democrat, but Republican Leader's RACISM, plus this TPP stuff, has given me a doubt.

Other's will take this as an insult to Obama, but it is an Extreme Compliment to the Senator Professor.

At this point, and given MY ideals, Warren is more "pure" to me, and I would blindly GO for Liz's Opinion over any other Politician!

Ken_L said...

Virtually any reason is better than wanting to pursue a war with Muslims in general and Iran in particular, which seems to be the main goal of most of the Republican wannabes.