Please forgive me, but I'm singularly unimpressed with Hillary Clinton in general, but especially as a Democratic presidential candidate. I'm neither smug nor complacent about the likelihood of defeating her, but I am incautiously optimistic.
I hope I'm not wrong; the country can't take four more years of the same disastrous policies.
Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that Hillary appears to be the anointed candidate with virtually no one in the party surfacing to challenge her for the nomination. If she was ever a good candidate, her time has clearly passed, because the mythical image that she has invested so much energy cultivating for herself has mostly been shattered by reality.
Perhaps the main reason the Democratic Party can't come up with anyone to challenge her is that for six or seven years, it has put all its eggs in the Obama basket. Live by the sword, die by the sword. The dirty little not-so-secret secret about Barack Obama is that whatever personal popularity he enjoyed (past tense), it never spread throughout the party.
Not only has he failed to have coattails for other Democratic candidates but also he's been an affirmative liability, as the congressional elections of 2010 and 2014 resoundingly demonstrated. President Obama has been a party to himself, having sucked the party dry of whatever goodwill it once had.
I don't want to underestimate the extraordinary ability of Republicans to squander golden opportunities, but if the Democrats are lethargic, unimaginative and arrogant enough to nominate Hillary, the Republicans start off with an immediate advantage — especially if they nominate a younger, vigorous candidate.
Why is Hillary such a terrible candidate, you ask? Let me count the ways, in no particular order, as many of them vie for top seating.
—Her main qualification is she believes it's her turn; she's entitled. It's not about what she can do for her country; it's about what her country owes her.
—Obama has been a dreadful president. Our economy and foreign policy are both in tatters. Our health care situation is barely managed anarchy. America's fiscal position, now and projected, is abysmal. People are out of work in record numbers. And never have Americans been more polarized.
—Obama's record necessarily taints Hillary Clinton for multitudinous reasons. Her husband's enthusiastic defense of Obama at the Democratic convention may have saved his presidency. Whatever policy differences the Clintons had with Obama, they effectively buried them there. If that weren't enough, Hillary was an integral part of Obama's administration as secretary of state, where she not only embraced his regrettable foreign policy but also contributed to making it worse. Though certain news reports alleged Hillary didn't agree with Obama on isolated policies, she has been vocally supportive of his policies when speaking on her own behalf, from Obamacare to Israel to "women's rights."
—Hillary cannot credibly claim that her economic policies would foster growth. She'll try to tie herself to her husband's economic record, but this century, she opposes all of the things that saved Bill Clinton's economy from Bill Clinton's policies, such as the forced controls on spending imposed by the Newt Gingrich Congress. Even if Hillary pretends to be a deficit hawk, there is no way she can disentangle herself from Obama, the most reckless spender in the history of the executive office. (And no, the reinstituted Clinton tax rates have not ignited growth but further stymied it.)
—Hillary is unlikable (see the latest poll numbers), conspicuously insincere ("I don't feel noways tired"), untrustworthy (see the latest poll numbers), arrogant ("What difference, at this point, does it make?"), elitist while pretending to be "dead broke," yet masquerading as a champion of the middle class and poor — and liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said, "Her paranoia, secrecy, scandals and disappearing act with emails from her time as secretary of state have inspired a cascade of comparisons with Nixon."
—She is scandal-ridden — pick any era, from Travelgate to the present — with Benghazi, the flushed emails and the sordid foreign campaign money.
—She fully intends to throw gender in our faces for the next decade. I trust that Americans are tired of the Democrats' identity politics always being placed above the national interests and — to borrow a Democratic prop — the good of our children. This country is going bankrupt, and that's going to affect every group, not just feminists. Besides, women don't primarily vote based on gender — thank goodness. Also besides, Hillary lacks authenticity as a fighter for women's rights, considering that she was the combat war general in charge of husband Bill's "bimbo eruptions."
—She has none of Obama's faux charisma; in fact, she has almost developed a sort of reverse charisma. Not even a fawning, wagon-circling media can alter this.
—She says she wants to bring people together "into a nice warm purple space where we're actually talking and trying to solve problems." Nice try, but in the polarizing department, she's a close second to Obama.
—They say she's experienced, but bad experience is not a plus. Her record is shrouded in negativity.
—She's a permanent fixture in Washington. She makes insiders look like outsiders, yet she'll expect us to believe she wants to work for change. Speaking of which, how can she plausibly stump for change when she's wholeheartedly embraced Obama's policies? Then again, how can she afford not to promise change, given his terrible record?
—On top of all this, the Democratic base doesn't even like this woman.