30 April 2014

Recent news out of Iowa has redirected attention to 2016 yet again. While most Democrats are staying focused on the tough slog ahead of this November’s midterms, a select few are more than preoccupied with a certain former Secretary of State who may or may not be, but almost undeniably is running for President in 2016.


According to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, Hillary Clinton leads New Jersey Governor Chris Christie 48% to 35% among Iowa voters. These numbers are striking because Christie was leading Clinton by 5 points in a Quinnipiac poll in December. The Governor’s Bridgegate fiasco having largely contributed to the downslide, it is still fair to say the gulf is impressive and will undoubtedly provide wind for the sails of Clinton supporters. As the clear and steadfast front-runner for the Democratic nomination at the moment, numbers like these confirm what one already suspects about Secretary Clinton’s decision to run.


In a remarkable combination of humility and solipsism, after all, Clinton has managed to remain on the sidelines and subtly launch a campaign. Ready for Hillary, a super PAC devoted to Hillary’s election in 2016, is already swarSELECT * FROM `Cartoons` WHERE 1ming with volunteers, money, and fundraising operations. All without declaring even an intention to campaign for President (again), Clinton has aroused the necessary enthusiasm for a successful campaign.


Clinton’s popularity has also withstood current credibility issues. A new Bloomberg news poll shows that more than half of Americans do not believe Clinton’s explanation concerning the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. While she denies having any knowledge about security requests prior to the attacks, her credibility on the matter is apparently in shallow waters. Clinton’s saving grace in Iowa, undoubtedly, is her record outside Benghazi. Though many may find her role in the 9/11 anniversary attacks troubling, they can take refuge in her past record and are thus ‘ready for Hillary’ all again. The problem comes, however, when that record is actually scrutinized properly.
As liberals will know very well, the ‘lesser evil’ pill becomes very difficult to swallow come election time. But the 1992 Election, for many liberals in America at least, did not symbolize that point. In fact, Bill Clinton was the candidate who came to save the Democratic Party. With this in mind, President Clinton managed to drag the Party further and further to the Right over the course of eight years. After the Reagan and Bush years, Clinton had mindfully concluded that the Democrats had moved too far to the Left.


Aside from pleasant rhetoric, Mr. Clinton signed into law devastating conservative policy on a number of fronts. From the welfare reform law of 1996 to the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, for example, President Clinton’s ideological sympathies were clearly sympathetic with the Right. At the very least Mr. Clinton played a three-card trick on liberals. Without any real allegiance to the Left, the President had de facto support throughout both terms and capitalized on it even after exiting the White House.


Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton’s potential 2016 run, this record cannot be divorced from her own. Even the most impartial observer must acknowledge Mrs. Clinton’s unusually active involvement on the legislative battlefield during the Clinton administration. Most well known for her disastrous healthcare plan, the First Lady decided to play an important role in the Clinton presidential years. As a result, Bill and Hillary Clinton are very difficult to separate.


Without question many oSELECT * FROM `Cartoons` WHERE 1f the Iowa voters who accounted for the 48% can reference the Clinton brand. Accompanying that brand, of course, is baggage. Whether fundraising scandals or unsavory presidential pardons, the Clintons do not step onto the political stage without their history dragging behind. If the polling out of Iowa means anything then, while great news for Hillary Clinton, it forces one to ask rather than assert ‘ready for Hillary.’