Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hillary's biggest problem: she's a phony

By far, Hillary Clinton is the best-known presidential candidate in the world.  
Everybody knows her status, her name, but not where she stands on the issues.  She reminds you in every speech that it’s time for a woman, especially if she is the woman in the picture.
Maybe she will do a “New Nixon” on us.  Maybe she will change.  Nevertheless, The Economist is right that she needs to tell us why she wants to be president:
Competence and experience, say her supporters. As secretary of state, she flew nearly a million miles and visited 112 countries. If a foreign crisis occurs on her watch, there is a good chance she will already have been there, read the briefing book and had tea with the local power brokers. No other candidate of either party can boast as much.
She also understands Washington, DC, as well as anyone. For eight years she was a close adviser to a president (her husband) who balanced the budget and secured bipartisan agreements to reform welfare and open up trade in North America. Afterwards, as a senator, Mrs Clinton made a habit of listening to, and working with, senators on both sides of the aisle, leading some Republicans publicly to regret having disliked her in the past. A President Hillary Clinton could be better at hammering out deals with lawmakers (of both parties) than President Obama has been. She would almost certainly try harder.
But to what end? For someone who has been on the national stage for a quarter-century, her beliefs are strangely hard to pin down. On foreign policy, she says she is neither a realist nor an idealist but an “idealistic realist”. In a recent memoir, she celebrates “the American model of free markets for free people”. Yet to a left-wing crowd, she says: “Don’t let anybody tell you, that, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” (An aide later said she meant tax breaks for corporations.) Some candidates’ views can be inferred from the advisers they retain, but Mrs Clinton has hundreds, including luminaries from every Democratic faction. Charles Schumer, her former Senate colleague from New York, called her “the most opaque person you’ll ever meet in your life”.
I don’t know whether she is opaque, competent, or well-traveled.  My guess is that her biggest problem is that she’s a phony, and that’s why the base just ain't doing the hope and change with her.
Let’s remember Hillary Clinton on Iraq. 
She was a hawk and then conveniently turned dove in 2008.  She also proposed air strikes against Iran in 2007.
She opposed the surge in Iraq for purely political reasons, according to Bob Gates’s book.
I can’t wait to hear her explanation of what’s going on in Syria, the collapse of Libya, the mess in Yemen, and how ISIS filled the void that our departure created in Iraq.   
On Iraq, did she call for a military presence or support the decision to leave?
She talks about the little guy and then charges huge fees to speak at colleges.
In the end, the problem with Hillary Clinton is that she’s a phony.  In all fairness, her husband was also a phony, but he had Ross Perot in 1992 and a dot-com boom to cover him politically.
P.S. You can hear my show (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter.   We discussed this and other topics on Sunday's show:

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The Iran nuclear deal a week later

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