A Helluva Hill

A Helluva Hill

By

Leonard Zwelling

         In the least startling revelation since Barack Obama
announced his run for a second term, Hillary Clinton has finally announced what
everyone expected. She’s running for President.

         Putatively, this will be a kinder, gentler Hillary with less
fire in her eyes, more one-on-one handshakes, and an approachfulness that can
only be described as Clintonian (Bill, I mean). But will this work?

         To try to analyze this long-from-now event (November 2016)
takes a true seer and I am not that, but we can be sure of certain things.

1. It is unlikely that a meaningful challenge will arise
from within the Democratic Party. Martin O’Malley may try to run from Clinton’s
left flank, but she is not all that vulnerable there. Elizabeth Warren is way
too smart to go now. For one, if Hillary loses she is next up and if Hillary
wins Warren has 8 years to solidify her Senate cred in a fashion analogous to
that employed by Mrs. Clinton on her way to being Secretary of State and now
the presumptive nominee.

2. The Republicans are likely to be duking it out for
months while Hillary makes new friends. I have no idea who the GOP will choose.
Likely it will depend on whether or not the party thinks it lost in 2008 and
2012 because their candidate was not conservative enough (look for a Paul or
Cruz nominee if this is the case) or their candidate was not good enough (look
for Rubio, Christie, Kasich, Walker or Bush). Not sure how this is going to turn out,
but I am quite sure it will take a while.

3. The person who poses the greatest threat to Mrs.
Clinton’s candidacy is the current occupant of the Oval Office. It appears as
if she will not try to distance herself from the sitting President as Hubert
Humphrey did all too late in 1968. This may prove to be an error because all it
will do is solidify her support from the true believers who have nowhere else
to go no matter who the GOP nominates and may cost her votes among the 10% of
Americans who will be undecided until November of 2016, many of whom cannot
stand Mr. Obama.

4. Grandma has to find some young votes, especially young
male votes. Ditto older male votes.

5. Bill will make a costly error and say something he
shouldn’t during his wife’s campaign. In the past, she could have counted on
him having a hamburger in his mouth when he said it so it might have been
garbled. But with his new slimmer self, Bubba is a foot in mouth threat
whenever he shows up.

6. Chelsea (and the baby) will be everywhere.

7. New hair style. New wardrobe. New song and dance. Same
old Hillary.

Mrs.
Clinton need not redo herself or be anyone who she is not. She is clearly the
most qualified person, male or female, to be the next President. This is not an
endorsement.  It is simply the fact. She
spent 8 years in the White House as First Lady. She was a senator for 8 years.
She was Secretary of State for four. No one has such a resume out there on
either side of the political aisle. She is the best America has, IF

1. She clearly articulates why she wants to be President.

2. She outlines a program that will keep the economy growing
or even expanding faster without leaving the working class dropping further
behind.

3. She articulates why she backs the ACA and what she
will do to make it actually work.

4. She finds the sweet spot between bombing Iran and ISIS
and sending in troops, yet still increasing the reality and the perception of
greater American security.

5. She articulates an Israel policy that both enhances
the likelihood for Middle East peace and does not sell the Israelis down the Jordan.

6. She meets with and stands up to Putin.

7. She fully comprehends that there is no place for the
US in a shooting war between the Shia and the Sunni Arabs.

8. If Iran feels it has a role in an Arabian shoot-out
(Iranians are NOT Arabs), Mrs. Clinton will have to bring the Iranians to heel
with greater sanctions and no stupid nuclear deal regardless of what our
feckless “allies” in Russia, Western Europe, and China decide to sell to the
Iranians.

The
next President will have a formidable problem list, especially since Mr. Obama
managed to add to it rather than shrink it. I don’t know if that next President
will be Mrs. Clinton. I do know that having the best resume may not be enough
(see 2008).

I
wish the whole country well as the political silly season gets underway.
Perhaps we will get an articulate debate about critical issues facing America
in 2016. I do know that if Mrs. Clinton is the Democratic nominee, at least one
side will have a player who can think and act and who has made enough mistakes in
her life that she won’t make them again.

The
latter is my main criterion for President—of anything!

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