Supporters of Hillary Clinton are awaiting a formal announcement from her about whether or not she will run for President in 2016. For most it is a foregone conclusion. A presidential run for Clinton, however, may just be the thing to push the odds in favor of the Republicans. More than any of the potential candidates for the nomination, the look of a Clinton campaign may not be good for the Democrats.
In fact, it may be a recipe for disaster. The years, still etched in recent memory, when she was Secretary of State under President Obama will provide rolls of footage for political campaign ads of every awkward comment and mistake, all with the presidential seal behind her. It is a campaign planner’s dream for the Republicans. No green screen needed to preview how moments like that would look if she were elected. From the perspective of creating negative images for the campaign, she comes with a ready-made supply. Benghazi alone ought to provide fodder for a firm character assassination. Given that she will need to survive primaries and nomination, it is highly likely that her own party members will even do much of the work toward that assassination before she even gets the chance to square off against a Republican foe.
In fact, before she has even announced that she is running, the process has begun. The comparisons between Elizabeth Warren and Clinton continue to abound, despite Warren’s claims that she does not intend to run at all. According to political writer, Peter Hamby, on Inside Politics (video below), Elizabeth Warren presents a scarier prospect as a presidential candidate than Hillary Clinton. The roundtable discussion came up with several theories about why that might be the case. Included among them was the fact that Warren is a more animated speaker and uses a more direct and relatable approach in her public engagements. Before the race even begins, Warren is giving Democratic voters a vision of a female candidate far more effectively connecting to their base to contrast with Clinton from someone who is not even running. It undermines her campaign before it even begins, and the Republicans are not even behind it.
While it may be difficult for Hillary Clinton to distance herself from President Obama for the campaign, it will be virtually impossible to distance herself from her own husband. Her own record of flip-flopping on issues from gay marriage to medical marijuana will provide enough footage for split screen shots of her contradicting herself to satisfy any campaign manager. Add to that the glut of images of her together with Bill Clinton from the days of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and Whitewater, and it is an embarrassment of riches. That is only the official campaign.
The 2016 elections will see the internet play a more significant role than ever before. People are inter-connected more intimately than ever before. Sharing is instant, and automatic, on everything from their social media to their shopping preferences. When a constant stream of “little black dress” or “cigar aficionado” images show up online, they will be everywhere, and even more immediately than in any campaign before. Every image of every gaff and mistake from any candidate will be streamed everywhere instantly as it happens. In the case of Clinton, she has given those who understand the power they have in this election on the internet, and who intend to use it, a considerable head start in terms of material. This is an election where the internet will prove to have an impact similar to the impact of television on the debates leading up to John F. Kennedy’s election. With this turn of technology, it may well be the Republicans who have the upper hand this time around if Clinton is running.
Editorial By Jim Malone