Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory…
Finally, after years of us all knowing it was going to happen, Hilary Clinton has officially thrown her hat into the 2016 POTUS ring. More than that, she’s already locked up the Democratic nomination.
According the horse-race handlers at the New York Times, (and say what you want about them, they’re actually pretty good on this one particular topic), the sitting Vice President likely won’t challenge her. Neither will Elizabeth Warren, who’s kind of like the Left’s amalgam of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Ben Carson. As of today there are only three people willing to say they might possibly consider the chance of looking into maybe weighing the options of perhaps conceivably for all one knows perchance think about challenging the former first lady: Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and Lincoln Chaffee, any one of which will inspire millions of Americans to Google them to see exactly who they are.
What the hell are the Democrats thinking?
There is only one other election in my lifetime I can remember where a party essentially just handed the nomination to a non-incumbent POTUS nominee on the rationale that there was really no need. It was in 2000 and the nominee was Al Gore, and we all know how well that turned out. Even Bush the Elder was but one of eight GOP seekers to the throne in 1998, and he was the sitting VP of the most popular US president in more than a generation. Hell, Bush had more intramural challengers is his re-election campaign in 1992 than Clinton is likely to have in 2016. It’s as if the Clintons made a deal with the DNC in 2008 that they would support the upstart from Illinois who stole their first attempt at a Clinton II White House if the DNC in return would promise to clear the field in 2016. (Which knowing the Clintons and the DNC, might actually be the case.)
And if you’re a Democrat, you should find all of this terrifying because of one simple, undeniable truth: outside of the party faithful, people don’t like Hillary Clinton very much.
In fact, here’s the skinny on how the independents Democrats might need next November perceive Clinton: They think she’s a cold, calculating and dishonest person who doesn’t have a vision for the country so much as she views the presidency as a thing to check off her Power Bucket List. Forget about Benghazi, since anyone who harps on that was never going to vote for a D regardless of circumstance. What might kill Clinton is the wide-spread belief by swing-voters that Clinton is happy to say anything that might improve her pol numbers. As I’ve noted before, in a US Presidential election you need to be likable or you’re sunk. Oodles of experience couldn’t didn’t allow Al Gore to overcome his perceived abrasiveness, and it won’t help Clinton either.
What’s more, Clinton has a track record of having supported policies that her base rightly despises, such as her Hawkish stance throughout the 00’s. Similarly, her track record on workers’ rights is highly suspect, as are her historical stances on executive privilege, her support of the Patriot Act, torture, government-funded faith-based initiatives, and conservative anti-crime measures.
Put it all together, and you have a candidate the base probably won’t be able to get overly excited about, that independents don’t really trust, and that the average non-poliitcal junkie just doesn’t find very likable. And if this formula sounds somewhat familiar, it should. The GOP ran that candidate in 2012. His name was Mitt Romney, and he lost a thoroughly winnable election to an embattled incumbent overseeing a sluggish economy. And like Clinton, he probably would have made a fine Executive if anyone had ever liked him enough to let him have a shot.
There is a lot at stake for Democrats in 2016. It is unlikely that the GOP will lose the Senate and damn near unthinkable that they will lose the House; a POTUS win allows Republicans to run the table for at least two years and perhaps longer. All of which makes the Dem’s all-Clinton-all-the-time strategy so bizarre. In essence, they’re putting all their chips on the table and betting that the GOP will nominate someone less likable to the general public than their own candidate. That’s a huge gamble, and a terrible strategy. If Rubio, Bush, Christie, or any of the non-crazies are able to come out of the elephantine fray, it’s hard to imagine any of them not having a great shot not just at winning, but at winning handily.
For the past few years I’ve repeatedly raised the question, “If the Republicans can’t learn to pull their collective heads out of their asses, how do they ever think they’ll win the White House?” The possible answer, after all this time, should have been obvious:
Because the Democrats still know how to royally screw the pooch.
 Not because of her views or experience. Because as with those GOP’s populists, she inspires her fans to think that her outspoken, apple-cart-turning views are the key to victory when in fact they’d be a lock for the other party hiring a decorator to revamp the West Wing come 2017.
 And will inspire scores of pundits and bloggers to look them up on Wikipedia so they can write about how they totally knew all about them and totally followed each of them for years and totally didn’t have to google anything honest they swear.
 Which, when you think about it, means that political pundits and bloggers are basically just a group of Pitchfork writers, albeit with decidedly less hip playlists on their iPhones.