August 22, 2013

Thursday Hillary Bash - Setting her campaign back story up

It looks like Hillary Clinton has got the storyline set for her 2016 presidential campaign, and it's about her being the woman champion for all women.  "Women Who Break Barriers" is meant to imply her becoming the first female president but also symbolically link her to all other women who have broken or want to break glass ceilings for themselves.

“Hypothetically speaking, I really do hope that we have a woman president in my lifetime,” Clinton said coyly, making an implicit nod to the history she might make herself. “Our country,” she added, “has to take that leap of faith.”

Unlike during her 2008 presidential campaign, when she waited until her concession speech to fully embrace the historic nature of her candidacy, Clinton these days talks freely about women breaking barriers. She has woven a theme of women’s empowerment throughout almost all of her public remarks in the seven months since she stepped down as secretary of state.
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As I said to a friend long ago, having the first African American president be a dismal failure does not make it any easier to ever get a second African American president any time soon after.  The same holds true for Hillary Clinton - philosophically she is not that far from president Obama.  So another four years of a floundering economy paired with forefront social policies that run against the grain of middle America, mean that it could be a long time after a theoretical Hillary Clinton presidency that a second female president ever gets a shot.

The point is that there is no reason not to have an African American, a female, a Hispanic or a gay president but that those selection criteria and potential empathy for a voting block are not qualifications for a good president.  Those attributes MUST come second to the real qualities of a good leader - knowledge, competence, vision, etc.

Just because Clinton is a woman, does not entitle her to the presidency in 2016.  Plenty of women are qualified to be president.  Hillary Clinton is not one of them.  We've already seen her policy approach fail because they are being implemented by the current president.

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