October 17, 2013

Thursday Hillary Bash - Hillary Clinton racking up 'awards'

Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize before he did anything for peace.  Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton is racking up awards at a blistering pace that smacks of PR for both her and her nominators.  I mentioned the Elton John driven award a while back.  But there have been more - a lot more, according to the Washington Post.  These may serve her storyline well going into 2016, but do they really mean anything at all?
This summer, the American Bar Association gave her its highest honor for her work as a lawyer. The National Constitution Center feted her work as a public servant. Save the Children gave her an award for . . . helping save children. Last week, Clinton flew to London to receive yet another award — this one a scroll signed by Queen Elizabeth II celebrating her work as a diplomat.

In all, Clinton has racked up at least 15 awards in the nine months since she left the State Department, with more to come at the same time she is weighing a presidential campaign in 2016. Her supporters say the accolades are well deserved. But it also appears that Clinton has figured out how to leverage the awards to her political advantage, just as the groups honoring her benefit from having the would-be candidate promote their causes.

The awards circuit has effectively become Clinton’s pre-campaign campaign, allowing her to speak out on issues of her choosing and cement ties with key Democratic constituencies — all with little apparent political risk.
The awards come from constituencies she needs to tie up before the 2016 primaries.  She will.  These awards in some small part will help with that.  But in the general election, they won't matter much. Still, the Post does eventually point out the benefit to Clinton is what will draw her to an event that will benefit the event holders;
Most of Clinton’s public appearances this year have come at tightly choreographed awards ceremonies or at closed-press trade conventions, such as one held Tuesday morning in Atlanta by the National Association of Convenience Stores. Some appearances net her upward of $200,000.

“It appears the only way to get Hillary to do an event is to either write her a big check or to give her a trophy,” said Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising PAC, the leading Republican group going after Clinton in anticipation of her 2016 candidacy.
Hmm. Tightly choreographed seems to be the defined Clinton approach.

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