Dan Majestic reports from Washington: Lots of excitement among the Democrat supporters in America. Hillary Clinton has announced that she is going to deliver a series of speeches intended to put her back on the political radar in a big way. Wide-eyed hacks and excited progressives are now saying that this is the start of her campaign for the White House.
The funniest thing of all is that it was New York mayoral Democratic candidate, Anthony Weiner – yes, the one who likes to send some pretty steamy messages and images of his crotch over twitter to women – who actually gave even more ammunition to people who predict that Mr Clinton will run for President in 2016. Asked whether he knows what role his wife, Huma Abedin, who has been an aide to Hillary since 1996, might play in the future election campaign, Weiner said that yes, he does know. (Why don’t Mrs Clinton take Weiner as her running mate? Now that would be really hilarious.)
The thing about the Democrats and the American left generally is that for decades they have been suffering from delusional fantasies, brought on by their odd conviction that they can actually plug any politicians they want and say things about them that make no sense and yet, people are supposed to buy them.
This delusion in the Democratic camp strengthened in 2008, when a complete novice and an outsider, Senator Barack Obama, won the party’s presidential nomination, beating Mrs Clinton in a campaign that seemed to last for eternity, going on to win the White House. Since then the feeling that they can say whatever they want and it will be accepted as fact, no questions asked, seems to have become official policy of the Democratic party and is taken for granted by its supporters. And even when President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, when he had barely spent four weeks in office, Democrats claimed that it was quite appropriate and even logical, insisting that the prize was given for his ‘future contribution to world peace’.
The irony of the situation escaped America’s progressives completely. By then they had already entered the twilight zone and were not looking back. (Funnily enough, Mr Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, instead of offering to share it with the people who were nominated that year and deserved it more than he did, making it all look even more embarrassing.)
Now a new delusion has overwhelmed Democratic supporters, who are spreading the word that Republicans are supposedly ‘terrified’ by the prospect of Mrs Clinton, running in the 2016 presidential election. So formidable is that woman, the message goes, that no Republican candidate, however charismatic, will be able to win. Even though Mrs Clinton will be pushing on 70 in 2016 and might be losing a bit of spring in her step, if you know what I mean. Feminists, though, say that she will still be younger than Ronald Reagan when he had won his first term in office, although how that actually strengthens the argument for her presidential bid is anyone’s guess.
Hillary’s fans are obviously forgetting a few things about their idol. First of all, she is still married to Bill, the man who cheapened the office of the US President as no other American leader has. (Among his highlights are that he lied on oath, pardoned a bunch of crooks on his way out and even managed to take with him some of the silverware and furniture from the White House that he was then forced to return. That alone should be enough really to make him a poisoned chalice in any team.) Second, Mrs Clinton lost to Mr Obama in 2008 in the primaries, even though technically she should have had a walkover. But most Democratic supporters just couldn’t stomach seeing Bill coming back to the White House, if only in the role of the First Gentleman, which he wasn’t on any count. Third, as US Secretary of State Mrs Clinton left the world a more dangerous place than when she came in, so it says a lot about her political instincts and abilities. And, fourth, as they say in New York, how did you like my first three points?
Opinion polls conducted by Democratic supporters, mostly among similarly minded comrades, supposedly show strong support for Mrs Clinton’s candidacy, should she decide to run for President. These opinion polls, quoted by fans of the Democrats, obviously mean absolutely nothing, as in 2016 Republicans will unleash some pretty awesome political firepower that will be a far cry from Mitt Romney, who basically stood as much chance against Obama as Senator John McCain, if he had taken another pop at the big time. The next race will be different and Mrs Clinton is bound to find that her fading political charms no longer work on the electorate.
And then, of course, there will be the small matter of the US economy still not doing very well in 2016. That will be the biggest decider in the race and Mrs Clinton, being the candidate of the party that couldn’t sort out the mess for eight years, will be seen as a turn-off.
So I guess Bill will have to settle for some less high profile job, such as raising money for good causes of which he will be one.