Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hillary

If I were giving political advice to Hillary Clinton right now (she hasn't asked me), I would tell her to spend her time traveling the country supporting whatever Democratic candidates might want her help campaigning in midterm elections this fall. This would build some good will for her. It would be inclusive. It would be useful. It's so obvious that this is what Hillary Clinton should be doing right now, that she's probably already doing as much of it as she can schedule, and my advice is unnecessary.

So I guess what I would really be telling Hillary Clinton is what she should NOT be doing right now. And that is giving interviews to the Atlantic magazine on foreign policy disagreements with the Obama administration. Because that is divisive. That only helps remind a lot of Democrats why they preferred Obama to Clinton in 2008. And that kind of negative talk only ends up tarnishing the president, and therefore only helps Republican candidates in the midterms. And causes Hillary to have to walk back some of her comments and have to make up with President Obama, and I'm sure that wasn't pleasant for her. So please Hillary, don't do that anymore. Wait until after the midterms, and then you can start your 2016 campaign if you want.

I get that Hillary Clinton probably wants to show that she is her own person, and that she has some disagreements with the Obama administration's foreign policy decisions. Fine, she's entitled to those disagreements. But is it necessary for her to air them right now? There's plenty of time before the 2016 campaign gets going. But even if the 2016 campaign were already upon us, how helpful would that strategy be? In 2000, Al Gore made a point of distinguishing himself from Bill Clinton, and that wasn't particularly helpful to his campaign. Al Gore was not running against Bill Clinton. Assuming that  Hillary Clinton is planning to run for president in 2016, she won't be running against Obama either.

Meanwhile, midterm elections are important. We should have learned that lesson from 2010. This year, control of the Senate is at stake. And these midterm elections are not really about Obama. They're certainly not about Hillary Clinton. They're about the direction we want to take as a country. Let's focus on that, and if you're a Democrat, that means we should all be trying to pull in the same general direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment