Monday, April 13, 2015


As expected, Mrs. Clinton is attempting for a second time to claim the presidential mantel.  In doing so she reconfirms her claim to larger-than-life ambition.  Nevertheless, she should not underestimate the barrage of bunker buster bombs which will be directed at her.  She is too politically savvy to ignore the political napalm which is readied by the Republicans. After all, she carries the torches of disputed achievements and recognized mistakes.  This will be an ugly merciless campaign .

Mrs. Clinton is human, after all.  Despite her "firewall" composure and being (for now) the sole Democratic candidate,"uneasy lies the head that wears a crown." The Republican lot, which is united by mutual despise, will be in unanimous attack mode against the Obama/Clinton record. As much as Mrs. Clinton will try to distance herself from President Obama, the Republicans will make sure that they are seen as identical twins.  There remain gaps which require explanation: the Benghazi and e-mail server riddles, questions about what she stands for in terms of a concrete agenda, inter alia.  There is unfortunately also royal battles going on in the country as a whole which do polarize: devolution of power, health care, defense, education and the civil war about issues such as abortion, civil rights or the judicial (wherein the bench and the letter of the Constitution are stuck in an almost theological battle).

The fight will be waged over the heart and soul of mostly the South and the Middle, which lean conservative. This evangelical/Tea Party mix will have to be fought by bringing together a coalition of younger voters and an ethnic front. Mrs. Clinton is not a natural schmoozer and her vocabulary is often too "lay" sounding for a structurally conservative mindset. It will also not go unnoticed that while the Democratic candidate tries to highlight her "grandmother" credentials, her daughter is on the cover of ELLE, hardly reading material for the Bible addicts!

While the Republicans look like a death squad out of a Goya painting, their reciprocal animosities might provide the Democratic camp with some needed ammunition. Already the "gaffes" are piling up, but authenticity will not solely be measured by sophistication or by the number of handshakes with world leaders which are Mrs. Clinton's hallmark. In candidate Huckabee's words:  "the gravy counts more than the sauce."

For now the far away presidentials look more like a fatality which has to be undergone rather than as an event to be enjoyed. What a difference eight years make! More than anything, polarization has left the country tired.

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