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by Sydney M. Williams
The inevitability of Hillary Clinton has been a deliberate strategy by supporters of the former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady. The idea: perception becomes reality. It may be working. Noah Gordon, writing in the April 12, 2015 issue of The Atlantic, noted: “Since mid-2013, Clinton’s share of Democratic primary voters has averaged 60 percent.” In the build-up to the 2008 election, those same numbers were 40 percent. A question: will it backfire? For example, the number of people who consider her dishonest has reached new highs. And she has attracted some minor competition.
Running a primary without meaningful competition is a risk for a major political Party in a democratic republic. The concept of “inevitability” is present in hereditary monarchies, not amongst people for whom government is a guarantor of personal liberty and property rights, not the perpetuator of one family or one Party. Our government is based on the rule of law – laws that stem from the inalienable rights of the people – not the rule of men. We do not presume preordination. We should not claim entitlement to ensure nomination or election.
Predetermination carries with it a sense of invincibility. In Mrs. Clinton’s case, that does not mean those who support her feel she is unbeatable, but that she should run a cautious campaign – a “listening” tour and avoid controversial positions. Certainly, she believes the nomination is deserved – in fact, feels she is “owed” it. She concludes she is capable of being President. She was with her husband for eight years (alright, not always with him), and she served President Obama for four years. She is intelligent and experienced. Besides she is a woman – a feminist she would have us believe. She would be the first of her gender, and being “first” – especially for those on the Left – counts for more than ideas, policies or character. She has been loyal to her Party and to her husband, neither of whom have always been loyal to her. She has name recognition, which is a positive, but her name is also synonymous with dishonesty, cronyism and obfuscation.
Mrs. Clinton has been in the public eye for thirty-six years. She was 31 when her husband was first elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978. With the exception of two years, 1981-1983, she served as First Lady for twenty-two years, first of Arkansas and then of the United States. Once out of the White House, she won election to the U.S. Senate from her adopted state of New York. As a Senator, she served without distinction. As consolation for wresting what she and others felt was rightfully hers, Barack Obama named her Secretary of State. She served four years in that position without any visible successes, other than setting records in miles flown and countries visited. She resigned at the end of 2012, in order to mount a second quest for the White House in 2016. She has had a lot of experience – remember we were told we were getting two-for-one when her husband was elected President – but little in terms of accomplishments – recall her aborted health care plan. Her most visible characteristic is a Teflon-like ability to deflect scandals. As Bret Stephens wrote in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal about both Clintons, “Nothing embarrasses them, so nobody stops them.”
Mrs. Clinton can be testy regarding the press, which amuses conservatives as the media is unabashedly liberal. She has been mired in questionable enterprises almost from the first: In her husband’s first term she miraculously turned $1,000 into $100,000 with the help of a family friend and lawyer for Tyson Foods. The Clintons lied about their involvement with their former business partners the MacDougals and the Whitewater Development Corporation. The MacDougals were convicted of fraud and went to prison – later to be pardoned by Bill Clinton – while the Clintons went to Washington. When they left the White House in January 2001 (after trashing it), they bought two properties and listed their assets at $1.8 million. As for her claim she left the White House “dead broke,” Mrs. Clinton apologized…in a way: “It was ‘inartful.’ But it was accurate.” Whatever that meant!
Consider: Mrs. Clinton is a “proud” feminist. Yet she called those women who were sexually harassed (and worse) by her prurient husband “nuts and sluts.” It mattered not to the former First Lady that these women had to be demeaned so that her husband’s reputation would be unblemished. For that reason alone, their names – Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey – should not disappear from our memories. Ms. Willey later said about Mrs. Clinton’s scurrilous attacks: “She is ‘the war on women,’ as far as I am concerned.”
Hillary Clinton is a mountebank who dons a southern accent, as she patronizingly seeks votes in South Carolina – a state that rebuffed her in 2008. There is arrogance in her staged roundtables – posed with elbow on the table, chin resting on clenched fist and eyes gazing in adoration. She had the chutzpah to use a personal e-mail, with its private server, to conduct the business of the United States as Secretary of State. She was patronizing to the American people when she claimed to have only destroyed those e-mails that were personal. Most damning, in my opinion, she deliberately lied to the families of the fallen, when the remains of the four Americans killed in Benghazi were returned home to Andrews Air Force Base. These are the traits of a charlatan, without a morsel of remorse. She is a woman without character.
The Clintons are not alone in their greed and deceit. Such practices are common to both Parties. Dennis Hastert and Harry Reid made millions by being politicians. But the Clintons’ position, fame and leadership should have made them paragons. Instead they are the worst of the worse. Lies, greed, cronyism and self interest are the examples they set. The practices of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation may be legal – there may be no smoking gun – but it is morally corrupt.
The people of the United States deserve better in their choices for President. No prior experience fully prepares one for the Presidency. There is no syllabus. Abraham Lincoln had the least preparation, yet was perhaps our greatest President. The office demands an individual of wisdom, honor and judgment, one who is morally beyond reproach. By necessity, we rely on the inner person. It makes no difference the individual’s sex, religion or color. In deciding whom we nominate, we should first consider character.
There is nothing inevitable about Hillary, other than that the web of lies will eventually entrap her. With luck, she will not be in a position of power or influence when that happens. My belief (perhaps my hope?) is that it happens sooner rather than later.
The Opinions expressed above are mine alone, and do not represent those of the firm Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co., Inc., or of any of its partners or employees.