It’s that time again. Politics is in the air and everyone is gearing up for the 2016 presidential race. On the GOP side, three young politicians have already thrown their hats in the ring. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul have all announced their bid for the presidency with Governor Walker presumably gearing up to announce his bid within the next few weeks.
On the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton has announced her return as the inevitable nominee. Of course, she never literally said that, but everyone knows it.
Hillary is in a pickle. No, I don’t mean the email scandal or the shady donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation, though those are pretty bad. She is unauthentic, dry, boring, and more of the same. I know what you’re thinking, “She’s a Clinton, her winning is inevitable. People love her.” Just hear me out, okay?
I never bought Clinton’s inevitable nomination or that her winning the presidency was a lock for several reasons. One, though being in the spotlight as Secretary of State, she was not directly responsible for what was going on around the world. She could also avoid blame by blaming her boss, Obama. Besides, no matter what happened, she always had some cover.
Most of Hillary’s likability comes from her connection to Bill Clinton who has an approval rating of over 60%, the highest of any living President. Bill, despite his perversions, was an operator of the highest order. His charm, wit, and likability are legendary, second only to Reagan (arguably). In 2012, when the DNC gathered for Obama’s nomination, Clinton stole the spotlight. No one cared when Obama spoke. In fact, his speech fell flat compared to Clinton’s whose speech lasted a whole 50+ minutes! For right or wrong, people have good will towards Bill and like Hillary for sticking with him, despite his infidelity.
No one cared when Hillary was a Senator. She got little to nothing done. As Secretary of State, her most notable moment was the death of a U.S. Ambassador in Benghazi. She is known for her extensive travel and that’s it. The closest her supporters can muster is her support of “women’s rights,” which is the most generic statement ever. That’s code for, “I have no idea.”
She has no charisma. Have you seen her talk with “regular” people? No, I don’t mean the “people” that her operatives have vetted and placed in specific positions before the camera started rolling. I mean real people. The average Joe does not know who she is. They know her name, but don’t know what she looks like. No one is excited for her, not even her party. The far left wants Elizabeth Warren or Governor O’Malley.
Don’t get me wrong. She will probably win the Democratic nomination, but her victory is far from a lock both in the DNC or nationally. Obama, despite his issues was far more charismatic than Hillary. He was young, passionate, full of energy, and a great orator (when reading from a teleprompter). Hillary has none of those qualities.
Rand, Rubio, Cruz, and Walker are young, intelligent, energetic, authentic, and well-versed in their fields. I contend that anyone of them can beat Hillary, especially in the debates. They are new type of politician, one that Hillary cannot understand or effectively challenge.
Hillary’s greatest weakness in getting the nomination or winning the presidency is the perception that she is untrustworthy. Independents are increasingly abandoning her as reflected in the polls. Now, this can change. There is still a long way to go and things can change, but it is extremely difficult to recover from being seen as an untrustworthy person, especially when you had a reservoir of good will.
Two things are vital to win any election: Authenticity, and trustworthiness. It doesn’t mean you need to be those things, only convey them.
Governor Martin O’Malley is courting Hollywood and silicon valley. I believe it is possible to Governor O’Malley will challenge and possibly beat Hillary in the DNC primary. Is O’Malley the next Obama? I don’t know, but one thing is for sure: Blood is in the water, and Hillary knows it.