When first checking out each morning’s news, I have to confess to a faint preparedness for a blaring headline about something serious threatening Hillary Clinton’s candidacy (as well as a similarly big headline about Kim Kardashian having egg whites for breakfast).
It’s a given that Republicans have and will continue to manufacture “outrages” and “crimes” out of empty pork rind bags, chewing tobacco and tears of desperate inferiority with which to assault Hillary Clinton and damage her chances to beat them out of the White House. Thanks to their overuse of trumped up and hollow scandals against President Obama for seven years, that bullshit is already mostly white noise to all but the core Republicans whose favorite song is “The Dog Whistle Polka”.
However, due to the secretive and hubris-filled history of the Clintons, it is possible that some story of unethical behavior by Hillary could surface and such a revelation, however minor, could be like a detonator cap that sets off a more massive explosion by legitimizing the mountain of GOP attacks on her. People may think, “If this story about her is true, maybe the other stories are true too and she did cause Benghazi and ebola!”
It would seem unlikely that anyone in politics could lead a perfectly spotless life, there’s always something out there waiting to be discovered that could knock a politician back on their heels and force them to defend themselves and their reputation.
When you add to the mix an ex-President as one’s husband, a massive internationally connected foundation and contributors to it that are from Wall Street, major corporations and foreign countries…and you’ve been Secretary of State of the U.S…even if it was never intended, there could at least be the appearance of impropriety in certain situations.
And if there was actual impropriety…and when dealing with the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world, the temptation could be very powerful…what then?
There is one particular philosophy out there for Democrats that it would be a winning approach for Democrats to all get behind Hillary Clinton now as their Presidential nominee, even before the Democratic Primary begins. The view is that such solidarity from the outset would strengthen Hillary and the Democrats’ chances of winning the White House while any division, which a primary represents, would be counter-productive and potentially harmful to her.
Let’s begin with addressing the principle here first. Democrats should not fear democracy as a threat, firstly because just the opposite is true and secondly because Republicans will sue them for theft of intellectual property (it’s the only use of the word “intellectual” Republicans are permitted to make).
Also, primaries are the warmups for General Elections. Primaries are where you hone your persona and skills and make mistakes that you can learn from to become a better candidate. That’s also where it’s best to have your baggage opened up and explored.
Imagine if Obama hadn’t been confronted with the Reverend Wright/Obama Hates White People and America charges in the primary but had them hurled at him just before the General Election, how might that have changed history?
In addition to Hillary becoming a better and more tempered candidate by facing genuine competition and division in the Dem primaries, what if she became the Dems’ presidential nominee…and something happened to her?
Whether it’s a legit scandal, a health issue, an accident, if for some reason, Hillary couldn’t continue as the Dem nominee and no other substantial Dem had been campaigning against her for the nomination in the primaries, there would be no prepared and viable replacement for her and the Dems could lose to even the worst Republican candidate (the winner of that title would be hard to pick, so many to choose from!)
And historically, Democrats aren’t the ones who coronate their nominees, that’s not representative of their more democratic view of primaries.
There’s another reality as well. Some Democrats don’t favor Hillary Clinton at this point and having many in the party make it a “You’re with us or you’re against us!” thing can polarize them even more against her and depress turnout.
Democrats want to win the White House, some absolutely want Hillary to be the one that wins it, some want there to be other choices for them to consider. In either case, the healthiest way for the party to come together over a candidate is to be able to give the favorite and her competition a test drive as well as a real race. Then, whoever wins has participated in the Democrats’ democratic process and earned legitimacy as their party’s candidate.
Democrats would be well advised to recognize that right now they’re playing Wheel of Fortune – The Hillary Clinton Edition. Any morning that wheel could spin and stop on a troubling breaking news story about her that terminally damages her campaign. And Dems could lose all their vowels except “AAAAA!”
There needs to be a respect for the primary process, it will strengthen Hillary as a campaigner, could end up giving Dems a viable alternative choice and provide for all candidates to be battle-tested and more able to be the nominee, either as elected or if Hillary was to win but had to be replaced (one could be more prepared too to be her VP nominee).
Dems shouldn’t be playing games with their primary process, especially not Wheel of Fortune and leaving the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election to the luck of the spin. Hillary shouldn’t have a Monopoly on the nomination or there could be Trouble and saying Sorry won’t stop the Risk of the Hungry, Hungry Hippos in the GOP trying to put most Americans in Jeopardy.
Let’s play this primary according to Hoyle, whoever can fairly outplay the others is the one who should win the pot.