Lately, Republicans and members of the news media have pounced on comments made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding her family’s financial situation after her husband, ex-President Bill Clinton, left the White House. In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer on June 9th, Clinton claimed that the family was “dead broke” and “in debt” after her husband’s tenure as President was over. She pointed out that they were struggling to pay mortgages on homes as well as put aside money for their daughter’s education. In subsequent interviews, Mrs. Clinton has clarified her comments and repeatedly stated that her family has been extremely fortunate.
Over the past couple of weeks, the GOP has tried to frame Hillary Clinton as completely out of touch due to these comments. On this past Sunday’s news shows, the issue was brought up again and again. On NBC’s Meet the Press, Republican National Committee Reince Priebus claimed that “Hillary fatigue” has set in and that people are sick of her because she has become “obnoxious.” On the same show, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell claimed that Mrs. Clinton has shown that she is “out of touch” with average Americans and is suffering from “a lack of self-awareness.” (I find it funny that Mitchell has the temerity to call out anyone for being out of touch. This is a woman who grew up in a wealthy household and married ex-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. She obviously has a lot of experience dealing with the ‘struggle.’)
Despite all of the ink, webspace and TV time that’s been devoted to calling out Hillary Clinton and framing her as a hypocrite and out of touch, a recent poll by NBC News shows that the GOP’s plan just isn’t working. Overall, 55% of Americans feel that Mrs. Clinton can relate to average Americans. On the flip side, only 37% feel that there are other potential 2016 White House candidates that can better relate. While it largely breaks down along party lines, interestingly, 27% of Republicans actually feel that Clinton is not out of touch. This shows that there is a large swath of GOP voters that aren’t buying what the party’s selling.
Republicans are obviously scared to death of Hillary Clinton. She is the presumptive Democratic nominee for 2016 and has been leading in all of the early polls. Meanwhile, the Republicans have no real frontrunner and most of their potential candidates have moderate to severe issues facing them if they decide to run. While it is extremely early and we haven’t even passed the 2014 midterms, if the GOP can’t find a candidate that the American public can at least partially embrace, it is looking at a defeat of epic proportions.
Of course, instead of working on building up their own vision and brand, the GOP and its compliant media partners are more focused on doing anything and everything to sully Hillary Clinton’s name. Therefore, we will continue to see more and more attempts by Republicans to get some type of ‘scandal’ to stick to Hillary, or at the very least, do something to make her seem less appealing in the eyes of American voters. That is all they have left. When you spend six years being exclusively the Party of No, then you are left with nothing substantive to run on.