The surfeit of Republican hand-wringing has begun. Hillary is officially running for president with her online announcement. Yes, THAT Hillary. You know, the Hillary Clinton who has more qualifications for the office than just about all of the modestly accomplished opposition candidates put together.
But enough about Hillary. I want to begin the familial Clinton conversation with 35-year-old Chelsea Clinton. She of the Gucci dress attire on the cover of the upcoming edition of Elle.
Remember the nasty jokes about Chelsea? Not quite up to the truly mean-spirited barbs repeatedly aimed at Amy Carter, but close enough. The starkest example was when Rush Limbaugh, incredibly made visible on TV, made a reference to a “cute kid”, and then a dog appeared on the screen. “No, no, no, Limbaugh protested, that’s not the kid (as a pic of 12-year-old Chelsea replaces the dog) that’s the kid” (to the raucous laughter of a studio packed with insensitive right-wing dolts)…a Limbaugh fan base that’s has remained constant throughout the years.
Yes, like many youngsters her age, Chelsea was a tad awkward and overweight and had yet to control her curly hair, but unlike her ‘mountain of bile’ tormentor, she turned out to be perfectly admirable, and dare I say, rather comely; having no trouble attracting eager swains on assorted college campuses. She eventually settled in as a young wife and mother and a credit to a family that sometimes could use a little boost of character.
In the event you haven’t kept up over the last 35 years of Chelsea, she’s made academic stops at Columbia, Stanford and Oxford. Sorry fellow Dems, she ain’t one of us plebeians. She has graduate degrees and worked in a hedge fund shop and the media and ended up marrying an investment banker. Yuk! But Marc seems a good guy, and they welcomed a daughter, Charlotte, September 27 of last year.
The timely glam appearance on the cover of Elle, with its undoubtedly fawning interior write-up — I’m not nearly important enough to get an advance copy — is no coincidence of course. So, just as last time around, expect to see Chelsea on the campaign trail for mom, with perhaps a different result. She’s media savvy after a turn with NBC and she’s Junior League attractive, having found a decent hair stylist. She’s whip smart to boot. And lugging around a huggable baby won’t hurt grandma’s chances in the least.
Speaking of grandma, let’s take an early, and considering the date of the election, largely irrelevant assessment of her chances. Her Secretary of State tenure (Benghazi and all that), currently being touted with her book, “Hard Choices” and email “scandal”, will heat up a few right-wing sites, but the consultant crowd knows full well these hot button topics have a limited political shelf life.
Clinton controversies will not take center stage for 2016. Hilariously, jillionaire Republicans and their jillionaire sugar daddies will whine about the Clinton Foundation and where all that mysterious money is coming from. That will open up all kinds of queries about where the inquisitor’s mysterious money comes from. Tread softly, boys.
Bill’s not an issue, other than his retail campaigning skills. Bad heart, no affairs, no matter what the tabloids say. Just no sexy sideshow fare anymore. Monica Lewinsky turns 42 in July for pity sake: Bill, 68 in August. So, what’s left that could be bothersome for Hillary Clinton? Well, if you really wanted to dig into that commodities deal, you might find a treasure-trove of true mischief. Only one problem; enterprising investigative reporters (there are 3 left in the world) would also start digging into the investments of the big Congressional names and the halls of Congress would empty out, overnight.
As for giant money (not Hillary’s commodities pittance), that’s not an issue either. The boys will be just a little more circumspect in feeding it to the Clinton campaign, but she’ll get her share. That’s because she’s a Wall Street babe. Don’t expect anything resembling real oversight or reform of the financial system. Goldman Sachs and its ilk will still have the key to the Capital unless Elizabeth Warren is appointed Secretary of Treasury, the first clue as to what kind of administration we can expect from the nation’s first female president.
For now, the malodorous, upcoming trade votes will whiz through on their fast track rails, and the 365-day Christmas for the obscenely wealthy will continue, unabated. But, be assured, Hillary’s women’s rights, social issues and health care credentials remain impeccable and unmatched by the right.
So, you’re going to have to take the 2015-16 version of Hillary. Her age and health will be underlying issues. Reagan both helps and hurts there. Helps, because the ages were similar for both as they pursued the oval office. Hurts because as many note, Reagan was not in full possession of his faculties, for most likely half of his eight years. Reagan was a couple of weeks shy of 70 when sworn in. Hillary would be a few months younger.
So watch closely the somewhat younger likes of one ex and two current governors, Marty O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo and Terry McAuliffe (tight with the Clintons), maybe even Tim Kaine, current Junior Virginia Senator or Mark Warner, his Senior counterpart. An intriguing youthful option would be Texas Representative Joaquin Castro. Any or all could be hitching their political wagon to the VP star. The second banana may be the most important decision to be made by Hillary and her political consultant-types.
The circus is always in town when a Clinton runs for anything, and 2016 will be no different, golden years notwithstanding. If Clinton runs, she wins. My concern isn’t the presidency. It’s Congress. Democrats need to figure out a way to get their voices out there. The rich ones should buy a raft of radio stations and syndication outfits and get some bright, charismatic voices behind the mics in every corner of the nation. Social media counts for something, but Dems have missed the boat in virtually ignoring talk radio. It still counts for a hell of a lot.
MSNBC has run its course. Fair or not, Rachel Maddow is the only host who packs any punch. In fact, both the left and right wing propaganda outlets are in need of a do-over. Fox stalwart Bill O’Reilly has devolved into a retirement-aged, wheezy windbag and only retains his audience because people want to say they were watching when he suffered “the big one” while expelling gas about some welfare recipient. Sean Hannity has coat-tailed his way to millions.
If you want to know Hillary’s latest positions on issues, no better place to start than Twitter. Go to @HillaryClinton or I’ll make it easy for you. Reminds me that I’m tweeting again @demwriter (haven’t done so in 2 months; so sorry).
Get ready Iowa and New Hampshire. Hillary’s on her way!