Jennifer Rubin took a really, really, right-handed turn in her Washington Post blog “Right Turn” yesterday, asking (facetiously, you would think) “Who is in worse shape?” Rand Paul or Hillary Clinton? Yes, she really asked that.
And you know why? Because something that IS true is just as bad as something that may or may not happen to the other. In other words, Rand Paul is running out of money, but Hillary Clinton may run out of luck. You know, if Joe Biden runs. Which he isn’t. And which he may not.
Well, obviously (NOT) there is a comparison to be made then! Yes. She is going with that.
On the whole, this sounds like the math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better.
Whether you support Sanders or Clinton (or neither), consider her wishful thinking for a moment:
On the surface, Hillary Clinton (pro-choice through nearly the end of the third trimester (!), defender of the welfare state) has little in common with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (pro-life, libertarian antagonist of big government). But they have plenty in common — and not just in their lack of foresight in foreign policy, their hostility toward anti-terrorism surveillance and their unwillingness to devise a credible policy to defeat the Islamic State. Both are in real trouble in the polls and may not survive early primaries.
First of all, she runs in to trouble with reality right out of the starting gate, making the questionable assertion that Rand Paul is indeed a libertarian antagonist of government. He seems plenty in love with government when it does what he wants it to do. And she compounds her error by comparing Paul’s and Clinton’s foreign policy creds.
Excuse me, but I do believe Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State. The fake Benghazi “scandal” aside, where is this “lack of foresight in foreign policy” apparent? And I’ll just throw this out there as well, as a bonus: when did devising a credible policy to defeat the Islamic State (which hasn’t, by the way, attacked us) become the #1 foreign policy issue of our time?
As for polling, yes, Rand Paul is in trouble. He’s broke and unpopular and seems more a wet dishrag than a serious presidential candidate. He’s just kind of there. And it’s easy to forget he’s there. Even when he is on the debate stage.
But Hillary Clinton? “In real trouble in the polls”? Really? How and why has this news been hidden from the rest of us?
If you consult Public Policy Polling from yesterday, you see that Hillary is doing pretty well, pretty much everywhere. If the election were held right now, she would beat the Republican front runner, Donald Trump, 49% to 39%. Her margin over Bernie Trump may have diminished, but for Rubin to suggest she “may not survive early primaries” can only be a really extreme example of wishful thinking.
It is unclear how Rubin arrives at her conclusion:
As between Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton, Paul is in far worse shape because he likely is low on cash and because there are so many GOP alternatives. Clinton, by contrast, remains for now the candidate who, for all her shortcomings, would be the most viable in the general election. That changes, however, if and when Biden throws his hat into the ring. A troubled candidate, you see, needs to be lucky when it comes to his or her opponents. Paul is clearly outmatched. And Clinton’s luck seems to be evaporating as Sanders solidifies his support and the drumbeat for a Biden run intensifies.
Anything could happen. Bernie Sanders could catch Hillary Clinton in the polls. He also might not. Joe Biden might or might not run, further altering the dynamics of the race. Martin O’Malley could drop out, leaving his supporters to seek a new home. But Rand Paul is low on cash and low in the polls, whereas Hillary Clinton is neither out of cash nor low in the polls.
Like ’em or not, facts matter. But hey, this is the kind of the math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better. We get that, Jennifer. Just try not to sound so desperate next time, and stick to comparing what is to what is, and not to what might or might not be.