With Hillary Clinton’s announcement yesterday that she is running for president, the Republican Party has possibly just lost the 2016 presidential election – more than a year before actual Election Day.
In saying this, I am being only partly tongue-in-cheek. Hillary Clinton stands head and shoulders above every potential Republican candidate. As of my last checking, her Facebook page had almost 700,000 likes.
These are men she has defeated regularly in polling, even without yet having announced her intention to run. To their utter humiliation, she has out-polled them even in their own states.
Despite all the dirt they could throw at her – and they have thrown a lot – she remains very popular with voters. You cannot say the same of Rand Paul, for example, where women voters are concerned. And Public Policy Polling tells us that “Overall 30% of voters see Paul favorably to 47% who have a negative opinion.”
Republican reactions to Hillary’s announcement speak for themselves, the most amusing being of the “Hillary is a third term for Barack Obama” variety.
From Lindsey Graham, coming out from hiding under his bed from ISIL long enough to tweet:
Hillary Clinton would continue the same failed policies of this administration. It would be a third term of Barack Obama.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 12, 2015
And Ted Cruz:
Hillary Clinton represents the failed policies of the past and there’s going to be a very clear choice to make in 2016. We know that a Hillary Clinton administration would be no different than an Obama administration.
And even if it were true – and every liberal and progressive knows it is not – that would be a bad thing – how, exactly? It should be obvious to Republicans that this is a dead-end meme, as Obama himself is very popular right now.
Rand Paul spent the whole day fighting hysteria on Twitter, complaining, among other things:
A Hillary Clinton presidency would be a disaster. But I'm worried that her friends in the media won't tell the whole story. (1/6)
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 13, 2015
And, in a real cry for help by a man without any ideas of his own,
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 12, 2015
Now THAT’S a bit of a reach, don’t you think?
And Rick Santorum’s feeble complaint stands out in a sea of feeble screeds:
I know Hillary Clinton. I served with Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton does not have the right vision to lead America. In the 6 years I served with Senator Clinton, one thing was abundantly clear – Hillary Clinton believes that government is the solution to the challenges our nation faces, not the underlying cause of many of those problems.
Santorum, of course, thinks the family is the answer to everything. If we can just get rid of the gays, everything will be right with the world and America will be great again.
Carly Fiorina, the strongest female contender from the Republican ranks, does not think Hillary is the woman for the job:
Hillary Clinton’s a highly intelligent woman, hardworking, she’s dedicated her life to public service but unfortunately she does not have a track record of accomplishment or transparency.
As opposed to Fiorina’s own record of accomplishment – running Hewlett-Packard into the ground. She became the first CEO HP ever fired back in 2005.
Fiorina, by the way, has just 35k likes on Facebook.
Though Facebook likes do not win elections, Fiorina’s dubious objection aside, Hillary does seem to be the woman for the White House. It’s not as if she is a stranger to it.
Fiorina’s is definitely a minority opinion. Numbers don’t lie even if they don’t tell the whole story.
We are not through, of course. We are only at the very beginning, but it is the beginning of the end. The outcome is all but certain given Elizabeth Warren’s continued refusals to run. And Bernie Sanders?
After all, Bernie Sanders does have 944k Facebook likes.
Well, for starters, Politico says “Bernie Sanders isn’t so sure about this 2016 thing,” and then there is the little matter that even progressives seem to favor Warren to Sanders. And the unofficial Bernie Sanders for President page on Facebook has just 22k likes.
According to Public Policy Polling as of April 10, “Hillary Clinton leads with 53% to 13% for Joe Biden, 11% for Elizabeth Warren, 5% for Martin O’Malley, 3% for Jim Webb, and 2% for Bernie Sanders. Everyone’s support is within 3 points of where it was a month ago.”
It remains to be seen whether Sanders can gain traction with Warren out of the picture. His big obstacle then will not be the charges of “socialist” brought against him by Republicans, but his Independent status in an election that will come down to Republican vs. Democrat.
On the other hand, Bernie’s presence puts pressure on Clinton as well, pushing her further to the left, as his comments following her announcement reveal:
Much time remains, of course. Republicans will continue to attack Hillary. They will continue to embarrass themselves in the attempt. The idea that any of these men would attempt to discredit her foreign policy credentials is laughable. You have to actually know – as Tehran Tom Cotton does not – where Tehran is located before you can even begin to think anybody will take you seriously where your own foreign policy expertise is concerned.
Yet Republicans seem blithely unaware of their own buffoonery. They have fallen so in love with their fake America that they actually think they are making a good impression on voters, when all they are doing is driving Americans leftward.
It is amusing and certainly instructive to note that far from having an agenda themselves, Republicans now shift to attacking Hillary for being an Obama redux. The clincher is that Republicans never had any alternatives to Obama’s policies, and they have just revealed that they have no answers to Hillary’s either.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.