Accepting the Reality That Hillary Is Anything But Inevitable

05/25/2015 11:02 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2016

It's time to say out loud what we all already know. It's not Hillary. It just isn't. After the inspired and historic leadership of President Obama, we don't want his runner up from 2008. After the genuine and authentic article, we don't want the 3D printed likeness, no matter how realistic it may appear. Whether it's that she's too corporate or too conflicted, or it's just that the Clinton name has been in our face for far too long, it isn't Hillary. The sooner we accept that, the better chance we have to do something about it before it's too late.

To us, the GOP is a circus tent with scores of clownish candidates. To the red-meat GOP base, however, they have an incredibly rich and diverse set of hardcore conservative candidates. Their current crop includes women, minorities, business leaders, senators, governors and more. We may correctly know they're all crazy and unfit to lead, but they think the same of our candidates.

It isn't like Hillary was the fresh new upstart even in 2008. In fact, she was the renowned name, the unsinkable ship, and the candidate to beat. Even then, with the Clinton machine and virtually unlimited financial support, she was beat. By the fresh faced, raw talent in Barack Obama. Had things on the other way, Obama would have been the too-early-in-2008 candidate-in-waiting ready to hoist the mantle of leadership from the veteran Hillary.

Things didn't go that way, because then as now, Barack Obama wins because he inspires us. He raises our heart rate and makes us see the best of each other and ourselves. In 2008, we ran to our checkbooks, to events, and to the ballot box, with our heart and souls. Not because we were pushed, but because we wanted to. With Hillary, we are being told to like her. If Obama is the box office hit we love, Hillary is the "critics favorite" we're being told we should like.

I can't believe I am actually agreeing with the right wing's favorite radio gasbag, but he's right in saying that the media is propping up Hillary because she's vulnerable. Because we don't like her, and we don't want to eat our spinach, no matter how good for us it may be. The liberal left is trying to draft just about anyone else into running. I actually saw an article about Hillary's "effective" campaign devoid of soaring speeches and inspiring ideas.

That sounds much more like an epitaph of a failed campaign than a prediction of victory. The ivory tower types, in early 2017, analyzing what went wrong and how we ended up with a third Bush in the White House. Sounds implausible, right? Maybe. But the pundits were saying the same thing about Gore and his "efficient and inevitable" campaign vs. George Jr. in 2000. And look what happened.

Hillary's mistakes are manifold, and continue to compound daily. First, she's just way too corporate. I fault no one for making $25 million on paid speeches, but it isn't the best way to sell yourself as the candidate who can champion working class Americans. What's more, she stayed in our face way too long. She didn't retreat from the limelight, regroup and re-launch as Hillary2.0. Hillary 2015 isn't a refreshing new look at a familiar face; it is a tired retread whose freshest idea yet has been the burrito bowl she ate at Chipotle. She could have taken a step back to develop bold new ideas for a big problem like climate change or opportunity inequality. Instead, she sold her speeches to the highest bidder thinking she can just shift from Corporate Clinton to Candidate Clinton anytime she wants.

But the worst thing is, she is actually uninspiring. The Teflon candidate who says the right things, in manufactured, rehearsed lines void of any passion or purpose; churned off the assembly line by the spin masters trying to get her elected. When Americans aren't inspired, they stay home, no matter how high the stakes. It happened to the GOP in 2008, and it happened to the Democrats in 2010 and 2014.

Except 2016 isn't a midterm and the GOP base is fired up. They are rabid, foaming at the mouth and racing to do whatever is needed to get one of their own back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There is no "blue wall" and you don't win back the White House by being "inevitable." You win it by giving those soaring speeches full of big ideas that make us jump up out of our seat. Love him or hate him, Barack Obama invokes a strong reaction. So does Ted Cruz. Hillary invokes a tepid sigh of a person you don't love or hate, but who's just been at your party way too long.

The prospect of having to vote for someone just because they are the lesser of two evils doesn't get my heart racing, and it doesn't get me to the ballot box. The many months between now and next November theoretically give Hillary a chance to reinvent herself as someone with bold ideas and big goals. To do that, she'd have to give up the central conceit of the Clinton legacy... that there is no such thing as "too much Clinton." And for Mrs. Clinton, that may just be impossible.