It is intriguing to see how scared Republicans are of Hillary Rodham Clinton. They have formed war-rooms before she has even announced. As reported recently by Dan Merica on CNN "In the halls between Republican National Committee meetings, the former secretary of state's name came up in conversation regularly. At a rules committee meeting on Thursday night, Clinton -- the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 -- was referred to as "she who should not be named." And at the powwow's most-watched events, Republicans pledged a laser-like focus on winning back the White House in 2016."
The specter of Hillary's candidacy strikes fear in them. In a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll Hillary in a hypothetical match-up with Christie gets 16 percent of Republican votes and is currently favored in the Democratic field by the widest margin of any candidate in early polling in the 30 years of the poll. While polls don't make all that much sense this early it is interesting that the Post reports that she has "broad Democratic support across ideological, gender, ethnic and class lines".
People know Hillary well and it will be difficult to find out anything new about her. There are people who will never vote for her but then that's not a problem. She has withstood the slings and arrows from some on the far left and those on the right for years and is still standing tall with her sense of humor intact. In a recent tweet during the Super Bowl she told followers, "It's definitely more fun to watch FOX when the blitzes and sacks are focused on someone else." In the past four years she has burnished her credentials and there will be no snickers today if she again ran 'The 3am phone call' commercial.
As Republicans run out of things to attack her on there are those like Rand Paul who are dredging up Bill's 20 year old Monica Lewinski affair. It gets some press from those like Maureen Dowd of the NY Times who clearly couldn't think of anything interesting to write about in a recent column. The effort to attack her on Benghazi is falling flat. It's been a full year and it has gone nowhere. Most voters don't even remember what the issue is and Hillary has gotten wise enough to say during a recent paid speech to the Automobile Dealers of America that it was her biggest regret as Secretary of State. But it was said in a way that made it clear that her regret was losing co-workers and friends and wishing that she could have done more to prevent it. But the public now knows from every report both from Congress and the Executive that she wasn't personally to blame. The fact remains that despite the constant focus on safety in our embassies Republicans again voted to cut the administration's security budget request. Being in the Foreign Service today can be dangerous and we will never guarantee that an incident like this will never happen again. The men and women who serve our nation around the world deserve our gratitude.
I think what makes the idea of Hillary Rodham Clinton so appealing to many and scary to Republicans is the hunger in America and the rest of the world for leaders who are not ideologues but rather bring common sense into office. On October 4, 2007 when speaking at the Carnegie Institution for Science on the 50th anniversary of Sputnik's launch Hillary spoke of America "reaffirming our commitment to basic research, invest in clean energy, combat global warming, create the millions of jobs that I think come from doing both of those". That makes sense to so many people and they want someone they can relate to on this issue and others. They want someone they can respect and who can empathize with their pain and day-to-day struggles. Bill Clinton could always do that but it is wonderful to see how Hillary has grown into that role. She has flowered and finally let her personality shine through. She made an off-the-cuff cute but telling remark toward the end of her tenure as Secretary of State. She was coming home from a grueling foreign trip and was again asked about her hair. She replied, "It is so good to be at the stage in my life where whether people like or don't like my hair really is more their problem than mine."
This is the Hillary Clinton that Republicans are so afraid of. The leader who is so well versed on the issues that she can speak about complex topics, not speak down to people, yet still have them understand what she is talking about and where she is coming from. The Hillary Rodham Clinton who is a survivor and the Hillary Rodham Clinton who will be sworn in as President on January 20, 2017.
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