Hillary Clinton is portrayed as a strong and dominating candidate for office. She’s heralded as some sort of ultimate contender for the presidency. This notion is a major fiction.
Clinton’s inability to do the things that make a candidate for office successful is a shining example of mediocrity. Her second presidential bid once again exposes her faults: a failure to have a reason for running that resonates with the public, a lack of connecting with voters and inability to generate enthusiasm among her followers. Throw in frequent gaffes and it’s a recipe for sending her top aides to the cardiologist.
Like in 2016, Clinton in 2008 was the anointed Democratic nominee before a single vote was cast. She was built up as inevitable. So in January 2008, when she was given the news that she would lose the Iowa Caucus to a young first term senator named Barack Obama, it was an earthquake. The impenetrable armor had been pierced. The rest of that contest featured Obama driving Clinton nuts by his ability to not only connect with voters, but to do so in a manner that portrayed Obama as the equivalent of his message: hope and change.
In 2016, Clinton is once again the inevitable Democratic nominee up against an unexpectedly superior primary opponent whose persona and message outperforms her own. Bernie Sanders was supposed to be a blip on the radar, but turned out to be the Larry David in the room. He tied her in Iowa, thumped her in New Hampshire, upset her in Michigan (being down an average of 21 points the weekend before the primary) and won many other states. This was not supposed to happen. Clinton was supposed to coast to the nomination.
Obama and Sanders both exposed Hillary Clinton’s main electoral problem and it should terrify Democrats. Her supporters are not fervent like those of her primary rivals. Few, if any, can name what her campaign even stands for. They have essentially said they like her, but are not strongly connected to her. Hillary Clinton? Meh.
To counter this, as well as win over millennial voters (a voting bloc she has yet to connect with), Clinton has attempted to adopt the language and policies of Sanders. She and her advisors seem to figure that if she portrays herself as the Diet Coke version of Sanders, i.e. the more palatable and electable version, she will be able to woo voters away from Sanders. So far, this strategy has not gone well for Clinton, as she is essentially imitating her opponent and adding more confusion to the questions of who is Hillary Clinton and what does she stand for?
Clinton has faced a significant problem with being seen as honest, trustworthy and authentic. The American public views her as none of these things. She is heading into the general election as a candidate who seems to be ping ponging back and forth from issue to issue. She has been both for TPP and against it. She has been both for marriage equality and against it. She has been both for providing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants and against it. She has been for charter schools and against them. No wonder the public does not know who Hillary Clinton is and what she truly stands for.
Now, polls should make Clinton very happy about her November prospects. Donald Trump is viewed negatively by 73 percent of women. He also does not perform well with minorities and other key voting groups. Trump’s numbers show no signs of improving. Clinton and her aides must be thrilled at the way in which voters view my party’s unhinged candidate and he loses big time in the electoral college. However, they need to remember and to account for the many weaknesses of Hillary Clinton.
If the GOP had a challenger who could play to swing voters, Hillary Clinton would probably lose this election because of her own shortcomings. Independent voters do not know who she is and what she stands for. Clinton is milquetoast and undefined. She exudes a sense of dishonesty and inauthenticity while standing for everything and nothing. Clinton remains a poor quality candidate that is her own worst enemy.