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Is Hillary Clinton Imploding?

1:35 PM, Jun 18, 2014 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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Last week was a very, very bad week for Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, Hillary

By just about every account, her book is uninteresting and unreflective, a carefully contrived piece of positioning. Yet instead of owning that, she insisted at an event that she was "done with being really careful about what to say." And that was before uttering inanities about how "the American political system is the most difficult, even brutal, in the world ." (She might look at Egypt, for instance. Or Venezuela. Or China. Or Greece. Or Russia. Or any country where instability and chaos is the norm and the children of former presidents aren't given $600,000 sinecures from independent_"independent"?_media conglomerates.) 

Then there was her Romney-esque statement about being "dead broke" after leaving the White House and her being so out of touch as to suggest that she and her husband "struggled" to "piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea's education." "You know," she said, looking for sympathy, "it was not easy." It's hard to think of a more let-them-eat-cake moment from any Democratic politician in the last 40 years. But what made the line even worse is that it was made in defense of taking exorbitant speaking fees from companies such as Goldman Sachs. You half expected her to explain, hedge funds are people, my friends! 

And then there was her encounter with Terry Gross, in which Clinton couldn't handle the tough questions ... from NPR.

If you were a Democrat or a Hillary booster, the NPR fiasco was probably even more dispiriting than her Romney impersonation, for two reasons. The first is that it might be a sign that the revolution is ready to continue eating its young. Perhaps it's the case that while Barack Obama gets a pass on gay marriage positions he held way back in 2012, Hillary Clinton will not get a pass on those same positions. Maybe the left has collectively decided that it needs to make an example out of someone on their side as they begin the long, twilight struggle to upend society in pursuit of the new Most Pressing Human Rights Cause of Our Time. (That would be transgender rights. Get with the program.)

But even if the left ultimately forgives Clinton for being on the wrong side of herstory, what was shocking about the NPR interview was that Clinton has had two years to figure out how to answer the gay marriage question. And yet she couldn't do it. For a prospective presidential candidate, that's problematic. For a candidate who's scheduled for a coronation, rather than a primary, it's political malpractice.

Yet even that wasn't Hillary's worst problem last week. No, the worst came during a BBC interview when she claimed that the Russian "reset button" was a "brilliant stroke." You can go and read the full transcript here, but let me give you the 30-second political ad version: "No I think it was a brilliant stroke which in retrospect it appears even more so, because look at what we accomplished... . He invaded another country, so yes, but while we had that moment, we seized it."

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