Hillary Clinton, speaking at the Brookings Institution Wednesday morning, took some hard jabs at the Obama administration, while expressing her support for the Iran nuclear deal. Among other things, Clinton said that the U.S. was
… "too restrained in our support of the protests in June 2009."
"That won’t happen again.”
She promised that, if elected, she would invite Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in the first month of her first term to assure Israel that
"You will never have to question whether we are with you.”
She also called for a "meaningful increase” in the U.S. program to train and equip the Syrian rebels and said that this has long been her position. The speech, while affirming her support of the Iran deal, went as far as it could in distancing her from the Obama foreign policy. A neat trick, given that she was the secretary of state in his first term. But, then, the Iran deal has the support of 21% of the American public in a recent poll.
Clinton is not the only Obama administration hand attempting to find what in the NFL would be called “separation” from the boss. Joe Biden, who is still vice president last anyone checked, spoke in righteous anger during the Labor Day weekend, saying
"I am hot. I am mad, I am angry." "There is something profoundly wrong when ... the average American is working longer hours for lower wages and we have shamefully the highest rate of child poverty of any major country on earth." "It used to be when productivity went up in America, everybody got to share." "Every month government comes out with a statistic on unemployment. Last statistic said that official unemployment was 5.3%. But what they forgot to tell you is that statistic doesn't include those people who have given up looking for work, those people who are working part time. Add it all together and real unemployment is over 10%." "How many people in your own neighborhoods are in trouble, can look their kids in the eyes and say with heart, 'Honey, it's going to be OK?' Not enough! Not enough!”
So Biden, like Bernie Sanders, is running against the Obama economic record. But Sanders is a socialist and an opponent of what he sees as the collusion of the two parties in Washington that has led to the conditions that have made Biden so angry and have him saying things that fall a little short of “vote for me because I’m going to continue the good work that has been done by the administration in which I am so proud to be serving.”
Like Clinton, he is looking for separation, which is not so surprising, actually, given that another recent poll shows only 27% of voters believing the country is on the right track.
Clinton and Biden do know how to read polls. It will be interesting to see if voters will be convinced by an argument that comes down to, “Vote for me to clean up the mess that I helped create.”
But it can no doubt be done. It is sort of shameless, but when has that been a problem in American politics?
Those are somewhat amazing stories in the Post, Politico, & CNN about how strong Clinton is and how hard it would be for Biden to win the nomination. Note: they largely quote Clinton supporters and use her talking points.
Each story is written as if the email and trust issues have not emerged, or as if Sanders isn't running very close to her in early states.
If I were Biden I'd be cheered by the lengths to which Clinton is going to discourage him.
The dynasty project is not faring well. Two relatives of three of our most recent presidents have faced early woes in their succession plans, despite layers of aides, networks of backers going back generations, and extravagant levels of cash. On June 11, a front-page story in the Washington Post described the first six months of Jeb Bush’s campaign as a “political operation going off-course, disjointed in message and approach, torn between factions and more haphazard than it appeared on the surface . . .
When a CNN poll last week showed Hillary Clinton leading Rand Paul by a single percentage point (48-47) and only three points ahead of Marco Rubio (49-46) and Scott Walker (49-46), it was mildly shocking. In April, her lead over the three Republican presidential candidates had been in double digits: Paul (58-39), Rubio (55-41), and Walker (59-37).
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on his take on Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech, Iran policy, and Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email account while serving as Secretary of State.
Democrats have not had to answer for the actions of Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who offered to change a policy position in exchange for not being criticized, and threatened to paint President Obama as anti-Semitic and anti-women). Or for the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation (which accepts foreign donations). Or for Joe Biden (who said last week he knows Somalis because "there’s an awful lot driving cabs").
Conservative website Newsmax has pledged a very large donation to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, a new report in the Wall Street Journal states.
"Newsmax, a conservative news organization, last year pledged $1 million to the Clinton Foundation over a five-year period, according to a spokesman for Chris Ruddy, the organization’s CEO. Mr. Ruddy has been friends with the Clintons since 2007," reports the Journal.