Friday, April 17, 2015

Clinton Campaign Chaos

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:


Clinton Campaign Chaos

By Matthew Vadum

Democrat dowager Hillary Clinton has had a rough few days since she launched her inevitable presidential campaign Sunday with a vapid, vacuous, class warfare-oriented video on YouTube that pushed all the right politically correct buttons.

Charles Krauthammer mocked [1] Mrs. Clinton and her ongoing tour of flyover country. She wants to get the big money out of politics, he said, but she is aiming to generate an unprecedented campaign war chest of $2.5 billion.

“She has been taking in money ever since she took the silverware from the White House when they left in 2001,” Krauthammer said. “I mean, it really is a stretch. I just find this rather amusing. This is her Marie Antoinette cake tour.”

“The problem with her is the inauthenticity has reached a point where nothing you see is believable,” the conservative columnist said. “Even if she were sincere about anything you wouldn’t be able to tell it.”

The disastrous campaign rollout ought to embolden other potential Democratic challengers such as former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). It sends a message that no matter how ruthless and determined Mrs. Clinton may be, she’ll never be ready for prime time.

Of course, this is as it should be.

The launch video echoes the chaotic craziness of Clinton’s term as secretary of state in which the Obama administration set the Middle East and North Africa on fire, encouraged Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine, linked arms with Iran’s murderous mullahs, gave a boost to authoritarian left-wing states in Latin America, and alienated allies from London to Tokyo while freeing dangerous Islamic militants so they can kill more Americans.

With its sense of unreality and air that things really aren’t so bad in Obama’s America, it also foreshadows the moral darkness, statist mediocrity, and irreversible decay that will be America’s fate should the more collectivist of the Clintons return to the White House.



The progressive plutocrat, who with her husband has a net worth estimated at $55 million, promptly denounced [2] captains of industry, many of whom support her candidacy. A post-launch email to supporters whined that “the average CEO makes about 300 times what the average worker makes.”

Self-awareness has never been Hillary’s strong suit. This is a woman who complained publicly [3] last year that the first couple was “not only dead broke, but in debt,” when they left the White House.

Mrs. Clinton said they struggled heroically “to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education, you know, it was not easy. Bill has worked really hard and it’s been amazing to me. He’s worked very hard, first of all, we had to pay off all our debts which was, you know, we had to make double the money because of, obviously, taxes, and then pay off the debts, and get us houses and take care of family members.” [italics added]

Diane Sawyer of ABC News followed up with a question. “But do you think Americans will understand [Hillary earning] five times the median income in this country for one speech?”

The politician responded, saying, “Well, let me put it this way, I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company as so many people who leave public life do.” She reportedly charges up to $300,000 per speech and received a ridiculous $14 million advance for her most recent memoir, Hard Choices.


Complicating matters, around the time of the launch news broke that at long last the Department of State was investigating [4] why a top Hillary Clinton aide with generational ties to Islamic terrorism was allowed to work in a sensitive government position while simultaneously working for a Clinton-connected private sector consulting firm.

Hillary and the senior aide, Huma Abedin, apparently conspired to keep the sweetheart working arrangement that the Muslim Brotherhood-linked employee had at Foggy Bottom a secret. It’s classic Hillary as she tiptoes through a minefield of ethics violations, conflicts of interest, and potential national security-related breaches. And who knows if the 30,000-plus emails Clinton destroyed on the private Internet server she used for official correspondence while at the State Department shed any light on the Abedin saga.

It is fair to say Mrs. Clinton is not a good person.

Recall that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power described [5] Clinton as a “monster” during the 2008 battle for the Democratic nomination.

“She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything,” Power told a Scottish newspaper. The then-adviser to the Obama campaign was apparently unaware that saying “off the record” doesn’t count in the world of journalism unless you say it before you say what you really think and the reporter agrees to treat the remarks as off the record.

“You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh,'” Power said. “But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.”

After the comments went public, Power resigned from Obama’s initial campaign and apologized profusely. But Power was, for lack of a better expression, speaking truth to power. She offered valuable insight into the real Hillary Clinton.

While the former first lady arguably possesses a glimmer of charisma, she is not the unspeakably brilliant super genius that is the stuff of gender-feminist fantasy. She is not a great orator or a master strategist. She is a warmed over Sixties radical who, like President Obama,reveres [6] the brutal in-your-face tactics taught by small-c communist community organizing guru Saul Alinsky that are now mainstays of leftist politics.

“Hillary has never abandoned her early leftist inclinations,” according to Stanley Kurtz. “She has merely done her best to suppress the evidence of her political past.”

“With Obamacare and much else besides, the legal and bureaucratic groundwork has already been laid for a leftist transformation of America. It is na├»ve to believe that Hillary would roll any of this back. On the contrary, as president she would finish the job Obama started. A Hillary presidency is destined to be Obama’s third term.”


But she is, unlike President Obama, not competent. Nor is she inherently likable. Obama can fake warmth and empathy well enough to fool those who do not follow politics. Even with the lapdog media doing its best to protect her, scandals stick to Clinton in a way that they do not to Obama, whose fundamental transformation of America is proceeding more or less as he planned.

Hillary is a bumbling, bribe-taking, pathologically dishonest [7], geriatric Madame Mao [8] wannabe who in 2008 astonished the pundit class when she somehow blew her party’s presidential nomination by losing to a rage-filled, Third World dictator-loving, shamelessly mendacious, narcissistic, unaccomplished double-autobiographer who has no friends and hates people.

Since the launch video went live, Hillary has been polishing the guillotine for her fellow one-percenters, staging [9] fake encounters with activists posing as random voters, stiffing [10] fast-food workers, lying [11] about her grandparents’ immigrant roots, and implying Spanish-speaking voters are cheapskates. The mini-movie itself is hate-mongering electoral astroturf made to look like a reassuring ad for life insurance or savings accounts.

The campaign has vowed [12] to embrace “small donors in early fundraising,” according to Politico. Hillary wants to “make even small-dollar donors feel like they are part of the inner circle.”

Her campaign website set low expectations for Spanish speakers. The media outlet reports that:

“The main donation page for the site includes preset amount buttons for $5, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000 and the maximum for the primary election cycle, $2,700. However, the preset amounts for the Spanish language version of the donation page are significantly less: $3, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $250.”

And although Politico claims [13] the launch video is a huge hit with Republicans, the media outlet refuses to identify any of these alleged Hillary fans in the GOP.

At the same time the YouTube clip, which had 4.1 million views at press time, has become a source of internal strife among the It Takes A Village crowd.

Clinton supporters have been reduced to fighting over who actually made the milquetoast launch video [14]

This slickly produced infomercial seems to have been inspired by focus groups. It features not one, but two same-sex couples (one male, one female), two Latinos speaking Spanish, a preternaturally cheery young unemployed Asian woman, a female retiree, a mixed-race couple with both a dog and a cat, a white guy who values “hard work,” and lots of busy-looking working-class people in industrial facilities.

Hillary’s official underlings claim [15] it was produced by their in-house team, but three of the “everyday Americans” who appeared in the short film claim it was put together by Hardpin Media, an outfit staffed by filmmakers who worked on President Obama’s re-election campaign.

“The distinction,” Reuters reports, “will prove important as the Clinton campaign makes financial disclosures to the Federal Election Commission.”

“If Hardpin did indeed work on the film, they would be obliged to charge market rates under FEC rules, and the Clinton campaign would have to report it in its upcoming financial disclosures, according to Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center, a non-profit watchdog group.”

The campaign also unveiled the official Hillary logo, which, strangely enough consists of a blue upper-case “H” with a red arrow pointing to the right superimposed on its midsection. Although not many honest people would describe Mrs. Clinton as bold, the font is what the campaign calls [16] “Hillary Bold.” Nor is she right-wing, right-headed, or heading in the right direction.

Notwithstanding her many goofups, Mrs. Clinton has already locked in [17] endorsements from a huge chunk of Congress. After conducting a survey, The Hill reports that:

“Ninety-three lawmakers have endorsed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run for president, locking down nearly 40 percent of all Democrats in Congress … Sixty-five House lawmakers, more than one-third of the 188 Democrats in the chamber, as well as 28 senators, more than 60 percent of the upper chamber’s 46 Democrats, are in the former secretary of State’s camp.

“Seventy-one House lawmakers, more than one-third of the 188 Democrats in the chamber, as well as 28 senators, more than 60 percent of the upper chamber’s 46 Democrats, are in the former secretary of State’s camp.

“Fourteen of the 23 current Democratic senators who served alongside Clinton during her tenure in the upper chamber are also backing her bid.”

This means Hillary now has, at this early stage in the campaign, already “equal[led] the 99 endorsements she picked up during her failed 2008 presidential bid.”


The Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney seems amazed [18] that the Democratic establishment is already stampeding like frightened sheep into the Hillary column.

“Clinton embodies all the things Democrats supposedly reject. But she’s got money and powerful allies in politics, the media and K Street — and for these reasons, Democratic voters appear ready to settle for her.”

Meanwhile, you may be forgiven for not noticing that the wildly unpopular [19] former governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee [20], yesterday declared on CNN he would seek the Democratic nomination for president. Chafee is also, like Clinton, unburdened by genius.

The Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat indicated he would be running against President Bush who been clearing brush in obscurity on his ranch in west Texas since he left office in January 2009.

A co-host asked Chafee: “There’s so much gridlock in Washington and around the country right now and you’ve had a perspective from every different angle. Who’s the most to blame? Who needs to do more to correct their actions here to fix this problem?”

Chafee, who served in the U.S. Senate as a Code Pink Republican from November 1999 to January 2007, replied: “George W. Bush really set this country back, I believe, first the tax cuts that gave us the depression [sic], then the war in Iraq, and a record of prevarication, just, uh, saying one thing as a candidate and then doing something else.”

Because as a senator Clinton voted to authorize war in Iraq, Chafee, who as a senator voted the other way, has been more aggressive in criticizing Clinton than other possible candidates such as former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) or former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) have been.

They may try to derail Hillary’s coronation.

But what difference at this point does it make?

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