Why Are Republicans So Fearful Of A Hillary Nomination?
This is part 2 of a 2-part article which looks into the details why Republicans perceive a Hillary nomination a hard pill to swallow, a very hard nut to crack and how they may have already begun to brace the party for a possible Hillary presidency. (Read part 1 here)
For well over a month leading up to Joe Biden’s decision on whether he would seek the presidency, the Republican Party had paraded former top Republican officials such as Dick Cheney, strategists, analysts and even celebrities to give Joe Biden the nudge he may have needed to make the decision to bid for the presidency. For the first time in the Republican history did we see such a concerted effort to encourage a candidate of the opposing party (Democrat) to bid for the presidency. Their effort was widely noticed; it got my attention. I wrote an article then suggesting the Republican Party picks Joe Biden for President. Of course, the Republicans want nothing to do with Biden; they don’t even like the guy but Joe was the last truly viable option left to derail the Clinton’s campaign. The Republicans didn’t get their wish last Christmas; Joe Biden made the announcement on October 21, 2015 that he would not be seeking the presidency. Darn it! Darn it!
Once the announcement was made, panic sets in; it is now real, Hillary Clinton would be the Democrat candidate to beat in the general elections. Coincidentally, her rating also reflected in the polls immediately after the announcement and it has been going up ever since. Indeed the Republicans have much to worry about. No one can figure out what the Republican candidates are up to; even the Party Chairman – Reince Priebus – has been sidelined, courtesy of Donald Trump. As it stands today, it is extremely difficult to figure out who is going to be the nominee for the Republican Party. No candidate has yet to break away from the pack. It started off with 16 candidates; three (Scott Walker, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal) dropped from the race but there is still a crowd of candidates trying to get to the top.
Two years ago, things were much simpler. The Republican Party’s preferred horse was Chris Christie; he is blunt, decisive, a bully of sort but admired in NJ. Chris got re-elected with slightly over 60% of the votes. So, the Republican Party seemed to have bet on the right horse; unfortunately, Chris Christie got marred in the bridgegate scandal, the gist of which suggests that Chris’ administration purposely caused gridlock on the Washington bridge as retaliation for not receiving the political support and vote (for a real estate project) of Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat. As investigations piled up and the media wouldn’t let go of the story, late night comedy shows were having a ball, Chris Christie became less appealing of a candidate for the Republicans to count on; so they shifted their attention elsewhere.
They began floating the idea of Jeb Bush; he has a recognized name and Jeb would not run into any problem raising money. So, he was the next best candidate to count on to reclaim the Oval Office. Of course, some Republicans considered the idea with caution; Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush left a bitter taste on everyone’s mouth. Would the country go for another Bush? Somehow, Jeb managed to convinced the Party’s leaders he would do just fine; he had a plan to separate himself from his brother’s mediocre legacy. So, everyone in the Republican Party turned the attention to Jeb as the upcoming messiah for the party. Well before he even announced he was seeking the presidency, Jeb was already ahead of those (leading in the polls) who already hinted at bidding for the presidency. Not bad for a guy who has not been in politics for a while! Not bad for a guy who had not even announced his candidacy yet.
As the idea was swirling around, The Republican Party Chair, completely unconvinced Jeb could capture the White House, continued its search for the perfect candidate. The Republican Party Chairman, Reince Priebus, had one main objective, to find someone who can beat Hillary Clinton; Mr. Priebus knows it is no small feat. The Republican Party fears the idea of having to face off Hillary in the general elections. Since the strategy to stop her (or the tragedy of) from running failed, the Republican Party realizes it will take more than just a candidate to defeat Hillary; it will take the best candidate, a huge army of supporters and a constant and continuous attack on her character to chip away her appeal and force her to use any political capital she has. Even the idea of another round of Mitt Romney for president was feverishly debated at the top level of the Party but unfortunately Mr. Romney crushed all hope when he made the public announcement during a conference call on January 30, 2015 he would not be seeking the presidency. Darn it, Mitt!
In a fight, no one wants to concede defeat and the Republican party is not about to make history. So, the party puts its best foot forward and prays for a miracle. A miracle the Republican party receives but it comes in a package its recipient was afraid to open. The package looks very suspicious and there seems to be a ticking sound coming from inside. Preoccupied with whether to sign for, open the package and find out what’s ticking inside, the fear of Hillary becoming the nominee grew even stronger. When the top Republican leader finally mustered enough strength to break open the box containing the ticking bomb, there was at first a sigh of relief; the ticking bomb seems fairly harmless, it’s Donald Trump. To the Republican Party leaders’ surprise however, the Donald Trump who looked harmless when his target was Barack Obama in the Birther’s movement looks very different now. Then, there was just a handful of Republican leaders who publicly disagreed with Donald Trump but secretly supported his effort to undermine Obama. Donald Trump was a “harmless” bomb the Republican Party silently built to “blow up” Obama’s presidency. To the leaders’ dismay, not only Obama was able to reset the timer but he also managed to reset it to “blow up” in their face. It was that ticking sound which scared the “living day out of” the Republicans; it is that bomb which exploded in their face. It is the reason their fear for Hillary is now more intense; it is also the main reason they are still hopeful the bomb would simply explode in several million pieces; translation, Donald Trump goes away. The dilemma of building a time bomb with no knowledge how to defuse it should have been considered well in advance. Now, the Republican Party is confronting two major problems, probably three, which makes Hillary look even scariest:
1) Donald Trump. Since he announced his candidacy for president, Mr. Trump has claimed and retained the top spot of any and all surveys despite his outrageous statements. In fact, at the announcement of his candidacy, Mr. Trump directed insults at Hispanics suggesting that most of the Mexicans who came to the United States are rapists, criminals and so on. Anyone who would have made such statement would be considered “done, finished” as far as the race to the White House. Shockingly, it is that very statement which has provided Mr. Trump his first big boost to the top of the Republican Party. Political experts expected the bump in the polls due to the outburst to be temporary and the Trump’s phenomenon to go away pretty quickly. That did not happen, and Trump continued to make outrageous statements directed at anybody and everybody who challenges him. Months later, after many outbursts, insults and downright bigoted comments, Mr. Trump is still considered the most likely candidate to win the nomination in a crowded group of seasoned politicians who vie for the presidency. Even the closest competitor to the real estate mogul could only pull less than half his rating according to the latest polls (Donald Trump at 39%, Ted Cruz at 18%, Marco Rubio & Ben Carson at 10%). It is with a lot of pain and heartache that the Republican Party leaders are watching powerlessly the rug being pulled from under their feet. Not without a fight however! According to the Washington Post, on Thursday December 10, 2015 Republican powerbrokers met at a dinner to discuss an alternative to Donald Trump, should he manage to hold the lead through the primaries, a move Mr. Trump chided as a joke; Donald believes he is the one who can beat Hillary Clinton. Coincidentally, the latest polls have been showing Hillary beating Trump by just one or two percentage points, well below the margin of error. So, why aren’t the Republican Party leaders jumping of joy? Mr. Trump does not identify with any political party in the country, the Republican Party leaders are well aware of that. Mr. Trump is neither a Republican nor a Democrat; he cannot even claim to be Independent although he threatened to run for president as such if he is not treated fairly by the Republican Party leaders. As it should be obvious by now, Mr. Trump cannot be silenced, cannot be tamed and would do and say whatever Trump feels like. It is a major problem for any party. So, Mr. Trump’s ability to beat the Democrat nominee – true or not – does not call for champagne amidst the Republican powerbrokers. Truthfully, Mr. Trump may actually be right; he seems to be the only Republican candidate which may offer serious challenge to a Hillary nomination. For now, Trump is perceived within the Party, not as someone who can reclaim the Oval Office for the Republican Party but rather as an “untamed” beast which needs to be monitored very closely
2) Hillary Clinton. As if Trump is not enough problem for the Republican Party, Mrs. Clinton will be the Democrat candidate to beat. I know the primaries are not yet over but I’ve already crowned Hillary the nominee for the Democrat Party. Although the full Republican political machine is working non-stop to discredit Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as former Secretary of State during Obama’s first term presidency, the Republican powerbrokers have already acknowledged she will be a very difficult candidate to beat. Hillary, as previously mentioned, has not just been Bill Clinton’s wife; she has actively participated in all the processes, all the activities and yes most of the decisions in Bill’s political career. One would even say that Hillary was very instrumental to Bill’s ascension to the presidency; yes, it was Bill’s aspiration to become president but without Hillary, it would have been a very difficult goal to achieve. From Governor of Arkansas to President of the United States and beyond, Hillary has contributed greatly to her husband’s achievement and success. But it wasn’t all rosy; Hillary (along with Bill) has also had some defeats and challenges. Bill unsuccessfully attempted to get re-elected as governor in 1981; that could have been the end of Bill’s political career has it not been for Hillary. Mrs. Clinton refused to accept defeat; in fact, she resents defeat. So, she propped up her husband, re-evaluated the strategy and got him to run for another term as governor. Bill handily defeated his opponent Frank D. White, the same guy who kicked him out of the Governor’s office in the previous election cycle. With Hillary helping her husband craft and implement policies, make political calculations, Bill Clinton held on to the governorship position until he ran for and was elected president of the United States in 1993. Once again, has it not been for Mrs. Clinton’s political savviness, Bill Clinton would have never become the 42nd president of the United States. From governorship to presidency, Hillary was always at her husband’s side; most importantly, Hillary has always lent her full support to her husband; twice, once as governor, the other as president, Bill was embroiled in extra-marital affairs which could have derailed his political career. Mrs. Clinton did not let that happen. When the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted, the Women’s Liberation Movement wanted Hillary to ditch her husband, throw him under the bus and walk away from the cheating scandal. It was probably the most humiliating moment of her life; however, Mrs. Clinton did not let those temporary obstacles cloud her judgement. She knows how to soften a blow; she knows how to take a punch or two; she’s been there. In fact, during Bill’s presidency, Mrs. Clinton was fully responsible to introduce a bill (Clinton Health Care Plan of 1993) to reform the health care systems. She failed miserably; the bill didn’t even reach a vote in the House. As mentioned earlier, Mrs. Clinton is not one to accept defeat; instead of commiserating, Hillary introduced a number of other smaller health programs (the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act) which were successfully implemented. The Republicans are most afraid of Hillary’s a) several decades of political experience b) her relentless effort for success c) her countless accomplishments d) her keen ability to recognize why and how she failed e) her determination to address any perceived weakness. So, it is without doubt that Hillary is not about to make the mistake of the 2008 presidential elections cycle. That determination alone should send chills through the Republican Leaders’ spines, for Hillary is not just determined to become the nominee, she is determined, prepared and ready to assume the presidency. The Republican powerbrokers are much too aware of her political experience, her ability to explain her vision for the country; Mrs. Clinton has considerable political capital she can make use of during this presidential election cycle. And yet, instead of basking in what already seems an inevitable outcome in the eyes of the Republican Party leaders, Hillary is striking all the right cords; she is very current and up to date on what’s going on at home and abroad. In contrast to her previous presidential bid, Mrs. Clinton is now tackling head on all the major social issues (racial disparity, wage inequality, sexual discrimination and so on) she stayed away from last time but most importantly Hillary seems more comfortable this time around to speak the language of the constituents. Her campaign has appealed to all social classes and groups, much less can be said about her Republican challengers. All in all, Republicans have much to fear about Hillary as the nominee for the Democrat Party.
3) Bill Clinton. No, Bill is not running for president but the Republicans have every reason to be scared of him, I mean of Hillary. Bill is a secret weapon that’s highly effective on the campaign trail. Bill was not just the 42nd president of the United States, he was also one of the most admired presidents and probably the most successful the country has known for decades; in addition, Bill remains one of the most effective communicator of our time. In case the details escape you, Bill is married to Hillary, need I say more? I will say more anyway. In the 2012 presidential elections cycle, there was a time when I verbally conceded to be wrong in regards to Obama’s re-election; with the economy still in the tank, unemployment still high and an apparent lack of leadership in the Obama administration, I had a very difficult time convincing myself I was right about my predictions that Obama would be re-elected for a second term. Even Mr. Obama had difficulty explaining how he’s going to turn things around if re-elected; so he did what any incumbent president in trouble would do, he deployed the secret weapon, Bill Clinton. Sure enough, after listening to Bill making the case for Obama re-election, I was re-assured that Obama would indeed stay in the Oval Office for a second term. Bill’s eloquence, charm and yes politics savviness are very rare characteristics for one individual to have all at once. It is not often our country is blessed with an individual of such talent, ability and intelligence. It was under Bill Clinton that the country had finally had a balanced budget since 1970; in fact, Bill didn’t just balance the budget, he left the country with a surplus the Bush administration squandered in less than a year. It is not by accident or just out of politics that the Republicans have been bringing to the surface the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the hope to drown out what they expect to be a very effective campaign approach by Bill on behalf of his wife. It was a Clinton who balanced the budget; if the country needs a balanced budget, who’s best to make that happen. By any analysis, Hillary’s candidacy had nothing to do with Bill’s unfaithfulness but the Republican Party leaders can’t seem to think straight; they are already running scared. Bill Clinton is a secret weapon any candidate would want to be able to deploy and Hillary happens to have the launching pad for the weapon and the secret combination.
Bill Clinton was impeached for the Monica Lewinsky sin but Bill Clinton is not running for president and yet Republicans want us all to know. After trying for well over two years to discourage Mrs. Clinton from running for president, propping Joe Biden to challenge her and to now focusing on Bill Clinton’s past indiscretion, it is indeed obvious Republicans are desperate and hoping and praying for some cataclysmic event. Mrs. Clinton is well respected across the globe and feared in the Republican rank. Is that the face of a scary individual?
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