If you listen to the talking heads on cable news or you read the websites that cover politics, Hillary Clinton is already the standard-bearer for Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election.
Clearly, Hillary Clinton is the pick of the Democratic establishment and the high dollar donors, and at this stage has a huge lead in the early horserace surveys.
Nobody in the Democratic Party even comes close. And make no mistake about it — the Clintons’ network is second to none.
But remember, at this stage of the campaign in 2007, Hillary was the frontrunner until along came a senator from Illinois named Barack Obama. And we all know how that turned out.
So it may be premature for the Clintons to begin measuring the draperies in the White House.
In fact, I suggest that Hillary could be the most problematic candidate the Democratic Party could put forward.
Please indulge me while I outline the potential chinks in Hillary Clinton’s armor.
First and foremost is her tenure as secretary of state in Obama’s administration. Although MSNBC and other left-wing media outlets repeatedly promote Hillary as a “historic” secretary of state, I am hard-pressed to see the accomplishments. Sure, she got a ton of frequent flyer miles globetrotting around the world on the taxpayer’s dime. But what actually did she accomplish?
Did the Israelis and Palestinians break bread? Did the Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist? Did she bring peace to the Middle East?
Oh, and by the way, how did that “reset button” photo opportunity with the Russian foreign minister work out?
One could argue that she presided over the United States’ decline on the world stage, aided and abetted by none other than our apologist-in-chief, Obama.
And let us not forget the attack on Benghazi, resulting in the death of four Americans in Libya. To date, no one in the Obama administration has been held accountable. But what we do know is that it was a calculated terrorist attack rather than a mythical, spontaneous reaction to a video.
The video story was a tale, by the way, that the president and Hillary knew was not true from day one. It was perpetuated by Obama and his team for political reasons during the heat of the 2012 presidential campaign when the mantra by the president and his surrogates was “Bin Laden is dead and al-Qaida is on the run.”
Benghazi was a defining moment for Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state and she failed miserably. Not only did she fail during the actual attack on our outpost, her State Department failed to heed warnings from the folks the ground that the U.S. facility in Benghazi had multiple security shortcomings. Credibility and competence are major liabilities for our former secretary of state.
And there is another huge strategic problem for Mrs. Clinton. How does she separate herself from the Obama record of incompetence, regarding both domestic policy and the myriad foreign policy failures that continue to plague the current occupant of the White House?
Does she run promoting an Obama third term? That hardly seems likely.
No one doubts Hillary and Bill’s desire to reside again at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
But Hillary Clinton is far from a perfect candidate. And her deficits as potential commander in chief are many.
So take heart, my conservative brethren, President Hillary Clinton is far from a done deal.
Marc Rotterman is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation and a former official in the Reagan administration.