Hillary’s Landslide ≠ Mandate
Monday, August 15th, 2016
By Reed Galen
Quote by a Smart Person: “I believe in luck. How else can you explain the success of those you dislike?” Jean Cocteau
Welcome to the American Singularity.
Hillary Clinton didn’t win the Democratic nomination on the strength of her vision.
Nor did she win it on the strength of her message.
She won it with President Barack Obama’s campaign experts, money and the wholesale collusion of the Democratic Party establishment.
She won it despite the field being cleared for her.
And even then it took her until June to finally smite a 76 year old socialist.
According to most recent battleground surveys, it appears that Mrs. Clinton will sweep to office in an electoral landslide perhaps not seen since Richard Nixon in 1972 or Ronald Reagan in 1984. She may well achieve this stunning victory, not on the strength of her message or an aspirational message, but because she was lucky enough to run against a man named Donald Trump.
When she wins in November, it will not be because of her campaign or her record, but in spite of it. As her team begins re-measuring the drapes for the White House, they would do well to remember they will inherit a deeply divided country; indeed a nation that was forced to make the Hobson’s choice: The Crazy Guy or the Crooked Lady.
Unable to bring to bear the soaring oratory of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, or her one-time opponent and presumed predecessor, Obama, Clinton has relied instead on little more than luck. Certainly her strength as a candidate leaves much to be desired. Her unwillingness or inability to play by any rules other than those of her own creation has driven her to depths unseen in previous likely General Election victors. Americans — Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike see her as untrustworthy.
If and when she ascends the West Front of the Capitol on January 20th, 2017, she will have to do more than pay simple lip service to her trust-deficit. She will have to make a promise to the American people that she will indeed run an open and transparent administration; and keep that promise despite her instincts and those of her team to immediately begin looking for loopholes.
As President and First Man, Hillary and Bill Clinton will have to put up a wall between themselves and their (ir)regular activities. Favors to wealthy patrons are nothing new and politics, and certainly won’t disappear under President Hillary Clinton. But at least be honest about what favors you’re doling out and show that they have some grander purpose than because a foreign government coughed up eight figures to the Clinton Foundation.
This may be a blessing for the American people, however. If she is indeed disliked by the far right and distrusted by the far left, Clinton may well have the ability to work with Congress to finally achieve sweeping reform that has been desperately needed, or simply complete something as simple as the Federal budget — something not done in far too long.
The Clintons have always been master triangulators. Do they work based on survey data? Sure. All White Houses do, despite what anyone says. But if their research shows them that the American people are indeed ready for a massive infrastructure deal or true tax reform, it is likely a Clinton that could and would make it happen.
Most Republicans in Washington, no less than Clinton, want “the system” as we currently know it, to continue. DC is a town that operates on horse trading, lobbying and money. That won’t change in the Clinton White House. She should use her position as both incredibly famous, and as an expert of the Washington game to find the deals to be made with both sides. Clinton has a team of old hands that know every pressure point of every politician in The Swamp: They may well make Congressional Republicans an offer they can’t refuse.
No one will be happy all the time. But that’s not what governing is about. She can keep the Neo-Conservatives happy with continued commitments to NATO and destroying ISIS. She could keep the left happy with higher taxes on wealthy Americans or student loan reform.
She won’t have a lot of time to act. Clinton will only have about a year before the mid-term elections begin in earnest — always a bad time for a first-term president to make her case to a skeptical populace. If the economy continues to soften, she and the Democrats in Congress will take the brunt of the blame for it. She must do something big and unifying almost immediately to position herself for reelection in 2020.
If the Republicans can’t get their act together, she may have an easier go of it. Between her first day in office until Election Day 2020, she will need to prove herself worthy of the office to which she’s been elected. Unlike candidates, presidents don’t have one opponent — they have myriad. Unlike Donald Trump, Clinton’s adversaries in office won’t often let her win by default.
Recent surveys tells us Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two most unpopular major party nominees in recent American history. When Americans start casting their ballots for president as soon as 45 days from now, they’ll begin the process of deciding the direction of the nation for the next four years.
On November 8th, it is very likely that Secretary Clinton will sweep to the White House in an overwhelming electoral landslide. She and her team should not mistake the meaning of this. Mrs. Clinton may win 40 states, but she will have fallen far short of capturing a broad mandate of the American people.
Copyright 2016. Jedburghs, LLC.