Let me say upfront that I am an independent-leaning Democrat who initially supported Hillary Clinton in 2008. I had thought Obama’s name was going to give the Republicans powerful ammunition to convincingly stigmatize him as a Muslim and to effectively kill his presidential ambitions.
The Republicans in their calculation made the mistake that Obama could not possibly beat Hillary Clinton. The Republicans therefore directed all their arrows at Hillary Clinton. Their goal was to take out Hillary in her quest for the nomination so their candidate would have to face Obama, the weaker candidate in the general election.
The Republicans first rubbished Obama as lacking in experience to run for President of the most powerful nation in the universe. Obama neutralized that shortcoming when he reminded both the Republicans and Hillary that if their so-called experience in politics did not stop them from voting for the Iraq war, which he opposed from the get-go, suggesting they were not qualified or competent to accuse him of inexperience.
The Republicans then jumped on racism as another weapon to derail Obama’s ambition. They reminded American voters that his personal pastor in Chicago was loose cannon of a preacher whose influence on Obama was a disqualifying factor. Some of them even said he was born in Kenya, and while some in desperation suggested that Obama was an “anchor” baby. Again, Obama rose to the challenge and deployed his rapid response strategy and oratory prowess to deliver a few powerful speeches on racism in America. He brilliantly articulated how he was going to tackle racism, if elected.
He reminded Americans of the keynote address he delivered at John Kerry’s Convention where said there was no red or blue America. There is only one America and that he was going to use that America to unite the country and to lead America to where it needs to be. He cited his experience as a community organizer and as a Harvard constitutional lawyer with a populist appeal and that he has what it takes to unite and lead the country. He sounded so convincing that he went on to defeat John McCain, a highly decorated war hero and an experienced senator who was old enough to be his father.
I have, earlier on, predicted in two of my previous articles on the 2016 election that the whole contest is to come down to a fight between two American powerful dynasties of Bush and the Clintons. I still maintain that position as I write this piece, and despite all indications right now that the odds are pointing to a Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders duel in November 2016.
I can tell you right now that Trump and Sanders are going nowhere but down when the rubber meets the road. They are both leading in the polls right now but it is going to be a different story as we continue into the primary season. Trump and Sanders may perform well in the first two primaries, but that is no guarantee they are going to be the nominees of their party for the general election. People will tell you that having money and plenty of it does not count in America. If you believe that crap, you will believe anything.
The rapid response team concept as a political strategy was introduced into the lexicon of American politics by no less a political juggernaut than Bill Clinton when he first ran against the incumbent President George Bush, the 41st American President. Bill Clinton who had been Governor of Arkansas and former Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council had picked Al Gore as his running mate to take on George Bush and Dan Quail.
It was a contest that conventional wisdom would have expected them to lose but they turned their prospect around by doing something that has never been done in American politics. They knew they were running against a man who had been a Director of C.I.A, a former US ambassador to China, a Vice President for eight years, and a President for four years. Theirs was an up-hill task, but they faced the challenge with equanimity and with the persistence of a demon by crafting their rapid response strategy to ensure that no accusation against them by the Republicans would be allowed to fester without a quick response.
The rapid response team concept is one that has been tested and proved in American politics and most candidates now frequently use it as a strategy to keep their Presidential ambition alive in times of unavoidable crisis in their campaigns. We just saw Jeb Bush effectively use the strategy to diffuse his initial statement that he would again vote for the Iraqi war today if he found himself in the same shoes of his brother. It was a bombshell statement. That kind of statement is enough to doom his ambition from that point on, but his rapid response team quickly went into high gear forcing him to quickly reverse himself before the subject became an unstoppable inferno. Jeb Bush took the same line on the issue of immigration for illegal immigrants in America, and his use of the word “anchor” baby, which he plagiarized from Donald Trump for lack of any better word to use.
Politicians and more so those of them running for President can make mistakes from time to time. What is important is what they do about those mistakes and how quickly they correct them without a need to actually use the word, “I misspoke or I am sorry I make a mistake, and will not do so again.”
Most people running for President hardly ever want to admit that they ever made a mistake.
The issue of the of Hillary keeping a private server at her home in Westchester and wiping some of her private mails is nothing but a little storm in a tea cup. If her rapid response team had quickly done what Jeb Bush had done with his foolish statement on the Iraqi war, she would not be facing the kind of negative publicity she is now getting. Hillary did nothing legally wrong and if those e-mails were not classified secret and confidential as at the time she received them she must go home scot-free on that.
She should have admitted a mistake was made in not releasing the server and the e-mails soon enough but that does not rise to the level of accusing her of breaking the law as implied by the Republicans.
Republicans would tell you that keeping a private server was stopped a long time ago and that is why they now want Hillary crucified; but Colin Powell admitted to using private email in the course of his duty, and so did Madeline Albright, and even Henry Kissinger. They want to taunt and provoke her so she can lose her cool and they use that excuse to nail or tarnish her. It is all politics blown out of proportion.
They have realized that the Benghazi scandal is not doing the expected damage, because it is a smear tactic intended to damage Hillary and her legacy. They wish they could find a candidate with as much gravitas as a Hillary, but they could not find one. They are looking for every opportunity to irredeemably damage Hillary. It is all politics. You can see a loose cannon like Donald Trump jumping on the bandwagon claiming that Hillary and Bill came to his wedding because he had contributed to the Clinton Foundation. He just wants to tarnish the Clinton’s reputation by suggesting that they would both be subject to control or influence by many of the Wall Street millionaires who have contribute to their Foundation.
Above all Hillary is married to one of the best statesmen and former President whose record in office was second to none. Electing a Hillary is getting two for the price of one because the husband and wife have been power couples and partners in all of their political life and career. Republicans are scared to death about that possibility.
The architect of the rapid response team in American politics must step up to the plate to oil the machine for his wife. I know Bill Clinton does not want to be seen as micro-managing the campaigns of his wife, but I think the time may have come for him to be more involved in getting the rapid response team show up for Hillary.
I rest my case.