Are Americans really ready for Hillary?

April 17, 2014 

Has Hillary Clinton moved her stuff into the White House yet?

Oh, sorry, it’s probably a little early for that. Clearly, though, judging from the news coverage of Hillary’s well organized underground campaign for president, she is a sure thing.

No other Democrats will run against her. It’s uncertain at this point whether any Republicans will bother to run, either.

Some, however, are hoping for an epic battle of the political clans, with Jeb Bush running against Hillary, trying to make it a three-fer for the Bushes.

Then, after two more Bush terms, Chelsea Clinton could run.

If the Jeb-Hillary matchup occurs, the perfect Democratic slogan could be: “Another Bush?!”

The Republicans could counter with a clever slogan of their own: “Another Clinton?!”

Many voters no doubt have a visceral response to both those rallying cries. They see them instead as cries of fear and anguish, a sure sign that both parties are stuck in a rut.

At this point, Jeb might be the most attractive Republican candidate around for anyone who isn’t a member of the tea-party sect. He continues to surprise us with his thoughtfulness, which is magnified by memories of his brother. (How could they come from the same family?)

But many observers who have followed Jeb say it looks as if he has decided not to run. Why else would he declare that sneaking one’s family across the border to the U.S. from Mexico is an “act of love.”

What he really seems to be saying is: “Yep, that’s me. Take it or leave it. I don’t care.” And he also has expressed real trepidation about the inevitable nastiness of the looming GOP primary.

Hillary, on the other hand, looks ready to rumble. In fact, the Clinton machine has engineered a super-PAC, Ready for Hillary, whose basic purpose is to enlist people to beg her to run. They even have Ready for Hillary hats and coffee mugs.

Hillary has the intellect, the temperament, the leadership skills and the experience to be president. Some believe she would have made a better president than Barack Obama.

After losing to Obama in 2008, she probably will be a much improved campaigner this time around. And she will be the beneficiary of a campaign organization that began coming together sometime shortly after Obama’s first inauguration.

She also will have a real shot at becoming the first woman president of the United States, which will add drama and excitement, and potentially attract a large contingent of women voters, an essential demographic for any presidential candidate.

But on the negative side, she must counteract the nation’s Clinton fatigue. Remember the slogan when Bill ran: “Two for the price of one”? Does that give anyone else the jitters?

Bill Clinton is the best politician of his generation, brilliant, intuitive, energetic. But his return to the White House as First Lad would resurrect memories of all his other less admirable traits. It wouldn’t be just Hillary and Bill moving back into the White House; we’d also get their inner circle, the Clinton entourage, all the loyal aherents.

Aren’t we content to fondly remember the Clinton years in retrospect?

We could do worse, of course. Much worse. Still, with so many talented Americans out there, why must we endlessly draw our presidential candidates from the same two families?

Where are the young Kennedys when you need them?

James Werrell, Herald opinion page editor, can be reached at 329-4081 or, by email, at jwerrell@heraldonline.com.

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