Clinton Is In

Ken AshfordElection 2016Leave a Comment

Now it’s a contest.  Clinton has officially declared her candidacy.

Now comes major silliness.  Her opponents — meaning everybody left of center (at least) — will start laying into her, with subtle and not-so-subtle misogyny.  Watch for discussions about hormones and menopause, use of word like “shrill” and “harpy”, how a woman cannot lead the armed forces, and endless jokes about her hair, clothes and shows.  Watch for talk about how she will simply follow her (male) husband’s policies because a woman cannot be her own thinker.  Watch for the demasculating of her husband and endless irrelevant discussions about the Clinton marriage.

And THEN watch all the op-eds and analysis given over to “Clinton fatigue”.

The truth is, there has never been a time in American history when the alleged personal traits of candidates mattered less. As we head into 2016, each party is quite unified on major policy issues — and these unified positions are very far from each other. The huge, substantive gulf between the parties will be reflected in the policy positions of whomever they nominate, and will almost surely be reflected in the actual policies adopted by whoever wins.  We have today a level of political polarization not seen since the Civil War.

But I don’t think you’re going to hear about the differences between the candidates and parties very much.  Political commentators who specialize in covering personalities rather than issues will balk at the assertion that their alleged area of expertise matters not at all. Self-proclaimed centrists will look for a middle ground that doesn’t actually exist. And as a result, we’ll hear many assertions that the candidates don’t really mean what they say. The next 18 months will be full of sound bites and fury, signifying nothing.

But now there is a clear choice.  Clinton is in.


Jonathan Chait offers five reasons why Hillary Clinton will win the presidency in 2016. But in the end, his sixth reason may be the only one that matters:

The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics.