Can A Democrat Beat Hillary Clinton Wearing Kid Gloves?

Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP
Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP
Washington, DC

How deep does the fear of the Clinton machine infect the Democrat Party?

Pretty deep, if this New York Times item is representative. That, or perhaps it’s an April Fool’s gag, given the April 1 print publication date.

We asked three of the smartest Democratic strategists we know to imagine this situation: You are running the campaign of a liberal Democrat against Mrs. Clinton. You have $50 million to spend. What is your message? How do you run against her?

The piece may also highlight something of a problem for any journalist covering Hillary in 2016. If she’s going to stroll to the Democrat nomination, just how candid can anyone be in exposing her flaws if they know they are going to be stuck relying on her campaign as a source over the long haul?

While it may be true that there’s room to challenge Hillary from the populist Left and she may be vulnerable in a primary due to her hawkish foreign policy and problems connecting with voters – nowhere in the piece is there any mention of deleted emails, foreign governments donating to the now almost infamous Clinton Foundation, or any of the baggage husband Bill may being to a national campaign.

The argument that this scenario is for a Democrat primary so those issues don’t apply doesn’t add up. That would assume Democrats don’t actually want to win the White House in 2016. In reality, it’s because of all the bad press Hillary is getting that some critics are even pondering a possible primary challenge. Ignoring her significant vulnerabilities in a piece that purports to lay out a plan to defeat her without factoring in her weaknesses in a general election is a kid gloves approach to what might have been a serious exercise.