Three Reasons Hillary Clinton is No Barack Obama

Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton
The Associated Press

On Monday, the day after announcing her run for president of the United States, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walked into a Chipotle in Ohio along with top advisor Huma Abedin. Both wore sunglasses. They ordered at the counter; nobody noticed. They sat at a table; nobody noticed. They sat at the table for 25 minutes, paid their bill, and walked out. Nobody noticed.

Upper echelon Democrats in the know seem to believe that Hillary Clinton has magic to her. The Democratic National Committee all but anointed her as their nominee just moments after her big announcement. Barack Obama all but endorsed her. The media swooned over her statement that she would be going on a tour in a van, presumably obtained down by the river and bearing the message, “FREE CANDY.” Hillary, the hardcore left seem to believe, is inevitable.

But that episode in the Chipotle says otherwise. Hillary is 100 percent name identification. She is no anonymous Chicago senator with a thin resume. But she’s unapproachable. She’s insincere. She’s elitist. And most of all, everybody knows it.

So, here are the top three reasons Hillary is no Barack Obama:

She Does Not Have The Same Racial Appeal. There is a hierarchy of victimhood in the leftist thought system. Blacks sit at the top; gays and lesbians sit just below blacks; Latinos and Native Americans sit below both groups; women come next; then, finally, come Jews and Asians, who are mainly an afterthought in the rankings. Barack Obama ran on the promise that as a half-black man, his election would unify the country, moving us all beyond the racial polarization of the past. Republicans joined Democrats in celebrating the symbolism of his election. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who just declared his candidacy against Hillary, wrote in his book that he cried when Obama was elected:

I was so proud to be an American, and so moved by the powerful symbolism of the moment, I couldn’t stop myself from tearing up.

Nobody will cry when Hillary is elected, because nobody truly believes a woman cannot be elected in America. Three out of our last four secretaries of state were women. We have multiple powerful female senators. She’s not a victim.

More than that, Barack Obama’s 2012 election, which represented a far better gauge of his actual support level than 2008, relied heavily on black electoral support. Similarly, Obama relied heavily on black support in the 2008 primaries. Without black support in 2008, Obama gets crushed by Hillary. Hillary simply doesn’t have that same level of support from blacks in either the primaries or the general election.

She’s Not a Compelling Female. Hillary is female. If you haven’t heard, she will tell you herself, 1,000 different times. But the point is that her points of commonality with female voters are not particularly compelling. She grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, married the future governor of Arkansas, rode his coattails to a prestigious law firm job, First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. She does not resonate as a mother or as a grandmother, despite the best efforts of the media to portray her as a younger Betty White.

Barack Obama may have maxed out the gender gap. In 2008, women went Democrat by 13 points, as opposed to a three-point gender gap in 2004. In 2012, they went Democrat by a similar margin. Gallup polls show that Hillary has a 56 percent approval rating among women – the same vote percentage among women Obama got in both elections. Those numbers are unlikely to rise. She will have to count on heavier turnout than Obama got.

She’s Old. Voters under 30 represented 19 percent of those who voted in 2012. That’s bad news for Hillary, given that she must rely on contributions from women and youth to make up the deficit she will face in the black vote turnout. The worse news is that Hillary is old. It’s easy for pollsters to predict that she will capture the hearts of youth voters; as of early April, a Fusion poll showed her beating candidates including Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and Rubio soundly (Bush fared best, losing 63 percent to 30 percent). But that’s because young voters haven’t seen Hillary. Hillary always polls well when she goes missing. When she begins showing up at Chipotle, nobody is interested.

And Hillary represents the past. That was a contrast beautifully drawn by Rubio in his announcement speech:

Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for President by promising to take us back to yesterday. But yesterday is over, and we are never going back.

Barack Obama made the same argument successfully against Mitt Romney in 2012, even though Romney had no history. Republicans have a solid shot to do so against Hillary, who reeks of the 1990s.

Now, Hillary still has similarities to Obama: the media will favor her; she won’t have to answer tough questions; her past will be glossed over; she’s an elitist, an Ivy Leaguer, a faux intellectual. But unlike with Obama, the American people seem less willing to hand her the presidency based on simple identity politics. Which means she’ll have to reach out to people herself. And when Hillary is herself, bad things happen for Hillary Clinton. 

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.