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Brawner: Everyone has an opinion about Hillary Clinton

Posted: March 29, 2014 - 5:41pm
Steve Brawner
Steve Brawner

The thing that’s so difficult about writing a column – about communication in general – is that no matter what words one uses, others will interpret them through their own experiences and emotions. What I write or say is of far less consequence than what you say to yourself in response. As evidence, I present the following sentence.

Hillary Clinton.

If you are over 30 years old, your opinion about those words probably is set in cement. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had asked “Hillary Clinton?” or exclaimed “Hillary Clinton!”

Not that it will make much of a difference, but here’s my opinion about her. Politically, I think she’s more liberal than she presents herself but not as liberal as she’s painted to be. Personally, she has her good points and bad points like all of us, and that’s enough said about that. I do not think she is evil or scary, but I do not intend to vote for her if she runs for president.

That said, a guy who actually changed his mind about her spoke at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock Tuesday. David Brock said that, as a young man, he was part of the “vast right wing conspiracy.” Employed by a conservative-leaning magazine, he was the first journalist to print the name “Paula Jones.” He now says he wrote inaccurately about the Clintons. Over the course of his reporting career, he had a change of heart, apologized, and became their passionate defender.

He also became an opponent of the conservative media. On Tuesday he called Fox News “Orwellian,” which is a ridiculous adjective. How about just “biased?”

Your opinion about Fox News in particular and the media in general is probably set in cement, too, but I’ll share mine. Of course, most members of the mainstream media have been liberal, and their reporting has reflected that bias – purposely at times, unconsciously at others. There have been good and bad reporters, but there won’t be any unbiased ones unless human nature somehow changes. It would have been good had more moderates and conservatives become regular reporters to create more balance.

That didn’t happen. Instead, more and more Americans are getting their news from well-organized message machines that reinforce what we already believe rather than present us with challenging information. As with David Brock, Hillary Clinton is either wrong all the time, or she’s right all the time.

Brock also said that, if Clinton runs, she will be the most thoroughly examined candidate in history.

That’s true, and it will continue. People complain about “Clinton fatigue,” but that family is a story, and the media will continue to report on it.

Meanwhile, Republican political operatives already are doing what political operatives on both sides always do: Attack and destroy. That’s what they are paid to do. They don’t know how to do anything else.

They might personally discourage Clinton, who’s 66, from entering the race. That’s part of their goal.

But if she does run, the Republicans will lose yet another presidential election – they’ve lost the popular vote in five of the last six – unless their candidate also presents a positive vision for America. The party can’t just rely on a billion dollars in negative ads and dozens of congressional hearings about Benghazi. Those efforts will reinforce the GOP’s image, particularly among women, as the “party of no,” but they won’t move the needle much on a Clinton candidacy.

After all, if you don’t already have an opinion about her, you’re probably not a registered voter. She’s Hillary Clinton.

(Contact Steve Brawner through Twitter @stevebrawner)

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lachowsj
5159
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lachowsj 03/30/14 - 07:58 am
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Vote decided?

"I do not think she is evil or scary, but I do not intend to vote for her if she runs for president."

Really? You do not think she is evil or scary but you prefer to vote for any extremist the other party might put forward. Would you prefer Ted Cruz, someone more interested in slash and burn than in governing? How about Sarah (I can see Russia) Palin? How about Jeb (talk about name fatigue) Bush? Or Chris (bridge closing bully) Christie? Maybe you would like Michelle Bachmann so her husband can cast out the homosexual demons. Or (Ayn) Rand Paul.

To me, some of those names are evil and/or scary. But even I won't say I will vote for Hillary no matter what. I'll keep my mind open. As the great philosopher, Dan Quayle, said, "What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is."

BigDaddyD
682
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BigDaddyD 03/31/14 - 05:39 pm
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She won't win the nomination

There will be another young up and comer to defeat her in the primaries.
Between her age and Benghazi, she won't get the nomination.

PortGuide6
93
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PortGuide6 03/31/14 - 05:54 pm
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Benghazi

Nobody outside the deepest conservative circles cares about Benghazi. Therefore nobody voting in Democratic primaries will care about Benghazi. And the Republicans will lose the general election because....wait for it....they care about Benghazi.

lachowsj
5159
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lachowsj 03/31/14 - 06:56 pm
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Bold prediction

That's a bold prediction, BigDaddyD. As to Benghazi, it didn't seem to hurt Obama in 2012. It also didn't hurt GW Bush in 2004 after:
1) the 2002 attack by terrorist gunmen on the US Consulate in Calcutta that killed 5,
2) the 2002 terrorist suicide bomber attack on the US Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan that killed 12,
3) the 2003 terrorist attack by gunmen at the US Embassy in Pakistan that killed 2,
4) the 2003 storming of the US diplomatic compound in Saudi Arabia by terrorist al Qaeda gunmen killing 36, including 9 Americans,
5) the 2004 attack by a suicide bomber on the US Embassy in Uzbekistan which killed 2.

Of course, John Kerry never brought these attacks up during the campaign, presumably because he thought it would be unfair to use these incidents to gain political advantage. It seems the Republicans think differently.

As to age, Hillary would be 68 at nomination and 69 by the time of the election. John McCain was 72 at the time of his nomination in 2008. Bob Dole was 73 when he was nominated in 1996. And Ronald Reagan was 69 when he was nominated in 1980 (and 73 when renominated in 1984). So assuming she remains in good health, I don't think age would restrict her.

BigDaddyD
682
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BigDaddyD 03/31/14 - 08:45 pm
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Let me rephrase this...

8 years ago Hillary was the front runner for the Democratic nomination and Obama was not well known outside of Illinois. Well...that didn't exactly turn out as she planned. Is there another Obama out there and will history repeat itself? I have a hard time thinking all other Democrats are going to step out of her way to let her run unopposed for the nomination.

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