December 10, 2013
Hardly a week goes by without Hillary Clinton receiving another award.
Last month she was named a "Global Champion" by the International Medical Corps at a gala Beverly Hills event crowded with celebrities, received the American Patriot Award at the National Defense University Foundation in the Ronald Reagan Building and the Hermandad Award from the Mexican American Leadership Initiative.
Considering that Hillary Clinton is as much of an American patriot as is she is a Mexican-American leader... both awards seem equally deserved.
Hillary was honored by Malaria No More for taking the controversial position of being against malaria and by the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice for supporting internet freedom. Because nothing says a deep commitment to internet freedom like sending a man to jail for a year over a YouTube video that offended Muslims.
The President of Georgia (the one in the Caucasus) honored her with the Order of the Golden Fleece. That's considered a high honor in Georgia, but back in the United States it just reminds everyone of Whitewater and the Rose Law Firm.
The Queen of Spain gave Hillary Clinton and Antonio Banderas gold medals and Oceana honored her for saving the oceans. And that was a slow month after Yale Law School gave her its Award of Merit, Chatham House gave her a prize and Citizens for Research in Epilepsy honored her for taking a courageous stand by opposing epilepsy.
The American Bar Association had already given Hillary its highest honor for "her immense accomplishments as a lawyer". The National Constitution Center awarded her the Liberty Medal (an honor she shares with such Constitutional scholars as Bono, Hamid Karzai and her husband) and Elton John gave her an award for fighting AIDS declaring himself "honoured to honour her".
(If you're keeping track, Hillary has come out against malaria, epilepsy and AIDS. No word on her position on shingles--but reportedly she's against it.)
At this rate, if a bunch of elderly left-wing Norwegians toss her the Nobel Peace Prize early on, the way they did to Obama, it will barely rate mention among all the other glittering trophies that have been bestowed on a woman whose only actual accomplishment was being married to a crooked governor with good political instincts and sharp elbows.
Hillary Clinton's accomplishments as a lawyer, like her accomplishments as a senator and a secretary of state, don't actually exist. The more awards Hillary gets, the fewer people will wonder about her qualifications. Like the fake doctor with 200 equally fake diplomas on the wall; the award blitz is a pathetic case of overcompensation. The giant pile of awards creates the illusion of qualification for someone who never even won political office on her own merits--let alone did anything worthwhile or interesting while there.
It's been a while since there was an inevitable candidate in American politics four years before an actual presidential election. It's been even longer since there was a candidate so barren of actual accomplishments and so devoid of anything resembling content.
Hillary traipses around the country and the world picking up awards and delivering speeches for six figures a pop; but the only words that come out of her mouth are boring cliches.
Receiving an AIDS award from Elton John's foundation, she announced insightfully, "We still have a long way to go." Strangely enough this is what people who have never had AIDS or treated AIDS have been saying while receiving AIDS awards since the disease first became a celebrity cause.
At Oceana, Hillary declared, "More and more people appreciate what oceans mean to them." At the University of Buffalo, she expressed the hope that we could "move away from the slash and burn politics, the name calling, the excessive partisanship" and at the Women of the World summit declared that the United States had "come so far, but there is still work to be done."
You might even say... there's a long way to go.
The more you listen to Hillary, the more you realize that she doesn't have ideas, she has cliches. String together a bunch of cliches and you have a Hillary speech. String together a bunch of Hillary speeches and you have a candidacy that is as empty as it is inevitable. Hillary isn't even Chauncey Gardiner. Her cliches lack even accidental poetry. Instead they're as empty as she is.
What does Hillary stand for? A casual observer would be forgiven for assuming that she stands for nothing. After eight years in the senate, the only thing about her time there that anyone bothers to mention is her vote on the Iraq War. That's because there isn't anything to mention.
If Hillary had not accidentally taken what would become a controversial position, while trying to cast a safe vote, all that anyone would remember about her time in the Senate is that she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame for "opening new pathways for women in leadership".
That was quite an accomplishment considering that she was the 32nd female senator.
At the awards ceremony, Hillary coined the wholly original phrase, "I don't think there has ever been a better time to be a woman than in the United States of America in the 21st century."
But Hillary is always being honored as a revolutionary leader for just showing up. If she has something positive to say about the oceans, teaching little girls or fighting AIDS; there's an award in it for her. If Hillary daringly says that reading is good today; tomorrow she wins a Pulitzer. That's how low the Hillary bar has been set.
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton traveled a lot. The National Constitution Center honored her because, in their words, "she traveled to more countries than any other Secretary of State". Also because she "used social media to engage citizens". It certainly sounds better than honoring her for abusing the State Department to prep for a presidential run with a non-stop world tour while neglecting desperate pleas for help from the Benghazi mission which had been under siege for months.
And that's the best that can be said about a term that wrapped up with that election shakedown that had been her endgame all along, the murder of four Americans and Hillary pounding the table and demanding to know what difference it made. As every foundation, think-tank, university, charity and non-profit that has rushed to cover her in golden medals, orders and awards will tell you... none at all.
But despite the awards, there is very little enthusiasm even among Democrats for President Hillary. Jeffrey Katzenberg, Hollywood's leading liberal, came out for her saying, "I think she's the best candidate currently available for either party." Considering that Hillary is really the only Democrat semi-officially running now, not counting Joe Biden, that's damning with faint praise.
There's a reason that liberals are fantasizing about an Elizabeth Warren run. Warren is even less charismatic, more off-putting and more cliche-prone than Hillary, but you do know what she stands for. "Socialism today, Socialism tomorrow, Socialism forever." Hillary Clinton stands for the same thing; but she has spent decades trying to be discreet about it.
Instead of letting her "You didn't build that" freak flag fly in a safe blue state like Warren did, Hillary Clinton has carefully crafted a completely safe image. That was what undid her candidacy in 2008. Given a choice between a candidate who stood for a whole range of things and one who stood for being president; they chose Obama. Eight years later; no one still has any idea what she stands for.
Hillary's calculated vacuousness smacks of paranoia. At a time when Democrats want some red meat, she tries to be less partisan than Obama. At all her award ceremonies, she speaks in cliches and stays away from anything that anyone could find controversial or memorable. There's no way that she can offend anyone if she spends all her time emitting contentless cliches.
Beneath the bland rhetoric is a paranoid control freak obsessed with controlling and shaping every aspect of her image. Her partner in this endeavor is Media Matters' David Brock; a man whose legendary paranoia rivals her own, who had been hospitalized for a mental breakdown after believing that people were trying to kill him and who allegedly used an illegally armed security team to protect him from "right-wing assassins".
Together Brock and Clinton have already shut down a number of friendly film and television projects about Hillary while Brock peddles "The Benghazi Hoax"; a book that smacks of Hillary Clinton's old obsession with a vast right-wing conspiracy. A Hillary biopic in which the former first lady is played by an actress capable of conveying actual human emotion would do her image a lot more good than Brock's paranoid rantings. But it would appear that Brock's paranoid mindset mirrors her own.
Hillary Clinton has played the long game, moving slowly from one position to another, with her eyes on the White House. But in her calculating chess game, she has neglected the details of the present. Hillary lost in 2008 because she was too busy building an inevitable candidacy to give people an actual reason to vote for her. And now she's making the same mistake all over again.
It's easy to be the inevitable candidate when no one is actually running against you. The hypothetical inevitable candidate is rarely someone that people actually want to vote for. Like Mitt Romney, they seem like the sort of man or woman who is probably going to win because everyone says so. When the race heats up, the inevitable candidate collapses and is left behind.
America hasn't had inevitable presidents in a while. The men who have actually managed to score two terms were absurdly unlikely candidates with obvious flaws whose very prospects were met with ridicule. There was nothing inevitable about Ronald Reagan, a former actor, Bill Clinton, a sleazy draft dodger with infidelity issues, George W. Bush, the son of a one-term president prone to mispronounce important words, and Barack Obama, a political amateur and left-wing radical who defended his racist pastor after the latter was caught screaming "God Damn America" after 9/11.
Hillary Clinton's inevitable status is her weakness. Inevitable candidates don't win elections. Just ask John McCain, an American hero and liberal Republican, and Mitt Romney, a man who was born to play the president on television. Or ask Michael Dukakis, the architect of the Massachusetts Miracle, or John Kerry, a man who was not only born to play the president, but who could run on his Vietnam service during wartime.
There will come a time when the awards will stop, when the empty quotes about how she is running because she cares about girls will run out and when she will actually have to give real answers to difficult questions. And that isn't Hillary's strong suit. It's not that Hillary doesn't have any answers; it's that she's too paranoid and controlling to go past her talking points and say what she really thinks.
As a debater, Hillary is rigidly unimaginative. As a politician, she's vacant. And her charisma doesn't exist. The only way that she can get through her own party's primaries and a national election is by scaring away every potential rival by being the inevitable candidate. And that is what the endless Hillary award season is really about.
Hillary Clinton's awards parade isn't meant to impress the voters; but to scare away any opponents who might think that they can do to her in 2016 what Obama did to her in 2008. At galas and dinners, she dons an armor made out of awards, prizes and trophies to manufacture the consensus that she is an accomplished everything and that this will be her election because her victory is inevitable.
But Hillary doesn't really believe that she is the inevitable candidate. If she believed that, she would be less paranoid and controlling... and more capable of relaxing and being herself; whoever that might be. A Hillary with self-confidence wouldn't need David Brock whispering in her ear and would be able to cut loose problematic figures like Huma Abedin and Sidney Blumenthal whose presence is already harming her premature campaign.
Hillary is obsessed with winning and certain that she will lose. Everything she has done throughout the years was calculated to make defeat as unlikely as possible... including taking the position of Secretary of State while doing as little as possible in that role. Instead of inspiring people, she has built up a bulletproof resume while taking as few risks as possible. And that insecurity may be her undoing.
For 13 years, Hillary has done little except abuse public office to map out her future presidential run. By the time the election actually takes place, she will have spent nearly two decades or a third of her adult life focused on running for president.
At the Benghazi hearings, Hillary famously demanded to know what difference it made. The same can be said of her life.
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