Hillary Clinton's minions are hard at work assembling a political machine and fine tuning it for another go at the White House. Mrs. Clinton is doing her part preparing for a run as well, churning out a bland memoir about the "hard choices" she faced as secretary of state and coyly positioning herself (again) as the inevitable nominee of the party. But after the troubled beginning to her book tour, we're beginning to see the reasons why Hillary may eventually decide to pull the plug on a 2016 presidential run. Here are five: 1) She's just not that good at campaigning. If the last two gaffe-prone weeks have reminded us of anything about Hillary, it’s that she’s a mediocre politician at best. Her shortcomings are significant: she can be stiff and wooden in public; she lacks the aura of a natural politician; she’s not a great public speaker, and she can come across as politically flat-footed and tone deaf -- as she did with her “dead broke” response to a rather benign question about relating to the financial challenges of the average voter. People still seem to believe that the Clinton name is synonymous with political skill, but that assumption is only half-true: If Hillary possessed even half of Bill’s political talent and acumen, she wouldn’t have lost to Barack Obama in 2008. 2) The “fire in the belly”question. Certainly, Mrs. Clinton shares her husband’s seemingly limitless ambition. It’s been the driving force behind their existence as individuals and as a couple for more than four decades. But I’m with Mike McCurry on this one: Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to be 67 years old on October 26. Does she really want to spend her golden years working 16 hours a day shaking hands at high school gyms in Dubuque, Iowa, and rubbing elbows at diners in Manchester, New Hampshire? Especially when she can burnish her legacy with meaningful work through the Clinton Global Foundation -- while making millions a year at $200,000 a pop for 45-minute speeches -- and spend time with her soon-to-be born grandchild. 3) It ain’t gonna be a coronation. HRC must have been taken aback last week when two members of the traveling sisterhood – Diane Sawyer of ABC News and Terry Gross of NPR – actually pressed her with uncomfortable questions about Benghazi and gay marriage, respectively. Hillary didn’t respond well in either situation, and the ensuing coverage was instructive. If she can’t count on favorable press coverage during the choreographed rollout of a self-reverential memoir, what does that tell us about how she’d do in debates against a determined opponent? And does Clinton really want to face the scrutiny, not to mention the slings and arrows, that come with any campaign? 4) Obama is leaving a mess. President Obama’s second term is complicating matters significantly for Hillary. His foreign policy, which Clinton helped direct for four years – is adrift. The situation has unraveled dangerously in Syria and now Iraq. The infamous “reset” with Russia is a joke. Obama’s job approval rating is on the slide, and not only on foreign policy. He’s struggling to stay relevant in Washington or to move any sort of domestic agenda forward, which will be made even more difficult if Republicans take the Senate in November. It’s hard to see how any of these dynamics change for the better in the next two years -- and they may get worse. Hillary will not want to be seen as running for Obama’s third term, yet she won’t be able to distance herself too far from his record. That will be a tough needle to thread politically (see point #1). 5) The country wants real change. America was mesmerized by Obama’s call for change in 2008. It was one of the narratives that propelled him over Hillary in the first place. Eight years later, Obama has failed to deliver much of what he promised on uniting the country and changing business as usual in Washington. As a result an even stronger populist, anti-establishment, anti-incumbent fervor is coursing through the electorate. That does not bode well for Hillary Clinton, who embodies the elite establishment -- and the past. If the famed Clinton political acumen still exists in that family, Hillary will figure this out and take a pass on 2016.
Location: living near the least productive waters of the NE
Re: The Clinton Thread
Hillary was so broke when they left the White House ROTFLOL!!
well they learned from their predecessors... the "Broke" Clintons ROTFLOL... broke ... hehehehe
Excerpts from a newspaper article back in 2001....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton say they'll be happy to return the fancy sofas, rattan chairs and other furnishings they took from the White House if it turns out that the gifts were meant to dress up the executive mansion for future presidents too.
"All of these items were considered gifts to us," Mrs. Clinton, now a Democratic senator from New York, said Monday in Rochester, New York. "That's what the permanent record of the White House showed. ... But if there is a different intent, we will certainly honor the intention of the donor."
The White House curator's office is working with the Clintons to clarify any confusion about whether the items the Clintons took were personal gifts or items that were supposed to stay, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said.
In a statement, the Clintons said each of the gifts they accepted were identified by the White House gift office as a present to them. They said none of the gifts they took, including some $23,000 worth of household furnishings in question, was on a curator's list of official White House property.
"Gifts did not leave the White House without the approval of the White House usher's and curator's offices," the Clintons said in the statement that addressed the latest sour note to follow the former president and his wife out of the executive mansion. "Of course, if the White House now determines that a cataloging error occurred ... any item in question will be returned."
The Washington Post quoted two donors in Monday's editions as saying the furnishings they gave were intended for the White House, not the Clintons. They were Steve Mittman of New York, whose donation was valued at $19,900; and Joy Ficks of Cincinnati, who gave $3,650 worth.
And in its editions Tuesday, the newspaper quoted a former furniture industry executive, Brad Noe, as saying a sofa worth nearly $3,000 that he was supposed to have given to the Clintons wasn't meant for them, but for the White House collection. "I would never give a gift to the Clintons," Noe said.
"Everyone involved, including the White House curator, believed that each item was a gift to the Clintons," said Jim Kennedy, speaking for the Clintons. "Now you have a couple of people saying that they didn't intend for them to go to the Clintons and, of course, we want their wishes to be honored."
The day before they left the White House, the Clintons released a list of $190,000 in gifts they chose to take with them, many of which they could use for their two new homes in Washington and in Chappaqua, New York.
But after criticism erupted, they offered to pay $86,000 for about half the gifts.
Now it's the other half at issue. Some items in this group were on a National Park Service list of donations for the 1993 White House redecoration project.
The gift flap is one of several problems dogging Clinton's first weeks as an ex-president and his wife's first weeks as a senator.
Critics also questioned Clinton's decision to rent an office in New York City that would have cost taxpayers more than $600,000 a year. Last week, he said his foundation would pay half the cost.
'Hillary Clinton Took Me Through Hell,' Rape Victim Says
The woman at the center of the scandal over Hillary Clinton?s defense of an alleged child rapist speaks out in depth for the first time.
Hillary Clinton is known as a champion of women and girls, but one woman who says she was raped as a 12-year-old in Arkansas doesn?t think Hillary deserves that honor. This woman says Hillary smeared her and used dishonest tactics to successfully get her attacker off with a light sentence?even though, she claims, Clinton knew he was guilty.
The victim in the 1975 sexual abuse case that became Clinton?s first criminal defense case as a 27-year-old lawyer has only spoken to the media once since her attack, a contested, short interaction with a reporter in 2008, during Clinton?s last presidential campaign run. Now 52, she wants to speak out after hearing Clinton talk about her case on newly discovered audio recordings from the 1980s, unearthed by the Washington Free Beaconand made public this week.
In a long, emotional interview with The Daily Beast, she accused Clinton of intentionally lying about her in court documents, going to extraordinary lengths to discredit evidence of the rape, and later callously acknowledging and laughing about her attackers? guilt on the recordings.
?Hillary Clinton took me through Hell,? the victim said. The Daily Beast agreed to withhold her name out of concern for her privacy as a victim of sexual assault.
The victim said if she saw Clinton today, she would call her out for what she sees as the hypocrisy of Clinton?s current campaign to fight for women?s rights compared to her actions regarding this rape case so long ago.
?I would say [to Clinton], ?You took a case of mine in ?75, you lied on me? I realize the truth now, the heart of what you?ve done to me. And you are supposed to be for women? You call that [being] for women, what you done to me? And I hear you on tape laughing.?
The victim?s allegation that Clinton smeared her following her rape is based on a May 1975 court affidavit written by Clinton on behalf of Thomas Alfred Taylor, one of the two alleged attackers, whom Clinton agreed to defend after being asked by the prosecutor. Taylor had specifically requested a female attorney.
?I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing,? Clinton, then named Hillary D. Rodham, wrote in the affidavit. ?I have also been informed that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body. Also that she exhibits an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way.?
Clinton also wrote that a child psychologist told her that children in early adolescence ?tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences,? especially when they come from ?disorganized families, such as the complainant.?
The victim vigorously denied Clinton?s accusations and said there has never been any explanation of what Clinton was referring to in that affidavit. She claims she never accused anyone of attacking her before her rape.
?I?ve never said that about anyone. I don?t know why she said that. I have never made false allegations. I know she was lying,? she said. ?I definitely didn?t see older men. I don?t know why Hillary put that in there and it makes me plumb mad.?
The victim?s second main grievance with Clinton stems from the newly revealed audio recordings, which were taped in a series of interviews of Clinton with Arkansas reporter Roy Reed, who was researching an article on the Clintons that was ultimately never published. The Free Beaconfound the tapes archived at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, amidst thousands of pieces of Clinton history that are being periodically released for public consumption.
On the tapes, Clinton, who speaks in a Southern drawl, appears to acknowledge that she was aware of her client?s guilt, brags about successfully getting the only piece of physical evidence thrown out of court, and laughs about it all whimsically.
?He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,? Clinton says on the recording, failing to hold back some chuckles.
She then describes how she discovered that investigators had cut out and lost a section of the suspect?s underwear that they said contained the victim?s blood. Clinton brought the remaining underwear segment to a Nobel Prize-winning blood expert in Brooklyn, NY, she explained, in order to convince him to lend his heavyweight reputation and influence to her defense case.
?And so the, sort of the story through the grapevine was, if you get him interested in the case, then you know you had the foremost expert in the world willing to testify so that it came out the way you wanted it to come out,? Clinton said.
Clinton told the judge that the famous expert was willing to testify. Instead of the original charge of first-degree rape, the prosecutors let Taylor plead to a lesser charge: unlawful fondling of a child. According to the Free Beacon, Taylor was sentenced to one year behind bars, with two months reduced for time served.The second attacker was never charged.
?Oh, he plea bargained. Got him off with time served in the county jail, he?d been in the county jail about two months,? Clinton said on the recording, apparently not remembering the sentence accurately.
For the victim, the tapes prove that while Clinton was arguing in the affidavit that the victim could have some culpability in her own attack, she actually believed that her client was guilty. Taylor?s light sentence was a miscarriage of justice, the victim said.
?It?s proven fact, with all the tapes [now revealed], she lied like a dog on me. I think she was trying to do whatever she could do to make herself look good at the time?. She wanted it to look good, she didn?t care if those guys did it or not,? she said. ?Them two guys should have got a lot longer time. I do not think justice was served at all.?
The office of Hillary Clinton did not respond to a request for comment. In a 2008 article in Newsdaywritten by Glenn Thrush, now at Politico, Clinton spokesperson Howard Wolfson defended her conduct in the case.
Hillary Clinton had to know she was going to have to talk about her wealth.
The tightly orchestrated book tour for her new memoir has closely resembled a campaign -- with war rooms and surrogate coordination. So one would expect that Clinton was prepared to answer questions on any topic.
But when the wealth question came, Clinton, the political heavy hitter, whiffed.
The muffed answers have made trouble on their own for the potential presidential candidate by raising new questions about her ability to connect with average voters on economic issues.
Posted by CNN National Political Reporter Peter HambyShepherdstown, West Virginia (CNN) – Elizabeth Warren doesn’t roll deep.
The Massachusetts senator and reigning champion of progressives everywhere arrived right on time Monday afternoon for a campaign event in West Virginia, this one for Democratic Senate hopeful Natalie Tennant, Warren’s latest stop in a national political tour boosting 2014 candidates. Her slight frame slid gingerly out of the passenger side of a blue SUV – her own car, with Bay State plates – and she greeted a volunteer with a golly-gee smile.
“Oh! Looks like it started to sprinkle out here!” Warren said, peeking up at the sky.
There was no entourage, no security detail. Just an aide left behind to park the car. Not knowing where to go, Warren wandered right into the side entrance of the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown and strode up to a police officer standing idly.
“Hi, I’m Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts,” she said matter-of-factly.
“Well it’s nice to meet you!” the officer replied. Her aide arrived, conveniently in time to box out an advancing reporter, and escorted her down a hallway.
The low-key arrival was not, it turns out, an indicator of the reception she would receive inside.
In a ballroom packed with nearly 400 West Virginians, Warren was greeted like a bona fide celebrity, met with multiple standing ovations, a cascade of selfie attempts and a few shouts of “2016!”
Hillary Clinton has earned at least $12 million in 16 months since leaving the State Department, a windfall at odds with her party?s call to shrink the gap between the rich and the poor.
Clinton?s income since her resignation as secretary of state in February 2013 is derived mostly from her latest memoir, speeches and paid appearances at corporate retreats, according to an analysis of data compiled by Bloomberg.
At least 12 organizations that previously booked President Bill Clinton -- who has been paid almost $106 million in speaking fees alone since he left the White House -- also hired his wife. Among them: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and the National Association of Realtors.
With a prospective 2016 presidential candidacy in her future, she keeps tight control over her events. In one university contract, Clinton retained the right to approve her introducer, program, moderator and the set, and she limited to 50 the number of pictures taken on a rope line.
Her earnings represent a fraction of the Clinton family?s total income and yet were large enough to rank her not only in the top 1 percent of the nation?s earners but in the top one-hundredth of the 1 percent.
?Bill and I have worked really hard and we?ve been successful,? she said last week in an appearance on Comedy Central?s ?The Daily Show.? ?We believed we could pretty much make our way up the ladder. Now, I think a lot of young people don?t believe that anymore.?
Clinton?s representatives declined requests to comment for this article. Cottage Industry
The cottage industry the Clintons have created around their public personae is already drawing criticism similar to the 2012 attacks on Mitt Romney, the co-founder of private equity firm Bain Capital LLC. Democrats accused the wealthy Republican presidential nominee of being out of touch with voters.
Some Democrats also question how Clinton will appeal to working-class voters and serve as the party?s chief crusader against stagnant wages and the gap between rich and poor, given that she has received millions from financial firms and other corporations.
Asked last month for her opinion of marijuana, Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “I didn’t do it when I was young, I’m not going to start now.”
Not so fast, says Daniel Halper. In his new book Clinton, Inc., which hits bookshelves today, Halper quotes a friend and law-school classmate of the former first lady and New York senator who says: “I think she’s acknowledged it, and if she hasn’t acknowledged it everybody else will tell you: She was an enthusiastic pot user.”
A taste for THC seems to be a prerequisite for Democratic presidential contenders. As the Democrats’ nominee for president in 1992, Bill Clinton famously told reporters that he had “experimented with marijuana a time or two” but “didn’t inhale,” and David Maraniss’s biography Barack Obama: The Story, which chronicled the current president’s early years, revealed that the young Barack Obama was a ringleader of the self-styled “Choom Gang.” The youngsters “lit up some ‘sweet-sticky Hawaiian buds,’ and washed it down with ‘green bottle beer,’” wrote Maraniss, often inside an old Volkswagen bus they christened the “Choomwagon.”