Why are Republicans so obsessed with Hillary Clinton? Maybe cause they don’t want to run against her?
There’s not much news in saying that all the Republican presidential candidates, commentators, and the well-financed Clinton-hate machine are focused on Hillary Clinton.
Of course she is far from perfect. But isn’t it interesting that they never explain this focus on her – what to me often appears to be an obsession.
Here is a fair question that even those who don’t plan on voting for Hillary Clinton may be able to answer honestly: If Hillary Clinton weren’t a formidable candidate, would the Republicans all be picking on her?
Hillary is likeable, trustworthy, and electable to most Democrats and by the time she is the Democratic nominee, she will be leading in the polls over the Republican nominee.
The answer, of course, is no.
If they don’t fear her becoming the Democratic nominee, why are they so literally compulsive about attacking her all the time (and even promoting Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden when they have a chance)? The answer is obvious: They don’t want to run against her.
Why is that?
Easy answer: Because she is the most qualified person vs. any Republican in the race. Who else has served and had experience advising a husband who was a six-term governor and a two-term president, so she understands the importance of executive branch in leading and executing policy?
Plus, she served in the legislative branch in the U.S. Senate for eight years, was respected widely by Republicans as well as Democrats, for her legislative abilities to debate issues and find compromises. And she has had extensive foreign policy experience as Secretary of State for four years. (All the world’s leading respected polling organization have documented that when she left office, America’s standing in the world, country-by-country, increased positively by a substantial margin).
If you think experience and qualifications don’t count, think again.
We are in an age when two-thirds of America are frustrated that government doesn’t work in Washington (they have a right to be) and things are going in the wrong direction. And America is still faced with an existential threat by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other fanatic religious extremist terrorists.
So, it seems to me, having experience in foreign affairs should be and will be important when Americans vote in November 2016.
Then there are those who spend most of their time attacking Hillary on personality perceptions, as if she is running for student body president.
My good friend Cal Thomas actually wrote a column on these pages in which he managed to express all his negative “feelings” about Hillary Clinton without ever engaging in a substantive discussion about a single issue on which he differs from Hillary Clinton – a single issue that Americans actually care about, such as job creation, education, the need for more robust economic growth, the threat of ISIS, etc.
This proves that even someone as intelligent and nice as Cal Thomas has gotten so swept up in being “anti-Hillary” that he forgets about the real substantive issues that he is so skillful at discussing and debating.
Bottom line: Hillary is likeable, trustworthy, and electable to most Democrats (over 70% by every poll) and by the time she is the Democratic nominee, she will be leading in the polls over the Republican nominee.
That is my first prediction. See if I am right or wrong.
But here my second prediction: The Republicans will continue to attack her personally in the general election campaign, rather than debating the issues. That is another reason why I believe my first prediction will be correct.
Lanny Davis is a regular weekly columnist for The Hill. In 1996-98, Davis served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton. He attended Yale Law School with Hillary Clinton in 1969-70 and has remained friends with her ever since. He is the author of the book, "Crisis Tales: Five Rules for Coping With Crises in Business, Politics, and Life," (Simon & Schuster March 2013). Follow him on Twitter at @LannyDavis.