Hillary Clinton “is the emptiness at the center of her campaign.”
By Rich Lowry, New York Post, Sept. 6, 2016
Hillary Clinton is happy to have the race all about her opponent, rather than herself. She avoids press conferences. She’s relying on the strength of her organization to hoist her over the finish line, and wants to win the presidency by default.
And yet for all of Donald Trump’s weaknesses, Hillary is barely leading him and even trailing him in the new CNN poll. According to that poll, her voters are less enthusiastic than his are.
Her unfavorable rating is just a tick below his when he has spent a year gleefully trampling every political piety.
It’s telling that at the height of her lead in August, she was almost entirely absent. She let Trump dictate the pace of the campaign, often to his own detriment. As he has become more disciplined, this approach may have reached its natural limit.
But Clinton herself lacks almost all the qualities that make for a compelling presidential candidate. She isn’t fresh. She has been prominent in our politics, and controversial, for 25 years.
She isn’t entertaining or inspiring. Her speeches never achieve rhetorical lift-off, and she has the most insincere laugh in American politics.
She isn’t associated with a cause. In the Democratic primaries, she bent to the energy of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon, and in the general she has found her voice only when attacking Donald Trump.
She isn’t ethical. The debris field from her private e-mail server and the shady dealings of the Clinton Foundation will stretch into November, and perhaps beyond.
She bent the rules and violated laws to try to keep her State Department emails from prying eyes, and the couple mingled Clinton Foundation and State department business in a wildly inappropriate manner. They vacuumed up every loose dollar they could find, from Hillary’s Goldman Sachs speeches to Bill’s $17.6 million gig as “honorary chancellor” of a for-profit college.
Hillary wants to define political change as embodied by Donald Trump as unacceptable, but she has gone almost as far in rendering the status quo — as represented by her high-handed politics of cronyism and corner-cutting — intolerable.
The Clintons famously believe the rules don’t apply to them, and why not? First, the FBI conducted a check-the-box investigation into her emails and then, acting like an arm of the campaign, released documents related to the investigation on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day to limit their impact.
Hillary Clinton is boring, unlikable and untrustworthy. Her argument against Trump is based on character and temperament and she’s making a bet that if she can define Trump as dangerous, she’ll look alluring by comparison. It’s a bold gambit to win a personality contest by having none.
As a candidate, Hillary Clinton is the emptiness at the center of her otherwise formidable campaign.