Hillary, ‘Inevitable’? It Ain’t Necessarily So

You don’t have to share Sportin’ Life’s skeptical view of the Bible to chuckle at his boldness in taking on the conventional wisdom of his day. This tune from Gershwin’s opera hit Porgy and Bess was a show-stopper for the legendary Cab Calloway.

And it’s the response I have to give when I hear people say Hillary Clinton is “inevitable” in 2016: It ain’t necessarily so. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is not sure she’s so inevitable. And even if she is, it’s not necessarily a good thing for people to say that about her.

Gov. Patrick told CNN’s “State of the Union” recently that he “worries” about all this inevitability talk of Hillary. Let’s read between the lines:

She is an enormously capable candidate and leader, but I do worry about the inevitability because I think it’s off-putting to the average voter. And I think that was an element of her campaign the last time. As an enthusiastic Democrat, I just hope that the people around her pay attention to that this time around.

That’s about as deft a putdown as you could ask for. Gov. Patrick is nothing if not a skilled inside puncher. Notice how he reminds viewers of “her campaign the last time.”

Folks, she’s been around this track before.

Then, there’s the sly reference to “the people around her.” Don’t mention anyone in particular. Whatever you do, don’t mention Bill. Just let “the people around her” phrase hang out there. How well did they do the job for her last time?

Pay attention? What? Clinton operatives inattentive? Whoever charged that against those veterans of the famed War Room? If they were not paying attention back in 2008, maybe it was because they were reading this devastating article by Todd Purdum in Vanity Fair.

I recommend this in-depth reportage to all my friends — liberals and conservatives. “The Comeback Id” is more than a dog whistle to liberal donors, consultants and activists; it’s a foghorn. It bellows forth:

BEWARE! Rocky shoals ahead! The subhead is even more direct: “Bubba Trouble.”

Purdom is warning his fellow liberals that with Hillary you get Bill and with Bill you get more baggage than a Samsonite catalog. The late Jack Germond sternly disapproved of President Bill Clinton’s White House dalliances. That was not because Germond disapproved of dalliances. He thought they were “wonderful.” But he believed that when you are president, a lot of people are depending on you to deliver the goods.

What did Hillary and Bill deliver in eight years? What about healthcare? The reason it’s called Obamacare and not Hillarycare is simple: Hill Democrats didn’t read the bill in 2010. They had to pass it to find out what was in it. The reason they didn’t pass Hillarycare in 1994 is because they did her bill. The difference is: Barack Obama was not distracted by Troopergate or Whitewater or any of the dozen other Bubba Troubles. He got the job done for liberals.

Recruiting gays by quota for the military? Hillary and Bill didn’t move the ball. Barack Obama scored with that issue. Full federal funding of abortion? Hillary and Bill could not get a Democratic Congress to pass the so-called Freedom of Choice Act. And then they lost Congress. Barack Obama cleverly buried abortion funding in the thousands of pages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and itstens of thousands of pages of implementing regulations.