Yogi Berra could not produce as many head scratchers on his best day as the national media produces while coronating Hillary Clinton as the next U.S. President. They cite polls daily, and discuss how improbable that the lead could be erased. Yes, the mainstream media and polls illustrate a harmonious Democratic Party which should usher Clinton into the White House. This all seems plausible until we look at the last time the mainstream media and Democratic voters were settled on the candidate 2 years in advance of the election. The candidate was Hillary Clinton, the lead was historical, and it crumbled faster than a Wendy Davis campaign.
On January 20, 2007, Hillary Clinton posted “I’m in” on her personal website. The announcement came after months of speculation by the mainstream media, seemingly supported by national polls, that Hillary Clinton was a slam dunk for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Soon after the announcement, the mainstream media continued to push a narrative that suggested the whole process was going to be a big waste of time. A few days before Clinton’s announcement, a little known African American Illinois Senator filed exploratory paperwork. The media gave coverage to the young Senator with the obscure name, and even championed Barack Obama “getting his feet wet” to prepare him for a future election; an election that did not include Hillary Clinton and he may have a chance. Pundits wondered if potential candidates such as John Edwards, Bill Richardson and Al Gore would even enter a race that they had already decided. Gore decided to stay out of the race, calling Hillary Clinton “unstoppable”. Hillary Clinton’s popularity was at its highest, almost two years too early.
Clinton carried the large lead for months, although hindsight shows it decreasing from the moment she announced. Later in the year, Gallop framed it as historical, and informed us that leads this large in the Democratic Primary usually lead to the nomination. By the end of 2007, most polling showed sharp declines in her support and her lead had evaporated in early states including the Iowa Caucuses. Bill Clinton, and many of his true believers stepped in to save the candidate dubbed “unstoppable” just months earlier by a potential rival. It was too late, the country had finally realized that the Clinton on the ballot was not named Bill. The more the voters got to know Hillary Clinton, and the absence of professional accomplishment, the more they supported that little known Illinois Senator with the obscure name.
Turn your TV dial to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN or MSNBC today, and it is as if they are airing 2007 reruns. Once again, it’s pretty much over, and the winner will be Hillary Clinton. Once again, we can be sure that Hillary Clintons’ polling is higher this month than it will be next month if she decides to seek the nomination. It will not be long before the country realizes winning a Senate seat after your opponent drops out to seek treatment for cancer, and racking up air miles as a Presidential Cabinet member are not strong ingredients to lead the free world. The polls will drop, the media will pretend they never loved her, and party hacks will devote their political soul to the rising alternative. The only question is who will cause a tingle in Chris Matthews leg in 2016? Maybe it will be best for everyone is she speeds up the process and responds to tough questions on the campaign trail with her signature line, “What difference does it make?”