Hillary Clinton? Still Not Inevitable

Are you exhausted yet? It’s only October of 2015. We still have more than a year until the general election, and between now and then, much will happen.

If you would have asked most of us a year ago, we would have anticipated things to be quite different right now. The GOP race is unexpected both in who inhabits the frontrunner’s space and which candidates have already bowed out. Just as unexpected is the race for the Democrats, with a strong performance by Bernie Sanders and discussion about a possible run by Vice President Joe Biden. However, the most surprising of all is Hillary Clinton’s less than stellar candidacy and her inability to be the shoe-in candidate this cycle.
I’m sure Hillary assumed her time as a criminal wallflower while Barack Obama took his turn as Prom King would earn her a place up front. Well, that isn’t as easy as she once considered it to be. According to Wednesday’s Quinnipiac poll of swing states Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania:

…former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds her leads but loses ground among Democrats in all three states…

Clinton and Trump continue to have the worst overall favorability ratings among all voters of any of the leading candidates, and the lowest scores for being honest and trustworthy…

Shouldn’t she be full-steam ahead given these three things: 1. The “it’s my turn!” factor., 2. her gender., 3. her last name? Well, no. The “my time now” factor has worn off substantially, and her gender doesn’t elicit strong feelings of unity or sympathy for a supposed “victim” status. As far as her last name, she holds none of the charm that family possesses. This is nothing compared to what being investigated by the FBI for shady email conduct does to a candidate’s chances. While the Right certainly sees this, polls and general excitement for candidates other than Hillary – in the Left’s sphere – say much.

Clay Aiken, the second place finisher in 2003 on American Idol, and former Congressional candidate for N.C. in 2014, had some things to say about Hillary this week. As reported by CNN Politics:

“To some extent, I kind of feel like Secretary Clinton is a leaky boat at this point and that concerns me as a Democrat,” Aiken said.

Aiken, who won the hearts of millions of Americans in 2003 when he placed second on “American Idol,” backed Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary and expressed his support when Clinton declared her second presidential bid in April.

Aiken told CNN that while he has “nothing but respect” for Clinton,” he worries that “a lot of (moderates) have negative feelings towards (her).”

“…I really want a strong boat next year on the Democratic side and I think Joe Biden is a better candidate.”

Aiken isn’t my go-to guy for political commentary, but he represents a moderate Democrat who is aware of the political climate and has been recently been among the voting public as a candidate. For Hillary, Aiken would have been a near-lock for support in the past. Now, however, she’s the “leaky boat”.

Slate’s recent article “Hillary Clinton Has a Lot to Worry About Right Now” expands on the concerns over Hillary as nominee.

Meanwhile, Biden isn’t the only potential dark cloud looming on Clinton’s horizon. The former secretary of state is scheduled to testify later this month before the GOP-led House Benghazi committee, where she will be grilled on her private email account, which has dogged her campaign even before it officially became one.

Hillary, then, is stuck campaigning on multiple fronts: past, present, and future. Bernie, meanwhile, can keep forging straight ahead.

As many have mentioned, Hillary has a past. A long, messy past dotted with plenty of controversies, cover-ups, and non-accomplishments. She’s been on the national scene for quite some time, with none of the schmoozy-Bill-Clinton charm. And for several months, her popularity, once expected, is waning or not growing at all. Bernie Sanders is a thorn in her side. The talk of a run by Joe Biden is a thorn in her side. Most importantly, she has more than one sizable scandal surrounding her, and questions looming from not just the Right, but from many on the Left.

On October 13, the first Democratic presidential debate will be held. Though the Anderson Cooper-moderated debate will most likely contain softball questions, it will an eye-opening display from all the candidates. Hillary, not a fan of the unscripted, has already had a tough sell. Presenting herself to the country in a debate will prove even more of a challenge, and will most likely cement the fact that no, she is not inevitable.