2008 had to be a brutally embarrassing year for Hillary Clinton. She entered the year as the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination and become the nation’s first female President. Instead, she was swept away by newcomer Barack Obama and forced to wait another 8 years for her turn.
Occasionally during the campaign, both Hillary and Bill would let slip their personal bitterness at being passed over for the upstart Obama, such as when Bill Clinton cost Hillary an endorsement from Ted Kennedy by exploding that a few years ago Obama would have been getting both of their coffees.
Well, none of that was supposed to happen this year. Hillary successfully convinced Elizabeth Warren not to run and Joe Biden wisely stepped aside. All she faced in the way of opposition was a ham sandwich on white bread (Martin O’Malley), an aging and uncharismatic socialist backbencher (Bernie) and a couple virtually anonymous chumps (Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb).
How quickly it has all come unravelled for Hillary. Despite having the nearly unanimous backing of the Democratic party establishment and virtually every elected Democrat in the country, Hillary can’t seem to overcome the problem that voters do not like her. Losing to Bernie Sanders would be like losing to the “other” line on a ballot. And yet here she is, facing embarrassment after embarrassment.
The latest of these came when Britney Spears, of all people, threw cold water on her campaign. Apparently, Clinton met yesterday with the former pop star and perpetual rehab risk, fully expecting a fluff press moment and an easy endorsement from a person who’s not really known for her nuanced political thought. And initially it looked like they got it, as Spears Instagrammed a picture of herself with Clinton with a glowing apparent endorsement.
But wait, not so fast:
The pop star reportedly used the Clinton’s official campaign hashtag #ImWithHer in the original caption for her Instagram post, but later edited the post and removed the hashtag, according to ABC News, leading many to consider it a withdrawn endorsement. It’s just as likely Spears, or whoever manages her social media platforms, considered the hashtag purely literal and was unaware of its political symbolism.
I don’t know that it gets much more humiliating, for a candidate running exclusively on the merits of her uterus, than being endorsed and then un-endorsed by political thought leader Britney Spears within the span of 24 hours.
But I have the feeling we’re about to find out.