I actually want to thank Hillary Clinton for giving me inspiration for the premise of the post that ends my hiatus from posting. Unlike her poll numbers, “I’m baaaaack.”
After an amazing summer in Iowa working for Marco Rubio, I now have time to get back in the swing of things letting the world know my thoughts of some of the happenings that I think are worth sharing my pontifications on.
Now the odds are that if you clicked on this you didn’t merely want to know that my blog is now back up and running, so I’ll give a couple of thoughts here before expanding on them in future posts about just how not “back” Clinton is, all the while, trying to make sure there’s some amount of unique content here that makes you wanting to keep coming back.
I would be remiss if I didn’t begin by relaying the tale of how I got to dance on stage with the one and only Sir Mix-A-Lot at the Iowa State Fair.
The Iowa State Fair is of course one of the most legendary aspects of the presidential campaign, and it absolutely lived up to its expectations. On almost every single night, there would be concerts by contemporary artists, up and coming bands, or throwbacks to bygone musical eras. Some were free, others weren’t. For better or for worse, Sir Mix-A-Lot was free. I got there shortly after it started, and to my surprise, I was able to wander right up to the front of the stage.
Now, call me uncultured, but I knew almost none of the songs that he played (in my defense, neither did 90% of the audience). To his credit, he understood this…but performed them nevertheless (look, it’s a free concert and I have a great spot so I’m not going to complain). As the last song, he of course did his most famous one, Baby Got Back (now you see the whole linguistic connection to the concept of being back).
Everyone’s favorite knight (it takes a lot of hubris to knight yourself like he did) invited a whole bunch of people on the stage, and at a certain point, I decided that I have every right to be up there, so I walked to the side of the stage, and got on it (he might say I “jump[ed] on it”) and hung out with him and everyone else brave enough to keep him company.
Enough of that.
Returning to my original point about Hillary’s poll numbers not being back, take a look for yourself. The drop is as clear as day.
Why is it that these voters seem to be souring on her?
If there’s one thing I learned from a summer in Iowa, it’s that voters there expect you to take the time to meet with them, which is something that the Clinton campaign has somehow managed to do a spectacularly bad job of understanding.
Keep in mind this is a campaign that literally roped reporters off…during a parade on the Fourth of July!
On my very first day in Iowa, I went to an event for Martin O’Malley to see how other campaigns work smaller scale events. One of his most memorable lines was something along the lines of “this is Iowa, of course I’m going to take your questions!”
Sure, he didn’t convince me (and the host did continually refer to him as “Senator,” which I also thought was memorable), but unlike Hillary, he did answer questions, no matter what the topic was.
To further the comparison, let’s look at Hillary’s position (or lack thereof) on Keystone. After I left the O’Malley event, there was not a doubt in my mind that he opposed it.
However, you could be forgiven if you went to a Clinton event and had no idea where she stood on the issue (this is a particularly important issue, because it divides unions and environmental aspects of the Democratic base as I wrote about here, in addition to the jobs that it will create).
Hillary did recently announce her opposition to it, but it was mostly lost in all of the coverage of the Pope’s visit (pretty convenient, right?).
Why the sudden rush to finally declare a position? She told Canadians that “I’ve said before in Canada, as I’ve traveled around your country, avoiding answering questions about the Keystone pipeline.”
Lest Americans feel like she only ignores our neighbors to the north, within the span of two days earlier this summer, Hillary twice decided to not decide anything on it.
First, in Iowa:
Then in New Hampshire, where she told a voter that she’d get back to him…if elected President.
Not even two months (keep in mind, this is a review process that has taken over five years) after making the claim that she couldn’t go around Obama’s administration and make her own position clear, she now says that she opposes it (this logic didn’t apply to the Iran Deal and her forming a position on that). In fact, she said she has a “responsibility” to let voters know what she thinks.
If you’re not convinced by this, you’re far from alone. A Washington Post blog concluded that:
This was pure politics by Clinton. It was a gamble based on the idea that the disgust over her failure to answer a direct question would be far less damaging than the fallout if she did offer her opinion.
She was wrong.
In addition to presumably making this statement during the coverage of the Pope’s visit, it also came the same day that two major unions decided to postpone potentially endorsing her.
Unions like the AFL-CIO (including their president, Richard Trumka) are in favor of the pipeline (as are 68% of Americans, including Bill Clinton!) because of the “approximately 42,100 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced), and approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the United States,” so this decision will definitely complicate their views on endorsing her. By the way, that jobs figure comes from Obama’s State Department!
So yes, I am back. However, I don’t know if I can say the same for Clinton’s poll numbers, and hopefully now you have a better understanding of why I think that.