HRC: A New Deal, A Square Deal or How She Wanted to be the Next Roosevelt –Amanda S. Green
Welcome to the ongoing saga of What Happened or, as I like to call it, the Revisionist History of the 2016 Presidential Election. In our last installment, HRC said what finally convinced her to run for president again were Bill and Obama telling her she was the best person for the job. Now we know the truth. Her campaign didn’t start with those two convincing her to run. According to her, “it started with something a lot more ordinary: a Chipotle burrito bowl.” (Pg 59) Now we know who — or at least what — to blame.
Seriously, that is almost as easy to believe as her next couple of chapters. As she lays out her “low key” trip from New York to Iowa, she tries to convince us, or maybe herself, that she had no real plan to run for President. Oh, she’d thought about it but the decision hadn’t been made. Riiight. Stranger than that, she goes on to spend close to two pages talking about that burrito bowl and how it, because of actions of the media, became the kick-off point of her campaign.
That’s fine. If she wants to act as if everything about that road trip hadn’t been carefully planned out, who are we to complain? She’s already shown through her testimony regarding the attack on our compound in Banghazi that she can bend, stretch and break the truth when it serves her purpose. We’ve seen with her brushing aside the sexual antics of her husband while he occupied the Oval Office as having happened in the past and having been litigated and, in the next breath, condemning every other man accused of sexual harassment or assault (unless, of course, they can somehow benefit her).
Her next point in the chapter entitled “Getting Started” deals with how she set strategy for her campaign. She writes about pulling into a town in New Hampshire and talking with a grandmother whose daughter had become addicted to pain meds. According to HRC, she “knew a little about this”, meaning the opioid addiction problem. Then she goes on to say how she knew three families who had lost someone to opioids. So, after talking with this grandmother and others about the problem, she told her campaign staff to come up with a policy on opioid abuse.
This became a model for how my campaign operated in those early months. People told me story after story about the challenges their families faced: student debt, the high cost of prescription drugs and insurance premiums, and ages too low to support a middle-class life. I’d use those conversations to guide the policies already being hammered out back in our Brooklyn headquarters. I wanted my policy shop to be bold, innovative, industrious, and, most importantly, responsive to people’s real-life needs. (Pp 62-63)
That sounds pretty good until you start taking a hard look at what she really says, especially in light of her experience, experience she has already touted as having made her the best person — not just the best candidate — to be President.
Here we had a woman who had been the First Lady of Arkansas. That came after she had spent years as an activist and attorney, years that should have given her a pretty good idea about what challenges her husband’s constituents faced. Those of us old enough to remember shows like Designing Women know that even then Hollywood was in love with the Clintons and their “progressive” policies. At that time, Slick Willy was governor.
As First Lady of the United States, one of HRC’s pet projects was health care. One would think she’d have an idea then about the cost the average family faced when it came to insurance and medical treatment. Oh, but wait, maybe she hadn’t read the Affordable Care Act. After all, most of those in Congress who supported it hadn’t. Besides, Congress and the Executive Branch didn’t have to worry about finding their own insurance or going through the pool. Taxpayers took care of making sure they had insurance. Silly me.
Still, one would have thought HRC would remember what those very same voters had said about health insurance, not to mention the other concerns she listed, a short eight years earlier. Or is her memory so selective she couldn’t remember because she had wiped that defeat out of her memory, much as she would like to wipe her defeat at Donald Trump’s hand from memory?
What struck me most about that paragraph, however, is that it makes it seem as if HRC formed policy only after she had enough people tell her something concerned her. I don’t know about you, but I want a president who can anticipate trouble, not one who is always having to react to it. That is especially true when the person elected president has been involved in politics long enough that they ought to have already dealt with those issues in some form or fashion before taking the oath of office.
Her misunderstanding of the American people and their view of her continues to amaze me. In discussing a conversation she had with Joel Benenson, she writes, “Voters liked that I had worked for Obama after losing to him in 2008. They thought it showed loyalty and patriotism. They also thought I had done a good job as Secretary of State, and most believed I was ready to be President.” (Pg 68) I don’t know about you, but I figured she’d worked for Obama because that was the agreement she’d made with the DNC. You know, one of those “You do this for the party and we will back you in the next election.:”
Yet, showing just how many holes there were in her belief about the American voting public, she adds this: “Despite having near-universal name-recognition, I would have to reintroduce myself — not as an extension of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama but as an independent leader with my own story, values, and vision.” If this is true, what had she done when she ran for the Senate? What was she doing as Secretary of State? What about her role with her beloved Clinton Foundation? Had she been nothing more than an extension of the two men in those roles?
Despite my intention to run like a scrappy challenge, I became the inevitable front-runner before I shook my first hand or gave my first speech, just by virtue of sky-high expectations. (Pg 72)
C’mon, Hillary. None of us believe that. The fix was in from the beginning. The DNC never had any intention of allowing anyone but you to be the Democratic nominee for President. Many voters realized that in 2008. They watched you position yourself after you left the State Department for just that. Do you really expect us to believe you didn’t know it was in the bag? Pull the other one, why don’t you?
I don’t know what had me shaking my head more, the quote above or her attempts to show how she would have been the Teddy Roosevelt of the 21st Century if only we had been wise enough to elect her.
I was particularly struck by the parallels between what Teddy faced as President in the early years of the twentieth century, as the industrial revolution upended American society, and what we faced in the yearly years of the twenty-first century. In both eras, disruptive technological change, massive income inequality, and excessive corporate power created a social and political crisis. Teddy responded by breaking up powerful monopolies, passing laws to protect working people, and safeguarding the environment. He may have been a Republican but he put the capital P in Progressive. . . Teddy found the right balance and called it the Square Deal. . . I felt that what we needed was another Square Deal. We needed to regain our balance, take on the forces that had crashed our economy, and protect hardworking families shortchanged by automation, globalization, and inequality. We needed the political skill to restrain unchecked greed while defusing the most destruction impulses of resurgent populism. (Pg 78)
Wow! Full of herself, isn’t she? Note that she never says how she was going to do any of this. Nor does she admit that much of those so-called problems had come about under the administrations of Democrats like herself or that the root cause of much of the problems lay in the policies begun by her idol FDR, who she writes about a little later. Note, too, how she implies that she was the one with the “political skill” to do all she said needed to be done. Finally, damn that resurgent populism and let’s not forget that poor Hillary couldn’t be bothered to find out why it was becoming a stronger force within in the US. Even when a lifelong Democrat from Arkansas explained it to Bill and then he to her, she didn’t listen and she sure as hell didn’t learn. Why? Because it didn’t fit the narrative and, with Hillary like with so many liberals, the narrative is all-important.
Is anyone surprised when she writes, “I also was inspired by Frankly Roosevelt’s New Deal program of the 1930s, which saved capitalism from itself following the Great Depression, and by his vision of a humane, progressive, internationalist American”? (Pg 78) Of course, she loved the New Deal. More government intervention in our lives. A welfare system that was supposed to be temporary and is now such an ingrained part of our society that we have generations of some families on the government dole. And saving “capitalism from itself”? WTF?!? But it sounds good, especially to the rank and file of the Democratic Party.
The next chapter, “A Day in the Life” is exactly that. I’ll leave it to you to read. If you want to hear about the minute details about her life on the campaign trail, especially at the beginning of the campaign, this is the chapter for you. She talks about her nutritionist, her hair stylist, her resentment that men can simply get up, shower and dress. She makes it sound like few politicians — or any other successful businessman — ever had the demands on her time that she did during this election.
It is in this chapter that she speaks about the incident on 9/11/2016 when she collapsed at the 9/11 Memorial. She basically brushes it off. In fact, she spends a total of 2 paragraphs on it and one of them spent more time talking about Chuck Schumer than what happened. So, to answer a question one of you asked earlier, she doesn’t spend a great deal of time discussing her health and is no more forthcoming (at least so far) about it now than she was at the time. (Pg 101)
There’s more but it is typical Hillary. The crowds loved her. Trump is evil. She worked hard and was the best candidate. Trump is evil. Of course, that is the basic outline of every chapter of the book.
One of the problems I have with the book — and one of the reasons this is being done one and two chapters at a time — is that Clinton doesn’t follow the timeline as she writes. She will be discussing the beginning of her campaign and suddenly she’s discussing 9/11/16 or the debates with Trump. This particular chapter is worse than some of the others. On Pg. 105, she writes about the debates, “Trump wouldn’t answer any question directly. He was rarely linear in his thinking or speaking. He digressed into nonsense and then digressed even more.” That pretty much describes her writing style in this book. We are now 107 pages into the book, and we have yet to hear much about her campaign to win the primary (with the exception of those first few weeks). A quarter of the book is done and we have yet to get to the meat of the campaign. She gets there but it comes in bits and pieces.
What Happened might have been her attempt to describe her campaign but it comes across as the wandering of the mind of a bitter, defeated woman who still can’t accept the outcome of the election. And, like the Energizer Bunny, I’m going to keep going. I have to see where this train wreck leads. Now to go find a drink. I think I deserve one after this.
*You know that this is a job where Amanda Green has to endanger either her mind or her liver. Send the woman a drink-SAH*