Second of Two Part Series
Writing in The Hill, on January 14, Dick Morris, the master strategist who planned President Bill Clinton’s classic Comeback Kid reelection in 1996 after his walloping in the 1994 congressional midterms, recognized with all his brilliant acumen and remorseless insight how disastrous the early deployment of Bill in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has become.
In the space of less than two months, Old Bill has destroyed Hillary’s core base – the women’s vote. Morris brilliantly analyzes from the most recent polling data how this has collapsed since the beginning of December – and all because she rolled out her loyal, old Brahmastra, her ultimate weapon, as described in the great Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata – her husband.
But, as usual, Hillary’s timing sucked.
By deploying Bill at this still-early point in the campaign, Hillary allowed Donald Trump, to revive faded national memories of Bill’s endless scandals with attractive young women, none of whom were his wife.
Before Hillary summoned her somewhat tarnished old White Knight back to her side to rescue her from the Evil Dragon Bernie Sanders, Bill’s “indiscretions” were just obscure ancient history.
But as Morris, who served Bill so well in his presidential heyday, pointed out, Trump, the master of media exposure and a classic counter-puncher, took advantage of Bill’s re-emergence to resurrect his old history of one sordid affair after another.
Trump, Morris argued, was able to portray Bill as a serial abuser of women comparable to the for-so-long-beloved Bill Cosby. And this connection is now proving disastrous for both Clintons.
Trump has exposed to young Democratic voters the entire sordid, salacious Monica Lewinsky affair, and many others buried on the backburner by the Clintons for so long.
As long as Bill was not a factor in this campaign, Monica, Jennifer Flowers, and Bill’s many other “indiscretions” remained obscure ancient history. Now they have suddenly become as immediate and awfully vivid as Kim Kardashian.
The polling data shockingly reveals this. In a January 7 Fox News poll, Morris notes, Hillary’s support among women had already collapsed so catastrophically she decisively lost national match up races to Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and even to that other arch-macho Alpha Male, The Donald himself.
This is unbelievably damaging to Hillary: It means that Bill, her own Brahmastra, has backfired and incinerated her, just as he did in 2008.
Had she held Bill back now and just unleashed him after the conventions on “high minded” policy issues targeting the record of the eventual Republican candidate, he might have tipped the scales for her, and proven as effective as he did for Barack Obama in 2012.
Point Brahmastra Bill at the Republicans and he incinerates them every time. But unleash him too soon against a still-undecided Democratic base, and he alienates one key demographic after another – the African Americans in 2008 and the young Millenials.
Worst of all, Hillary’s misuse of her own Ultimate Weapon reveals that she really has not changed at all since 2008: She remains as inept and gloriously woeful and incompetent in directing her own campaign now as she did then.
If she could, Hillary should let President Obama – a true Jedi master of the election trail if ever there was one – run her entire campaign for her. But of course, his heart and soul are really with Vice President Joe Biden.
Goodbye, Hillary: Having you in the White House would have been a nightmare of woeful incompetence unleashed on America. But watching you skid on your own self-created banana skins in this campaign has been a joyous treat yet again.
Martin Sieff is a former senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and former Managing Editor, International Affairs for United Press International. Mr. Sieff is the author of “That Should Still Be Us: How Thomas Friedman’s Flat World Myths Are Keeping Us Flat on Our Backs” (Wiley 2012) and “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East” (Regnery, 2008). He has received three Pulitzer Prize nominations for international reporting.