US Senator Dick Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton were Yalies together back in the day. On Friday, April 10, Blumenthal “gushed” over his old Yale compatriot, according to an item by Neil Vigdor of the Hearst Group:
“Blumenthal gushed Friday over Clinton’s political stock, ahead of the former secretary of state’s announcement Sunday that she is running for president in 2016.
“’She literally can make history,’ Blumenthal told Hearst Connecticut Media. ‘How many people have been a presidential spouse, a senator in her own right and a distinguished secretary of state with a record of representing a major state (New York) and our nation abroad? By any measure, she is very seriously and significantly qualified, especially as compared to some of the other contenders.’
The “other contenders” would be a bevy of Republicans, none of whom were married to Bill Clinton. Neither was Massachusetts Congresswoman Elisabeth Warren, the heartthrob of Democratic progressives, married to the philandering former president. CNN has listed 11 alternatives to Mrs. Clinton; however, at the moment, Ms. Warren’s star appears to be shining more brightly than other Democratic presidential possibilities, despite her avowals that she is not a contender.
“I’m not running for president… I don’t get who writes these headlines or what they’re about. I think there’s just kind of a pundit world out there," Ms. Warren has said.
This disclaimer and others like it are not Shermanesque enough for some citizens of Punditworld. Considered for the presidential election of 1888, William Tecumseh Sherman declined the draft in unambiguous terms: “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected." At times, Ms. Warren appears to be playing a cat and mouse game with her progressive constituency, battering Wall Street and coyly escaping the nomination noose thrown out to her by ardent progressive populists.
Among Democratic progressives, Ms. Warren continues to be a default candidate because she, like Mrs. Clinton,is a woman. Democrats have been accusing Republicans of making “war on women” ever since Barack Obama threw his hat in the presidential ring several years ago, and the claim, though spurious, has been good for business. Then too, Ms. Warren’s public persona, but for unnecessary assertions that she was an American Indian, appears to be more authentic than Mrs. Clinton’s, who has shed a few snake skins in her day.
The skeletons in Ms. Warren’s closet are less spooky than those rattling in Mrs. Clinton’s closet. The overthrow of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi by Secretary of State Clinton and the Obama administration continues to rattle some progressives who argue – along with Republican commentator Pat Buchanan, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, the libertarian wing of the Republican Party and the anti-war wing of the progressive movement – that interventionism leads to unwanted, unintended consequences.
The sacking of the American consulate in Libya is worrisome because Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama may have been running an arms transfer operation in Benghazi, hence the need for plausible deniability: The sacking of the consulate in Benghazi, don’t you know, was accomplished by protesters enraged by an amateur video assaulting the sterling reputation of the prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him. As time rolls on and the truth is hoisted on stage, even the most ardent Clintonite may come to understand that Mr. Obama's Libya is the eerie equivalent of Mr. Bush's Iraq War, Mrs. Clinton playing the part of hateful advisors such as Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State for President George Bush and Bush Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Mrs. Clinton plans to “go small” during her campaign, which is to say she will appear in more intimate venues, far from the madding crowd of seasoned journalists. “I think the more people can see Hillary the person, I’m tempted to say the real Hillary Clinton, the more that they will develop very deep and genuine affection and admiration for her,” Blumenthal has said. President Obama has perfected the self-edited campaign, and Mrs. Clinton intends to follow the same path to the White House. “Going small” is simply a way of managing the inconveniences of going big, among them critical exposure from national media critics and others who, for very good reasons, are uncomfortable with candidate managed press exposure.
Mr. Blumenthal, author of thousands of media releases during his long political tenure as Connecticut’s Attorney General, could easily give lessons to Mrs. Clinton in this regard; he is used to dancing around potential bonfires without being singed. Having served as a suit-happy AG in Connecticut for more than two decades, his march to the US Congress was not impeded by his false claims – in intimate settings -- that he had served in Vietnam, when in fact he served state-side in Washington DC after having exhausted his deferments. In a recent poll, Mr. Blumenthal’s popularity appears undented; Republicans will have a devil of a time putting up a candidate for US Senator who may defeat the maestro of intimate settings.