Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why is Clinton Campaigning on Four More Years of Obama? (Part I)

The 2016 election cycle has been a weird one, an anomaly to say the least. On the Republican side, the anti-establishment candidates are doing the best (receiving over 60% of the vote). On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders, is moving further Left than Obama by offering “free” everything. Sanders makes Obama’s “Life of Julia” caricature (how governance helps people from birth to death) look like a life a hardship. Clinton, on the other hand, says she will bring four more years of Obama. In a year when candidates cannot run far enough away from the establishment, Clinton is happy to campaign on the status quo (four more years of an unpopular president). This struck me as odd. In 2008, McCain could not avoid being called four more years of Bush and lost by a landslide. Yet, Clinton is happy to declare four more years of Obama. Why?

First, Clinton knows she is already tied to the Obama administration by serving four years as his Secretary of State. Clinton carried out the failed Obama foreign policy for four years and it is impossible for her to side step this feat in futility, especially when being tied to events such as the Russian reset, a failed Libyan coup, and the Benghazi massacre.

Secondly, Clinton, like Obama, polls better among minority groups. Bernie Sanders is doing well in states like New Hampshire and Iowa because they have small minority populations. One would think that Sanders’s socialistic policies would fare better among minorities and the impoverished. However, that is not the case, socialism is a philosophy that is mostly popular amongst white elitist individuals and groups especially amongst the youth. “Free” stuff appeals to the youth who expect and feel they deserve more entitlements for doing less. With no prospect of work coming out of college, skating through life with no accountability and living off the wealth of others sounds grand. That being said, Sanders socialism has not really caught on with minority groups. Therefore, Clinton understands she needs to turn out the minority vote to beat both Sanders and the Republican nominee. Hence, she hopes to ride Obama’s coattails to bring out the minority vote. Remember, Obama brought out minority voters in record droves in 2008 and 2012.

Thirdly, the Clinton campaign relates to the Obama campaign in terms of demographic history (race and gender). Obama was the first black President and Clinton hopes to be the first female President. Unfortunately, a large electorate in the United States will vote merely on the demographics of the candidate over substance. Clinton hopes to turn out those same Obama voters who sympathized over having the first black president because she assumes they would also sympathize over having the first female president. And she is probably correct.

Fourthly, and most importantly, Clinton does not want to go to jail. Obama does not like Clinton after their bloodbath primary in 2008. Obama only selected Clinton to be Secretary of State to keep his enemies close. Ironically, the two could not agree on anything in the 2008 campaign, but today, Clinton seems to agree with everything that is Obama. With several scandals hanging over the head of Clinton, it could come down to Obama’s DOJ on whether or not to prosecute. Meanwhile, Obama’s legacy could hang in the balance over the decisions made by the next president. Remember, many important Obama policies are executive orders, and can be cancelled by the next president on day one when they are in office. Therefore, if Clinton agrees to continue the Obama policies, Obama may decide to give Clinton a pass on her email and Clinton foundation issues. Ironically, both Obama and Clinton need each other for political purposes.

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