My first GregsList, The Top 10 Reasons Donald Trump Will Be President, created quite a stir within my reader base. It was fun dialogue. This second GregsList is one I've looked forward to writing. Months ago I believed Hillary Clinton was in much bigger trouble as a candidate than "experts" were admitting, or knowing. The Anointed nature of her candidacy by the Democratic party has surprised even me. From the moment of her announcement, it became clear that all Democratic eggs for the 2016 election were being stuffed in one basket -- the Clinton basket. This to me was very risky, as there would be few candidates around her who could deflect or absorb the onslaught of criticism that is automatically visited upon any presidential candidate, from any side of the aisle. The phrase "you have your heir, but you need a spare" never meant so much as it does in this election. The most challenging aspect of this GregsList, was limiting the list to only ten items!
I believe Hillary Clinton is that poor of a candidate.
1. Sorry, she just ain't Bill
Full disclosure, I was never a Bill Clinton fan, especially during the dark days of his presidency. I was, and continue to be, astounded by his political skills and incredible ability to survive. After Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, the sexual assault allegations, the finger-wagging to the American public, and all the other deceptions, he is still revered and forgiven by his supporters, including much of the media. Kind of JFKish in that way. Main difference though, is Bubba's escapades and skirting legality made Jack look like a choir boy. Richard Nixon was the Tinker Bell of Truth compared to this Clinton crew. After time, I have concluded Bill Clinton is one of the most amazing politicians I have ever analyzed. From a work ethic and media training standpoint, and with his polish and charisma, he's really, really good. Smooth as silk, he could make you believe he actually cared for you personally, as an every day American. Then, just like his wife, the Limousine Liberal emerges, and he races off into the sunset with you left on the curb, cooing over him. Sorry, Hillary just ain't Bill. She just ain't that good.
2. Few truly trust her
Ask around behind closed doors. Do people, even her closest associates, whisper back that they truly trust Hillary Clinton? Really? I was fortunate enough to interview a retired NASA executive in 2001, one-on-one, and in a private setting. This distinguished, extremely intelligent gentleman worked for NASA since its inception, and had personally served under all presidents since JFK. He retired before the George W. Bush era. Because of my fascination with history, I asked him pointed questions about these presidents. He listed them to me, with his personal observations sounding like a Reader's Digest synopsis. His (paraphrased) words were:
JFK – A phenomenal president and leader. We knew he had skeletons, but nobody cared. He was, in his daily role as president, an inspiring person who wanted the best for his country. Nice guy too.
Nixon – An underestimated man, especially with his intellect and his demeanor -- much more friendly in private than one would think. A little bit creepy at times, but a really smart guy. Guilty as sin with Watergate, but didn't deserve impeachment.
Carter – What you see is what you get. He was a very nice man, with high integrity and principles, but he just shouldn't have been a president – basically too nice.
Reagan – Larger than life, lit up a room, and his energy and enthusiasm inspired those around him. (Without doubt, Reagan was this man's favorite president).
George Bush Sr. – The most moral, kind man ever to be president. He worried about the citizens, his flock, and felt protective, just like a parent or grandparent would. After pulling the trigger to launch the first airstrikes in Iraq in 1990, he went into his private office and cried like a baby. He knew what war really meant, first hand. He knew that many young American lives would be lost because of his decision.
My NASA gentleman also had a lot to say about Bill Clinton and his wife. That part I will leave for another GregsList, or a dedicated blog entry. But lest I say, I could never vote for Hillary Clinton or her husband in any election -- not even for local Dog Catcher. Especially after hearing what I heard from this NASA gentleman.
3. Bernie Sanders is the Ross Perot of 2016, not Trump
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Bernie Sanders will play the role of Spoiler Ross Perot. Except this time, it will be Hillary's presidential bid being spoiled. Even if Donald Trump falters in any way, Trump will still be president, but Sanders will scoop even more votes. At minimum, I see Sanders exceeding 10% of the popular vote. For the most part, these will be Hillary voters, but he will take some from Trump as well. We'll likely be calling them the "SandTrumps!" Ross Perot ended his amazing Independent run in 1992 with 19% -- even after dropping out of the race! So, Bernie Sanders will excuse himself from the post-election party in 2016 having earned well over 10%. This scenario will represent chad-catastrophe for the Clinton campaign, with the millions of votes she will lose to Bernie Sanders, or to Donald Trump, or to Mickey Mouse if he were running!
4. Bengazi Bengazi Bengazi
My mother, who has now passed, first taught me where there's smoke there's fire. For decades now, Clinton defenders have looked the other way with this Uber-Power Couple's shenanigans. This past year or two have been different – or at least feel different to me. Bengazi is a memorable word, so I've used it thrice for my headline here. How memorable the eventual legal outcome of this tragedy has yet to be seen. But I mean, c'mon: Bengazi, TravelGate, Rose Law Firm missing files, Whitewater, the IRS debacle, and oh yes, the private email server investigation. What a cluster, what deception. "Oh, no big deal!" trumpet Hillary supporters – "You're just being mean to her." Or the ever-available pablum excuses, "It's those bad Republicans' fault!" or "it's because she's a woman, isn't it?" Call me old, call me conservative and backward, call me a boring square, but as a regular guy and thoughtful voter I am just deeply bothered by the endless legal controversies and deceptions (for more than two decades now) by anyone in the public eye named Clinton. The words criminal, and criminal charges are being tossed around a lot these days with regards to Hillary. Serious stuff; just like the good 'ol Clinton days of the 90s. If I were able to ask Mom about Hillary Clinton and her endless controversies, I know she would say, "Where there's smoke there's fire, Greg." And right now, there is more smoke surrounding Hillary Clinton than a two-mile tire fire. This time around, I believe the political chickens will cluck home to roost for this particular Teflon Clinton.
5. The public is sick and tired of lawyer presidents
When did this parsing of words start? Oh yes, under a Clinton. Wasn't the definition of "is" being parsed at one time? "I didn't have sexual relations with that woman..." depended on the definition of sexual relations, per lawyer Bill Clinton. Parse parse parse. President Obama is a lawyer and often sounds like he's performing closing arguments directly to a teleprompter, rather than talking directly to the American people. I believe any great president must have the desire, and the rare ability, to talk directly to (and honestly care about) every day citizens like you and me. From the very beginning of this election cycle, Hillary Clinton has been parsing words ad-nauseum in order to deflect criticism or responsibility. And this is providing any words at all are blessed upon reporters, or you and me. Even by politician standards, which are loose as sleeve of wizard, Hillary Clinton is being completely and utterly disingenuous, and dissing even her own supporters by remaining so silent. Her and her handlers' attempt to control the media by dodging, parsing, and everything else "ing", is becoming embarrassing, and will hurt her badly down the campaign road. It will indeed lose her millions of votes from the Democratic base – and even her loyal Democratic voters who comprise some 80% of today's media.
6. Trumposters will be revealed, post-election
This is not what you may be thinking. I believe a new voter will appear in the 2016 election, the "Trumposter." That is, a voter who publicly declares support for Hillary Clinton – but secretly votes for Trump inside the safety of the voting booth! No, I am not kidding. I believe there will be a good chunk of people, such as the famous Reagan Democrats and other swing groups from ages gone by, who will vote for Donald Trump in order to achieve real change and results for the country. Yet publicly, The Trumposter declares to friends the vote was cast for Hillary! Again, I am not joshing here; ideology and embarrassment are such powerful motivators, there will be many, many Closet Trumpers, aka Trumposters.
8. Money can't buy her love
Let's go to the next item, ok? Point made with the headline. (A gazillion bucks, and most will still not like her for President).
9. The Perfect Storm
I recently read a historical fiction book written by a marvelous author, Gilbert Morris. The author addresses politics, as he rarely does:
"...for this is one of those times when history hangs in the balance, Most of the time, history is slow, seeming not to move at all, or if things do happen, they have little impact. But every now and then, there comes a moment of destiny, and the decision rocks empires. I think we are now at such a time – and what happens now will change the nature of America – and of the world."
Historically, Reverend Morris was describing the Revolutionary War in the late 1700s, where the Americans could have easily lost our United States to the British. (Crumpets, anyone?). Morris's words could be perfectly titled, "The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election." Whether the country chooses a populist, socialistic direction with Hillary, or a free-market, libertarian direction by voting Trump, this is one of those forks in the road that comes only a handful of times in a lifetime. The Beatles were one. 9/11 was one. I believe Donald Trump winning the White House is going to happen, and is only possible with such a perfect storm from all directions against Hillary Clinton – as well as a perfect Zephyr from somewhere, calmly whisking The Donald to victory. And the storm will subside inside the American voting booth in 2016 – one Trump vote at a time.
10. The Ronald would trounce her too
I believe Hillary Clinton is cornered this time around, and will not wiggle her way out of it. With her 2016 election loss, she will lose much of her standing and reputation in the country, and the world. My favorite president was Ronald Reagan. Reagan was chided often about his age, and so is The Donald about his hair. The way Reagan diffused insults was often with humor – and often self-deprecating. Addressing the age issue, my favorite line in any debate was Reagan saying we should not let Walter Mondale's youth and inexperience be a factor in the election. Classic Reagan. Reminding readers about Ronald Reagan here is only to provide an example of why dynamic leaders – like The Ronald and The Donald – become presidents. It's Mark Cuban, it's Pete Carroll. They have humor, razzematazz, 100% confidence, enormous egos, and can often appear conceited or removed. But great leaders can take shots from the best of them, and punch back -- often with good cheer. I can be wrong here, but I don't think so. I believe Hillary is not someone who will be able to handle the endless rounds of political fist-fighting involved with a presidential campaign without folding like a cheap suit. Or maybe the criminal justice system will fold it for her. I just don't see Hillary Clinton as someone I could ever trust, or someone who would look out for my family, or even someone I would hire in the private sector. I just don't, sorry Hillary worshipers.
No matter what, let's all have fun riding this roller coaster until next year.
Here we go.
© Copyright 2015 by Greg Meakin
Greg Meakin is a Seattle businessman and freelance writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.gregmeakin.com