A few months ago, the New York Times published a massive graphic depicting the overlapping circles of advisers, minions, apparatchiks, confidants, gofers, supernumeraries, pals, cronies, gray eminences, fundraisers, public relations flacks, consultants and enablers who have signed up in the fawning service of Hillary Clinton's presumptive 2016 presidential campaign.
The schematic was the equivalent of a political Rube Goldberg machine. And, as it turned out, about as effective, too.
P. Diddy isn't surrounded by retinue as useless as the one around She Who Must Be Hurrayed. For apparently not one of these professional sycophants has the confidence or the chutzpah to tell the former secretary of state please, for the love of God, just shut up.
It has become conventional wisdom among the nation's chattering classes not only that Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee but that her eventual election transcends certitude.
Of course these are many of the same thumb-suckers who predicted with great confidence the 2008 presidential race would pit then New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton against former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. There was just one itty-bitty miscalculation. As it unfolded, Clinton and Giuliani exhibited all the retail political acumen of a sack of snipes.
Six years later not much has changed as Clinton and her entourage of nodding bobblehead operatives have demonstrated it takes a village of idiots to raise a gaffe.
On paper, Clinton is uniquely qualified to assume the presidency: former first lady, former senator, former top diplomat. She is smart. She is experienced. She can even be quite funny.
Then she starts to talk off the cuff. No good comes from this.
What should have been a breezy book tour promoting her self-serving tome Hard Choices descended into a lengthy distraction after Clinton insisted she and her husband were "flat broke" when they left the White House, apparently subsisting on Tender Vittles until the book advance checks cleared.
So destitute were the couple that Clinton said she and her husband fretted over how to pay their (note the plural) mortgages on their tony homes in New York and Washington. Where's Jerry Lewis and his telethon skills when you need him?
It was right about here someone — anyone — in Clinton's mega-swath of hangers-on should have shown up with masking tape. But no, the former this and that kept babbling about her dire money woes even as reports surfaced that the Clintons are worth an estimated $100 million based on their book deals, corporate board perches and six-plus-figure speaking fees.
Now this. A few days ago, Clinton suggested in an interview with Atlantic Monthly that her former boss, President Barack Obama, lacked an "organizing principle" with respect to foreign policy, which seemed to be totally based on not doing "stupid stuff." This was especially snarky since Clinton oversaw U.S. foreign policy for four years. There must have been a few minutes on the schedule during all that time to dig up an "organizing principle" or two. You won't find these many contortions at a Cirque du Soleil show.
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When you are as politically craven as Clinton it was clear this wasn't some high-toned debate over the nuances of foreign policy but a calculated gambit by a likely presidential candidate to distance herself from a sitting president whose polling numbers are in decline.
It was not until former Obama adviser David Axelrod noted that not doing "stupid stuff" referred to invading Iraq based on a tissue of lies, which Clinton gullibly had voted to do as a senator, that She Who Must Be Serenaded began to walk back her criticism of the man who trusted her to become his secretary of state.
This is Clinton's glaring flaw as a candidate: the all too obvious ambition, the tone deafness, the sense of entitlement, the indifference to understanding loyalty is best measured when it is the most risky to express.
Clinton said she couldn't wait to see Obama at a recent social gathering, when she could hug him. What do you think the chances are as they embraced Obama whispered: "Et tu, Hillary?"