- - Thursday, February 11, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Those are birds of prey beginning to circle over Hillary Clinton and her campaign, and nervous Democrats are beginning to think the unthinkable. Maybe the party just won’t buy another Clinton.

The marketing folks are reminded of the dog-food company that launched a campaign for its latest offering, citing veterinarians and learned researchers that the food was the most nutritious ever to make a canine menu, and the television commercials aimed at pet owners were the most attractive, the most clever, and the most expensive in the company’s history. But nobody was buying it. The company called in their senior executives to sit around a table for two days to figure out what the problem was. None of the consultants had a clue. Finally a junior executive at the end of the table spoke up. “The problem is,” the said, “the dogs won’t eat the stuff.”

Hillary was the inevitable nominee eight years ago, until a little-known freshman senator from Illinois ate her lunch, dog food though it may have been. She had more money than anyone else, a great resume, a famous “wife of” riding a magic name, an enormous campaign organization overflowing with expensive consultants, and the only noise anyone could hear was a loud pffffffft! Nobody was buying.

The years seem to have only withered her appeal, such as it may be. Like Winston Churchill’s famous pudding, her campaign has no theme. When she gets on the stump she squeaks without the bubble, and can only glower when someone asks her a question she doesn’t like. She gets lots of those.

The infamous emails continue to leak from her infamous email server, which is now in the hands of the FBI, and the only reassurance she can offer friend and foe is that she’s never done anything wrong and anyone who says otherwise must be a member of the vast right-wing media conspiracy that so hounded her husband, who as everyone knows had never done anything wrong, either. The Democratic establishment that was only yesterday “all in” for her, no longer seems to be.

Worst of all, the shellacking she took in New Hampshire has emboldened her critics and may have given President Obama pause if he is tempted to put a leash on the FBI’s investigators who appear to be closing in on tell-tale emails.

Stories abound that Vice President Joe Biden now regrets his decision not to run against her, and that Jim Webb, the former Democratic senator from Virginia, regrets bailing on his race for the nomination. Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, is making noises that he might spend some of his abundant billions on the race for president that he has always wanted to make.

The Democratic establishment, thinking it had the perfect candidate, rigged the rules to give Hillary a clear and easy road to the nomination, and to the White House after that. The champagne was put on ice. But the dogs just won’t eat the stuff, and all Hillary and her party can look forward to is a monster bout of indigestion.

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