- - Wednesday, January 1, 2014

As Hillary Clinton looks forward to 2016, this is an especially important year for New Year’s resolutions. The next 12 months will set (actually, reset) the narrative for her presidential run, and Hillary, with her vast, left-wing army of elves in the media, unions and progressive interest groups have a lot of work to do. Maybe we can take a sneak peek at Hillary’s thinking and resolutions for the new year.

First on the agenda must be Obamacare. She needs to quickly distance herself from this stillborn train wreck. Credibility and integrity are the key issues. Obamacare was the single largest government program ever sold to the American people on the basis of “misstatements.” In the world of big lies, this may have been the biggest one in U.S. history. A Clinton cannot be close to that kind of scandal. It is already clear that the administration knew that the website would not work and that costs would explode under the program. However, what will become even more clear over the next couple of years — just in time for the 2016 election — is that Medicare is still heading for bankruptcy and that care to retirees must be reduced or rationed through death panels (OK, the Reaper Curve’s Ezekiel Emanuel might call them “life panels”).

Equally important, those whose hopes were raised about covering the uninsured, full portability, and pre-existing conditions will be shocked and disappointed to learn that the program cannot possibly pay for those features without more private-sector competition or a huge increase in taxes — the president rejected the first option and promised he wouldn’t do the second. Finally, it will also be clear to young Americans, homeowners, and stockholders that there are huge hidden taxes in Obamacare that they were never told about. Obamacare will be smoke and ashes by 2016.

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Hillary cannot afford to tie herself to this mess and risk losing all credibility, not to mention the elderly, the youth and the poor, and the middle class who’ve seen costs go up or have lost their insurance.

Closer to home, Obamacare brings to mind Hillarycare, that mind-numbing mess that was so complicated that Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen had to accompany Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala to try to explain it to Congress. That brings to the table the secondary political issue of competence, and Obamacare and Hillarycare both suggest that neither of these folks could run a corner convenience store, much less the U.S. government.

Hillary Resolution 1: I will never, ever, talk about health care.

On the subject of running things, the U.S. economy comes to mind. The Federal Reserve and Office of Management and Budget’s joint Ponzi schemes of massive debt and quantitative easing will hit the wall over the next couple of years, leading to a serious problem of global confidence in the U.S. dollar and the U.S. economy. The potential crash of this huge house of cards may be the dominant issue in the 2016 election, much as the mortgage-backed-securities debacle determined the 2008 election.

Hillary must detach herself from the high-debt and high-deficit, money-printing policies of this administration and come out as a “compassionate” fiscal hawk. Only a Clinton could morph into George W. Bush and get the progressives to buy it.

Resolution 2: I will deny I ever saw a real Obama budget (actually, nobody did) and demand a balanced budget. (I might even go for tax cuts.)

The third leg of the 2016 campaign preparation is foreign policy. U.S. foreign policy is in ruins. Over the next two years, it will become clear that the United States has lost Pakistan and Afghanistan to both Islamic extremists and to China; that Iraq is no friend or ally; that Iran has nuclear weapons and long-range missiles; that Iran and Syria are aligning with Russia, as are other parts of the Middle East and that no one in the Middle East, including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, trusts us; that Europe, after the NSA scandal, is moving quickly away from us; and that U.S. military strength is in decline. The bottom line is that the United States is losing key allies at a record pace and is finding itself more isolated and distrusted than at any time in recent memory. Hillary was in charge of the State Department during this entire fiasco. It is time to rewrite history, and The New York Times is on the job with its astounding “up-is-down” narrative on the Benghazi scandal. This semantic pretzel brings to mind the tortuous discussion of “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” and the painful definition of “is” during the last Clinton administration.

Resolution 3: I will attack the Obama administration’s foreign policy as a failure and promise to restore America’s strength, trust and respect in the world. After Benghazi, I also promise not to bring up “3 a.m. phone calls” again.

OK — on to 2016.

Grady Means was an assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.

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