- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2014


There’s trouble when too much showbiz sneaks into politics. Entertainment and shrill trappings often trumps even simple truths before distracted voters; valuable and authentic moments can get lost in the manufactured hubbub. The situation is fraught with peril for politicians and presidential hopefuls scrambling to establish their “brand”. Hillary Clinton’s monumental return to public radar is a test case.

The public isn’t completely overwhelmed quite yet. Why, even a new poll of Democrats reveals that only a quarter of them say she should run for president “unopposed”. Meanwhile, the Mrs. Clinton’s massive marketing caravan is on the move.

She has a new memoir, multiple intense interviews and a national tour complete with fancy campaign bus courtesy of Ready for Hillary, a super pac. The book has already earned some catty reviews and or/accusations that it has little new substance but lots of packaging and safe sound bites. Watchful news organizations wonder if she’s conducting a book tour or campaign roll-out.

And while Mrs. Clinton’s strategists hope to time her public presence and a possible announcement with exquisite calibration, their candidate-in-waiting may be offering too much too soon. It is very difficult to control the trajectory of such things in our frantic age. There is also a delicate balance between over-marketing and productive campaigning; Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul will be the first to say that unscripted, shirt sleeves-style grassroots moments often yield more voter interest.

But at least Mrs. Clinton’s not racing off to say, Iowa or New Hampshire just yet. And there is a chance she won’t run at all. No, really. There is.

Meanwhile, we must note intriguing deep numbers in a recent poll. Yes, yes - it reveals that she has strong, favorable personal numbers. But 55 percent of Democrats themselves also say Mrs. Clinton and “other Democrats” should run for president in 2016. Only 28 percent say she should run unopposed, while 13 percent say she should not run at all, this according to a survey conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News.

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