- - Sunday, April 12, 2015



In early 2007, the mainstream political pundits were already falling in line, predicting that Hillary Rodham Clinton would be her party’s presidential nominee for an election still nearly two years hence.

Hillary was The Chosen One. The pundits said she was unstoppable: She had the “Clinton Machine” behind her — the ruthless team of operatives and dirt-diggers who twice put her husband into office — as well as tens of millions of email addresses and, of course, access to hundreds of millions of dollars at the snap of her fingers.

She lost. Badly. But she didn’t just lose. While selling herself as the mature candidate whom Americans could trust to handle properly that emergency “3 a.m. phone call,” she got her hat handed to her by a 47-year-old with more experience as a community organizer than a U.S. senator, a job he’d held only since 2004.

Americans didn’t love Barack Obama. And most probably didn’t fall for his tripe about “hope” and “change” and a post-partisan presidency. They simply didn’t like — and didn’t trust — Hillary.

More, though, the media decided it was time for a change. Instead of a professional politician — an old and tired face — the mainstream media put its muscle behind the up and comer. When reports emerged in March 2008 that Mrs. Clinton had lied about taking hostile fire from snipers during a March 1996 visit to U.S. troops at Tuzla Air Base in Bosnia, the press pummeled her.

There was a new Chosen One. And while she stayed on for two more months, Mrs. Clinton was done. The media had decided — they bailed on her to support the man whose victory would be the historic election of “the first black president.” On June 7, she quit the race.

Now, she’s back — with a whole new bag of lies. But this time she has a plan: She’ll control the media — and she’s already putting her plan into action.

Before her Sunday announcement, Team Hillary held private dinners with media bigs. Off the record, of course. Attending were ABC’s Diane Sawyer, David Muir and George Stephanopoulos, who was Bill Clinton’s White House communications director (and also the guy who created the “war on women” narrative the press used against Republican Mitt Romney in 2012). Also wining and dining were CBS’s Norah O’Donnell and NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, who recently attacked Sen. Rand Paul and repeatedly talked over him during a contentious interview (which, as you can predict, led to MSM charges that Mr. Paul hates women).

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough (once a Republican lawmaker) was there, as were several reporters from CNN, and, as always, Mike Allen of the liberal Politico website.

The New York City dinner came a night after MSM “journalists” dined in D.C. at the home of John Podesta, a top Clinton adviser and soon to be Hillary’s campaign chairman. Attending that off-the-record dinner were reporters from “The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, Bloomberg, McClatchy, Reuters and several major TV networks,” according to The Huffington Post.

While munching on a shrimp appetizer and homemade cookies with a selection of wine and beer — “including, appropriately, Brooklyn Lager” — the HuffPost said, Hillary wowed the reporters, who no doubt felt special to have been picked for the high-level conclave.

And so, Operation Hillary 2016 has begun. She needs the media to push the same message they did last time: This election is historic, “the first female president,” blah blah blah. And so, the MSM will push that meme for the next 18 months.

Mrs. Clinton has given them their marching orders — attack the Republicans, protect and exalt me. And they’ll ignore all the lies, unlike last time. Look already how the MSM has dismissed the Benghazi debacle, or Mrs. Clinton deleting 33,000 emails from her secret server. This time, she truly is the Chosen One.

But there’s a simple problem: Just as in 2008, voters still don’t like her, and they sure don’t trust her. They gave Mr. Obama the benefit of the doubt; they won’t do so for Mrs. Clinton. She doesn’t know yet, but she’s going to lose again. Badly.

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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