- - Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed this past week co-authored by Mark Penn, a former adviser to both Bill and Hillary Clinton. The column tells us that Hillary will indeed run again for President again in 2020 and that a new version, referred to as Hillary 4.0, will crush a field of Democrats on her way to again securing the party’s nomination and apparently finally taking her rightful place in history as America’s first woman president.

Hillary 4.0? Yes, 4.0. We are led to believe that the fourth version of Mrs. Clinton will be the authentic one. The real deal. Mr. Penn and writing partner former New York City politician Andrew Stein refer to the first Hillary the nation got to know as first lady (Hillary 1.0) as “the progressive firebrand of 1994.” 

My recollection of the social-medicine promoting Hillary of 1994 is as the first First Lady in history to actually have negative polling numbers. Even when Nixon was on the edge of impeachment, the country liked Pat. When Jimmy Carter was generally recognized by America as a failure, people liked Rosalyn. But at a time that Bill Clinton was at the peak of his charm, more Americans disliked Hillary than liked her. She mocked stay at home Moms. She made reference to when “we” were elected, as though she had been on the ballot with Bill. 

Hillary 2.0 came along when she decided to leverage the Clinton brand and run for US Senate in New York. She won that race of course and positioned herself as the inevitable Democrat nominee for President in 2008. Except a guy name Obama derailed that effort.

So in 2016 Hillary 3.0 veered hard left and bullied her way into her party’s nomination. Bullied? Yes. In 2016 Hillary 3.0 literally took over the Democrat party via a secret agreement to get the struggling organization back on solid financial footing as long as her team could run it. Never mind that there was another candidate for the nomination. Never mind the party is supposed to stay impartial during the primaries. Hillary would save the DNC while stacking the deck to assure she got the nomination. 

Again she did her best to assume the mantle of the inevitable nominee. The mainstream media voluntarily put on blinders and ignored the fact that her candidacy announcement was made in front of a crowd of literally zero people. They ignored that her first several campaign stops had audiences of 6 to 12 people. In reality, public support for Hillary was always an illusion crafted from smoke and mirrors. She couldn’t draw a crowd to save her life…or her candidacy. Even in on election eve in November she needed Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce to get people to turn out and cheer. 

So to be told now that Hillary 4.0 will be authentic and will overwhelm a field of younger Democrat primary opponents is laughable. Hillary was unbeatable as long as people believed she was unbeatable. So was Mike Tyson. Tyson was the overwhelmingly dominant heavyweight boxing champion of the late 1980s. He crushed opponent after opponent. Giant fellow heavyweights would enter the ring to fight Mr. Tyson with a look of fear and intimidation. They had lost before the bell rang because everyone, including them, knew Mr. Tyson would win. The story played out time and again … until Tyson lost to 42-1 underdog Buster Douglas. Mr. Tyson won more fights after that, but the cloak of invincibility had been lifted. Everyone recognized Iron Mike could be beaten and he was. Repeatedly. His career limped to a close with him winning only 5 of his last 12 fights.

Likewise, the perpetual “inevitable nominee” is now clearly seen as beatable. There are at least half a dozen Democrats building national name recognition that are better public speakers, can raise big money and will appeal to people born after 1960. While these young guns will surely be respectful in their public comments about Hillary, none fear her. None are intimidated. None believe she is unbeatable. To the contrary, they’ve seen her give it her best shot and fail. 

Mike Tyson finished his career losing fights to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. Who? Exactly my point. Mr. Tyson didn’t know when to get out of the ring, or perhaps he did but couldn’t because he didn’t know how to do anything else. 

It appears Hillary may step back in the political ring in 2020. Like Mike Tyson she doesn’t know how to do anything else. And like Mike Tyson, don’t be surprised when she loses in Iowa and New Hampshire to people with names like Danny Williams and Kevin McBride.

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