The strange thing about her 2016 campaign prep is that she appears to be following the same playbook. But on the other hand it might not be so strange at all.
The Democratic Party is uneasily planning its own Post-Obama future and the news isn’t particularly good. The Republican Party never became the Party of Bush, but the Democratic Party is the party of Obama. Obama and his cronies have built up a shadow party of the left made up of SuperPACs and think tanks that overlaps with the Democratic Party, but has no real investment in it.
The unveiling of OFA, completes the marginalization of the Democratic Party at the hands of a lefty technocratic infrastructure that looks a lot like the bare bones of a third party. Meanwhile the jackass party has been taking a political beating with no respite. It is doing even worse in the leadership department than the GOP and its party identification numbers are down in an imperial system where the voters care more about Obama’s unilateral lawmaking, than about voting the Democratic ticket.
The Democratic Party needs a post-Obama future and the Clintons have the resources and names to tie the organization together and turn it into something more than a way to get names for Obama’s private fundraising and mailing list. Hillary Clinton had too much of the wrong history attached to her in 2008, but in 2016, all that history may suddenly be good history. After eight years, everyone is tired of new blood and will settle for some old blood with more modest ambitions.
And that brings us back to Benghazi. State was supposed to be a smooth ride for Hillary Clinton, full of photo ops that suggest experience. No one was counting on her bringing a scandal back with her. But the one thing Hillary Clinton can be relied on to do is find a scandal and bring it back no matter where she is or what she does.
Benghazi intersected dangerously with the presidential ambitions of two candidates. Obama needed to shut down Benghazi in 2012 and Hillary needs to bury it long before the primaries, because if she doesn’t, her party rivals will use it to bury her. And that’s where things begin wandering into a new territory in which the old political rules no longer apply.
In Term 1, Obama and Clinton were untouchable by the media. As Term 2 winds on, they will become bigger targets for both Republicans and Democrats. And the media will begin bending against them. It’s easy to read that as an accretion of disgust, but it’s just politics.
The media appeared to turn on Bill Clinton toward the end, but it wasn’t fed up with his sleazy ways, instead it was establishing Al Gore as an ethical contrast to Bill. The idea may be ridiculous, but it nearly worked and giving Bill Clinton a kick on the way out helped sell his own vice president as an alternative to his own boss. Before too long, it will be Obama’s turn to get kicked for Hillary’s sake. And it will be both their turns to get kicked for the sake of a preferred alternative to either one of them.
No matter how much the media swooned over Obama, it will feed him to the dogs in a minute if the domestic or international situation gets to the point that it did for Bush toward the end. Any number of events, including a complete health care disaster or a series of Taliban victories in Afghanistan could bring that on. But even if nothing that big happens, the malaise will likely mean that Obama will not get the Great Leader sendoff that some of his supporters imagined he would. The media isn’t loyal to Obama. It’s loyal to the left and it will destroy Obama for the sake of its bigger goals.
But Obama may have his own agenda. The left succeeded in hijacking the 2008 election. And who is to say that OFA will go away when Obama does? The odds are good that it will not. And that means that a second civil war may be brewing, this time with a much tougher left taking on a weakened Democratic Party stripped of many of its moderate figures.