by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Bill Clinton won the White House in 1992 by focusing on an adviser’s quip: “It’s the economy, stupid.” Now, Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner offers a slightly different line for the Republicans who hope to defeat Clinton’s wife in the 2016 presidential race.
Republicans who want to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 need a similarly single-minded focus: It’s the cronyism, stupid.
Hillary is at times a liberal, at times a moderate; here a populist, there an elitist; sometimes a hawk, sometimes a dove; but she’s always a crony.
Turn over any rock in Clintonworld, and you’ll find some species of cronyism wriggling out from beneath it. Look in her Senate career, and you’ll find her selling public policy in exchange for campaign contributions. Peek into the Clinton presidency, and you’ll see her husband selling pardons for gifts to his presidential library.
The Clinton Foundation was a breeding ground for cronyism, with new species being bred by the tawdry liaisons of petrol-state money, U.S. corporations, and the former first family. Hillary’s brother Tony Rodham, Clinton confidants Terry McAuliffe and Rahm Emanuel — they all occupy this world along with a rogue’s gallery of revolving-door lobbyists and public-policy profiteers.
The pervasive cronyism of Clintonism ought to make Hillary very vulnerable in her presidential run — but only if the Republican nominee and the GOP Establishment are ready make an issue of it.