by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Poor Hillary. 2008 was her year and she blew it, and 2016 isn’t the same. She’s 68, close to the end of the timeline for running for president, and she took the wrong job, which looked at the time like a brilliant decision but turned out to be a mistake. She’s tied to a failed foreign policy, tied to Benghazi and Libya, and her new job opened the door to large scale corruption at the Clinton Foundation and to the chance that she took with the personal server, which has led to a brush with the law.
Worst of all, the card that the she thought was her sure-fire ticket — the thrill of electing the first woman president — had an expiration date on it, which seemed to come due at some unspecified moment when she was taking her ill-gotten gains to the bank. …
… Strangely enough, the deck doesn’t seem stacked against the Republicans, who elected four of their six female senators in the most recent three cycles, while the fourteen Democrats tend to be older and longer in provenance, some going back 24 years to the “Year of the Woman” itself. In 2008, Republican women were few and were boring, Democrats loomed as the party of women, and Hillary reigned as their queen.
But in 2010, the liberal essayist Hanna Rosin had started to note that the Tea Party movement was breeding a new type of female contender, who shunned all appeals to race and/or gender, and ran on a note of reform. In 2010 they scored with Senator Kelly Ayotte and Governors Susana Martinez and Nikki Haley (then a 38-year-old-daughter of Indian immigrants). In 2014 they added Joni Ernst, 44, an Iraq war veteran; Martha McSally, a retired colonel in the United States Air Force; Mia Love, a black Mormon from Utah; and Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at age 29.
Save for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, interesting young female Democrats barely exist, having been washed out along with the men in their two midterm bloodbaths, which destroyed a generation of promising candidates, including Michelle Nunn, and Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, for whom the Clintons campaigned. As a result, the young women whom voters now see are conservative women, like Haley, who made headlines last year with her leadership after the shootings in Charleston, and with her decision to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the capitol. Against this, Clinton’s ‘achievements’ seem merely hot air. ‘