by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
James Antle of the Daily Caller devotes a column to one way in which Hillary Clinton’s latest presidential run will be far different from the one that propelled her husband to the White House 23 years ago.
Whatever advantages Hillary Clinton will enjoy in 2016 — her potential to be the first woman president, the growth of demographic groups who favor Democrats, the memory of peace and prosperity while her husband was in office — freshness, youth and a lack of familiarity will not be among them.
Not only will Clinton, now 67, turn 70 in what would be her first year in the White House. She has been a familiar figure nationally since the early 1990s, a household name in Arkansas and neighboring states since the 1970s. She is as much of a figure of a bygone era as Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008.
For people who remember the Internet boom and the budget surplus, that might not be an entirely bad thing. And of course, anyone who admires Ronald Reagan understands older presidents can still be conduits for new ideas.
That said, Hillary Clinton and her entourage come across as a nostalgia act, like a “Friends” and “Seinfeld” marathon. Unless the Republicans choose Jeb Bush for president, in keeping with the party’s tradition of handing out its nomination like a gold watch at a retirement party, the GOP standard-bearer will be the fresh face.
Already, there is a sense of déjà vu surrounding Hillary. Her scandals seem the same. Defenders like James Carville, David Brock and Joe Conason are coming out of the woodwork. Other Clinton apologists, such as Hilary Rosen, are reminding fellow Democrats who’s really in charge.
Even the Clintons seem to understand it’s different this time. Hillary is invoking her grandmotherly status. They are toying with campaign slogans that sound more like a farewell tour than a bridge to the future.