For the second time in a row, Hillary Clinton entered a presidential race as the all but declared winner. In 2008, she was defeated by a relatively unknown junior senator from Illinois. Obama hired her in a high-profile cabinet post, and she bided her time.
Now, Clinton is back for 2016, and, once again, came in as the presumptive winner. With few legitimate Democratic contenders and another cavalcade of GOP potential opponents tearing each other to pieces in a 15-man (and one woman) battle, Clinton looked to be a runaway winner again.
But in six months it seems to all be falling apart. Independent darling Bernie Sanders is getting much more love than anyone expected, and now VP Joe Biden is considering a run. Biden actually holds more appeal than Hillary does with the Democrat base. He’s carries the Obama legacy, which DEMs have fully embraced.
Then, here comes Donald Trump – he’s as far Anti-Establishment as it gets, and that doesn’t bode well for an establishment, legacy candidate like Clinton. Naturally, Trump is also firing shots in Hillary’s direction – and Trump has not been shy about his appraisal of a Clinton presidency.
But none of this accounts for why Hillary’s campaign is suffering. After all, she has strong credentials and, arguably, the most famous political name in the race.
She doesn’t really seem that hungry. Remember that scene from Rocky 3 where Creed tells Rocky he got beat by Clubber because he didn’t have the same fire in his belly? Well, that same speech could be leveled her way. When you are in the lead, you press the pedal down, don’t let up. Just ask George H.W. Bush. After eight years of Reagan and four solid years in the White House, the elder Bush should have been able to win re-election easily. Instead, he got ambushed by an upstart Senator from Arkansas. How can Hillary not remember that?
Second, the base isn’t convinced. There’s really not that much to love about Hillary, even if you share her policy positions. She appears stilted and out of touch, well-meaning but impenetrably dull. She’s the neighbor you invite to the barbecue because everyone else is coming, and she lives next door. To not invite her would be awkward.
Hillary appears tone deaf to everything but her eventual crowning. Clinton has bungled her handling of the ongoing email scandal, and so much more. That is not how you handle a candidate who was the sure thing--something Clinton’s PR team should already know.
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5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian is one of America’s most well-respected public relations professionals, and author of “For Immediate Release.”