Hillary Clinton Is the Status Quo Candidate

Like Obama, but slightly worse. (AP)
• June 19, 2015 11:30 am


Hillary Clinton really wants to be president, but why? First of all, the job only pays $400,000 a year, and often requires taking positions on key issues. The White House is located in a less fashionable neighborhood than her current D.C. residence.

Clinton is trying to secure a third consecutive White House victory for her party, something that has only happened once (1988) since presidential term limits were established in 1951. President Obama's approval rating is underwater, and unless he experiences a surge in popularity over the next year, some election analysts think the likelihood of Hillary winning is much lower than advertised.

Hillary will apparently try to distinguish herself from Obama while at the same time adopting his campaign strategy, which emphasized mobilizing the liberal base over persuading undecided voters. Maybe liberal voters will be as excited for Hillary as they were for Obama, and turn out in sufficient numbers to propel her to victory. Maybe not. Certainly, the American public has never had such disregard from Obama's honesty and trustworthiness. Maybe that won't matter.

The Clinton campaign apparently thinks that portraying Hillary as a "fighter" is a good way to present a contrast with Obama, as if her experience and ruthless approach to politics will somehow be enough overcome the fact that Republicans control Congress and are likely to remain in power (at least in the House) for years to come.

On policy, Hillary really hasn't proposed anything that Obama wouldn't propose if he was running  for third term himself. Pretending to sort of of oppose him on trade doesn't count. She supports his (legally dubious) efforts to reform the immigration system through executive action, but has promised to do it harder. Like Obama, she wants to make registering to vote easier than attending a Hillary Clinton campaign event.

Even if Hillary wins and Democrats get at least 50 seats in the Senate, Republicans will almost definitely remain in charge of the House. Unless she radically alters her agenda, Hillary's ability to win Congressional approval for her policy's will be no better than Obama's. Maybe she resorts to executive order, which may or may not survive legal challenges.

In other words, it's hard to see how a Hillary Clinton presidency would significantly alter the status quo. Yes, she would make history as the oldest Democrat to win the White House. But what else would she bring to the table, apart from an approach to press relations that is even more paranoid and adversarial than the current administration's? Does anyone think a Hillary Clinton administration will be more transparent? What could she do differently to ensure that Republicans don't pick up seats in the Senate in 2018?

People don't like the status quo. Maybe that's why Democrats are starting to flock to Bernie Sanders. He's for people who want change. People who enjoy the status quo should vote for Hillary Clinton.