Hillary Clinton, who all but has the Democratic presidential nomination locked up, is delaying her formal announcement that she is a candidate for the White House. She is expected to announce in July instead of April.
The delay from the original April target would give her more time to develop her message, policy and organization, without the chaos and spotlight of a public campaign.
Wow! You’d think Ms. Clinton might already have a “message,” and Lord knows a coherent message would not come amiss in a country more adrift than perhaps any other time in its history.
Fortunately, Andrew Stiles of the Free Beacon poses five questions for Hillary Clinton that should help her formulate a message before July (assuming the announcement isn’t delayed again). The first question is both dazzlingly simple and a must-do:
1. Why are you running for president?
• Can you answer this question without mentioning your grandchild?
• What does it say about you as candidate that your own aides believe you are “better off as a non-candidate,” and should delay having to confront actual voters for as long as possible?
• What makes your “rationale” for running any different from that of Mitt Romney?
• Both of you lost to Barack Obama in rather humiliating fashion. Remember that?
• He has 23 times the number of grandchildren you do, so doesn’t that mean he thinks about the future that much harder?
• You’re both excessively rich, right?
• No? Please explain.
We all admire people who are willing to shoulder the responsibility of raising families but—let’s face it—being a parent or a grandparent is somewhat different from being president. Invoking offspring is a sentimental appeal, and voters often know this. (Ask Dad Santorum, who could have made his points about the need to bolster the family more compellingly if he had focused less on his own family.) So, Hillary, try to leave out my namesake!
The delay may also be occasioned because Ms. Clinton, who has agreed to appear before the House Benghazi panel, may prefer to do that as an unofficial candidate rather than a declared candidate.
Still, even if Ms. Clinton steps back from officially entering the fray, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey says that the 2016 campaign has begun and cites a story by Bloomberg as evidence. Bloomberg’s Jonathan Allen reports that Mrs. Clinton spent $225,000 of the taxpayers’ money for jet travel as a senator.
But the evidence that the campaign is on, argues Morrissey, is in Allen’s sourcing:
The records were provided to Bloomberg News by a Republican operative.
But as Morrissey comments, even though it is legal and aside from the source, the 225 K is interesting in itself:
Senate rules do not proscribe using private jet flights at taxpayer expense, nor doing so with corporate aircraft, as long as the latter is properly reimbursed and does not create any other conflicts of interest.
Given that Hillary Clinton’s tenure in the Senate was singularly lacking in accomplishment, the chance of a conflict of interest arising is slim, to say the least. This dovetails into another line of attack on her time as Secretary of State, also aired by Romney and Carly Fiorina too, that her record of accomplishment at State consists entirely of earning frequent-flier miles.
Even without breaking any rules, the total bill of $225,000 for private jets makes Hillary look as though she considers herself royalty — and one owed a coronation by the same taxpayers. The benefits of that attack will be shared widely, assuming any Democrats step up to claim their portion.
A spokesman tried to dismiss the costs of travel on private jets by recalling that “as a cornerstone of her tireless work on behalf of New York, she constantly crisscrossed the state to meet with the people she represented.”
It is entirely possible for somebody to crisscross a state on public jets—too few of our politicians are willing to do that nowadays.