Quote of the Day:

Mrs. Clinton wants Americans to see her candidacy as a triumph for women.  But the real impact of a President Hillary Clinton would have nothing to do with her gender, but everything to do with the policies she advances.  Here is the problem: recognized by some as a champion for women’s rights, Mrs. Clinton, like many other female Democrats in Washington, has repetitively supported legislation that will actually hurt women.

–Sabrina Schaeffer, IWF Executive Director, in IWF’s statement on Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy

Carrie already has noted that, while we could get very excited about electing a woman president, Hillary Clinton, who announced her candidacy yesterday, is not that woman.

In her announcement yesterday, via a three-minute video in which the candidate didn’t even appear until towards the end—a tacit acknowledgment of Clinton’s woeful lack of people skills—Mrs. Clinton sought to portray herself as the champion of middle class Americans.

Let’s hope Americans have cottoned onto this ploy. President Obama has been touting himself as the champion of middle class America for years now, as all the while middle class America has become smaller and less prosperous. His rhetoric may favor everyday Americans who want to get and hold jobs—a job being the sine qua non of being middle class—but his policies don’t.

The Clintons and the Obamas reportedly have never liked each other, but President Obama needs a Clinton win, if his legacy is to be preserved. A Republican would set about trying to undo the damage he has done, a Democrat would cement it. As Byron York notes, the “everyday people” selected for cameos in the Clinton video are the very "everyday" people who want to continue on the Obama path.

Some of the atmospherics surrounding Hillary Clinton’s announcement yesterday had to be irritating for the notoriously thin-skinned candidate. The night before there was that SNL skit mocking efforts to humanize Mrs. Clinton; an especially harsh Maureen Down column in the New York Times compared Mrs. Clinton to Richard Nixon and quoted an Onion headline as her rationale for running: "I deserve this." Meanwhile, anti-Hillary street art sprouted in Brooklyn, where her campaign is headquartered. There was also a delicious typo of the sort that one should not expect in a professionallly-run operation in her rollout material.

But Mrs. Clinton is a formidable candidate, and John Podhoretz knows why:

This is the reason Hillary Clinton has effectively cleared the Democratic field and the reason (even if unconscious) so many Democrats are enthusiastic about her: She’s a juggernaut. The fact that her campaign people could seriously be looking at $2.5 billion when the Obama and Romney campaigns together spent a little less than $2 billion just three years ago gives an indication of Hillary’s sheer power.

And it makes sense. She has been at the center of the American political consciousness for nearly 25 years. She may be the most famous woman in the world, and, aside from Dwight D. Eisenhower, is the most famous non-president ever to contest for the presidency. That was true in 2008, of course, but remember, she lost the Democratic nomination because she was challenged by a brilliantly conceived campaign to her left. It’s doubtful she would have lost the general election. …

[I]t would be disastrous for the Republican party if the nominating process goes on too long, or if an obvious nominee emerges and must still campaign through the end of March or into April because there’s a gadfly staying in. Hillary running unopposed with a virtually limitless supply of money will mean she can start going negative and defining one or more of her Republican opponents almost from the jump in 2016.

If the primary process drains the eventual candidate of money so that he must somehow make it through three months until the convention, effectively penniless—which is what happened to Mitt Romney in 2012—that could be especially problematic. Obama super PACs spent $100 million going after Romney in Ohio on the issue of job-destruction by his Bain Capital, and that money was extremely well-spent in part because it went unanswered.

Yes, Mrs. Clinton has a two billion kitty to airbursh her scandals and define her opponent. Since Republicans are notorious for their destructive primary seasons, her unprecedented bank account could be particularly helpful.

On the other hand, money isn't everything. Let's let the Wall Street Journal have the final word this morning:

The airbrushing will also be difficult given that she has little choice but to run as Mr. Obama’s political and policy heir. Mrs. Clinton can’t plausibly separate herself on health care, given that the proposed nationalization she wrote in 1993 was ObamaCare’s forerunner. On foreign policy, she was his chief diplomat. Her campaign chairman is John Podesta, who was Bill’s chief of staff and the architect of Mr. Obama’s executive excess.

If Mrs. Clinton does try to evoke the prosperity of the 1990s, her challenge will not merely be inducing amnesia about the slow-growth Obama years. She will be reminding people that she belongs to another era. The U.S. electorate rarely moves backwards—generationally speaking—in its Presidential choices.

Most liberals have resigned themselves to Mrs. Clinton because they believe the Electoral College demographics are in their favor and the Clinton strategy of deny, dissemble and attack will overcome any opposition. Barring a health scare or some bombshell, they’ll make due with Mrs. Clinton’s joyless, grind-it-out campaign.

But running the least competitive open-seat presidential primary since World War II is not without risks. Mrs. Clinton is disciplined and has an undeniable work ethic, but she lacks her husband’s charisma and political gifts. The Clinton machine is formidable but not invulnerable, either to Republicans or perhaps even a challenger from the left. It’s hard to be inspired by a machine.