Hillary Clinton was "lackluster in 2008 and worse today," says GOP strategist Karl Rove, and her latest statements that encourage the United States to have empathy with its enemies underscore the fact that she is "at best a mediocre presidential candidate."
"She is who she is and cannot change," Rove writes in an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal
. "In 2008 she could not articulate a compelling purpose for her run and stressed only her inevitability and entitlement. So far, it looks like Hillary 2.0 will have at least as many problems as Hillary 1.0."
On Dec. 3, Clinton once again became the subject of controversy over her empathy comments.
On the one side, people are saying that she "simply chose the wrong word to express a banal thought," but on the other side, critics point to her experience as Secretary of State, saying that she herself "lacks the empathy to know how to deal with America’s adversaries or allies."
And Rove said he came away with a third impression after that speech, calling her "stiff,
off-putting style" familiar and finding surprising how "sloppy, ill-prepared and tone-deaf she has become."
If her speech wasn't clear, said Rove, she should have ordered a rewrite, but meanwhile, "if she can’t summon warmth and wit now, how will she display a winning personality in her umpteenth hundred event, assuming she becomes a candidate?"
Clinton's speech will not help her win in 2016 if she comes across sounding like President Barack Obama on foreign policy, as the world will be even more chaotic by then.
The former first lady has made several other political missteps this year, said Rove, including during her summer book tour, when she said she and former President Bill Clinton were "dead broke" after leaving the White House.
Further, there were many Democrats who lost their campaigns after she stumped for them, Rove pointed out.
And during a black-tie gala on Nov. 21, Clinton endorsed Obama's order on immigration by suggesting "the event's servers and food preparers were in the country illegally, as were most construction workers," said Rove.
Clinton is the forerunner among potential candidates for 2016, with most national polls giving her a double-digit point advantage over possible contenders from both political parties, according to RealClearPolitics
, but Rove said in the op-ed that "she still has no core message."
On July 17, she suggested to PBS's Charlie Rose she would like to "tackle growth, which is the handmaiden of inequality," which Rose said sounded like she made the message to placate Democrats' Occupy Wall Street wing by imitating Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
And even Bill Clinton is worried that his wife doesn't have a message, said Rove, telling CNN that "we’ve reached a point in our life when we think you really shouldn’t run for office if you don’t have a clear idea of what you can do and a unique contribution you can make and you can outline that."
Further, Clinton told CNN that he believes "so much of politics is background noise, and we don’t need the background noise anymore.”
The next election isn't for 23 months, but there will never be enough time for Clinton to make herself a good candidate, said Rove.
"It’s hard for a political party to win three consecutive terms in the Oval Office," said Rove. "Since 1952, only George H.W. Bush was able to do it for his party after Ronald Reagan’s two terms," but "Obama is no Reagan" and "Hillary is no Bush 41."
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