George Will said over the weekend that Hillary Rodham Clinton could be a damaged presidential candidate if she runs in 2016.
He said she is “not formidable.”
Interesting, don’t you think?
Will took note of what he said was the “last time” a major party had a coronation for its presidential nominee. He mentioned Adlai Stevenson’s nomination in 1956. The Democrat then went on to suffer his second consecutive landslide loss to Republican Dwight Eisenhower, who himself was “crowned” by his own party in 1952.
My own memory provides another example of a political coronation. In 1964, the country was reeling from the death of President Kennedy. The man who succeeded him, Lyndon Johnson, began pushing through much of JFK’s unfinished legislative agenda, including the Civil Rights Act.
Democrats were in no mood to fight over that nomination, so they crowned LBJ as their nominee and he then went on to trample GOP nominee Sen. Barry Goldwater in a historic landslide.
It is highly unlikely that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency in two years in such a fashion. It will be competitive, hard-fought and — I hope — edifying for voters.
However, to say the former first lady, senator and secretary of state is “not formidable” is to suggest George Will has been listening too intently to Republican hacks who keep looking for scandals where none exists.