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Luxury of Time?

Luxury of Time?

Photo: The Economist

Photo: The Economist

The Republican National Committee is set to launch a “Hillary’s Hiding” campaign this week, according to RNC communications director Sean Spicer in a recent memo. Politico ran the story Monday morning in anticipation of the Tuesday release of the first video for the campaign. The RNC plans to attack Hillary Clinton’s “recent lack of straightforward political activity” and her repeatedly delayed official campaign announcement. 

Frankly, the RNC is asking a question many on both sides of the aisle find themselves scratching their heads about. While Hillaryland clearly has a strategy in play – it would be foolish to claim the Clinton camp isn’t taking advantage of their candidate’s status and power within the Democratic party– the question still remains whether that strategy is worth the coming political costs if Mrs. Clinton continues to play chicken in the evolving Democratic primary and with other possible Democratic candidates. The RNC’s ad campaign taps into growing frustration in the Democratic base over their frontrunner’s seeming sheepishness, as well as kicking off what may be a multi-year long effort to chip away at Mrs. Clinton’s image and reputation.

The Republicans new offensive against Mrs. Clinton also serves to fight off the frenzy of media attention paid to their own party’s coming bloodbath of a primary. In the past few weeks, attention has been directed towards Mitt Romney’s two-week teaser campaign and Bobby Jindal’s recent strategy of insulting the majority of those in Washington, regardless of their political affiliation. Mrs. Clinton’s advisors have been glad to see this shift of attention and claim it plays into the “luxury of time” advantage.

It goes without saying that Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is playing that advantage to the hilt. “Clinton allies largely maintain that there is no need for her to start campaigning yet given her strong position in preliminary polling,” states Politico in Monday’s article. While that may be true – it is – and while Democrats may know that to be the case – they do – it doesn’t cast a great light on a candidate who is already being criticized for the coronation-style nomination she seems to be receiving. The recent delay of Mrs. Clinton’s announcement from April to July caused her camp to release a few statements that essentially boiled down to the idea that “if you have the luxury of time, you take it.” Unfortunately, it’s things like “luxury” Clinton is trying to avoid being associated with. 

It is that very advantage that might already give Hillary Clinton the candidacy of the Democratic Party. She might even be able to blow the general elections out of the water. But her current attitude toward 2016—which some might chalk up to smug arrogance—will not endear her to her party, the opposition, or the American public.

- Alaina Haworth 

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