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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hillary, The Other

Chris Cillizza reports at The Washington Post:
The Associated Press reported late Monday that Bill Clinton has a limited liability corporation -- called WJC, LLC -- that serves as a "pass through" entity designed to "channel payments to the former president."
If you have no idea what the heck the sentence above means, you are not alone. And therein lies the problem for Hillary Clinton as she seeks to sell herself as the voice of everyday Americans in her bid for the White House in 2016.
Here's why: Remember in early 2012 when Mitt Romney released his taxes? Sure, we all knew he was rich -- and the returns affirmed it, showing that he made $42 million in 2010 and 2011. But, that wasn't the big issue for Romney. It was the exoticness of his finances that proved problematic. He had a Swiss bank account, investments in the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg and hadn't made any wages in those two years. I wrote this about Romney back then:
The simple fact is that there is nothing more dangerous in politics than “otherness.” (John Kerry’s windsurfing, Michael Dukakis in the tank, John McCain’s inability to remember how many houses he owned, George H.W. Bush and the grocery scanner.) People voting for president want to feel like their leader “gets” them; the vote for president is a far more personal vote than the vote for a House or Senate candidate, for example.
Romney already struggles with connecting to people. His rivals — in the primary and if he becomes the Republican nominee — will do everything they can to paint him as exotic, other, different.