Glenn Beck says Hillary Clinton is “going to win the presidency.” Yes, that Glenn Beck – the unpredictable conservative talk show host who used to be on Fox and now runs his own stable of radio, streaming TV, and web news sources.
Mr. Beck did not say he wants Ms. Clinton to capture the White House in 2016, understand. Instead, he offered a matter-of-fact analysis during a Tuesday radio segment that held her victory to be inevitable.
Beck said he’d recently talked to a friend who had contacts in Clinton’s camp. This friend laid out the planned strategy for the still-notional Clinton campaign. (Bear with us, OK?) The upshot: it will be a “conciliatory and optimistic approach” that will rely on nostalgia for the relatively prosperous years when Bill Clinton sat in the Oval Office.
“Here’s what Hillary is going to do,” Beck said on his show. “’Do you remember when America was good? Do you remember when we had jobs, and we were building towards a brighter future, and things were really happening? During the Clinton administration, we had it under control.’ ”
Republicans may try and reply that things were not really that good back in the 1990s. But that won’t work, said Beck.
“While we are talking about technicalities and the past, they are going to be talking about a past that was brightly remembered and they will talk about the America we will become. She will win,” the conservative talk host said.
Is Beck on to something here?
Well, Clinton talks about the middle class often now during her appearances. She does seem to be getting ready for a campaign which will have a slightly-populist economic message at its center.
And the economy did do well when her husband was president. Two years ago, prior to the presidential election, The Washington Post “Wonkblog” put together a bunch of charts and graphs showing just how strong labor markets and growth were during Clinton’s two terms in office.
Unemployment dropped from over 7 percent to 3.9 percent. The annual average of growth domestic product growth was 3.8 percent. Poverty declined, inflation was stable, and median household wages went from $661 per week to $700 per week, adjusted for inflation.
Yes, extreme poverty actually grew, as did income inequality. But compared with the Obama years – which include the worst downturn since the Depression – the Clinton years were tinged with gold and scented with roses.
This has led some other conservative pundits to agree that Beck’s analysis is sound, even if they don’t like it.
“Republicans’ best, and maybe only, hope is that public disgust at D.C. is so deep that anyone like Hillary who’s spent many years there will be DOA electorally,” writes Allahpundit at the right leaning Hot Air site.
Well, maybe. But remember that Clinton’s current huge poll leads refer only to the Democratic primary. She is ahead in head-to-head matchups against GOP front-runners, but not by nearly as much. For instance, she’s up on both New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky by about 9 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics rolling average of major polls.
Those are substantial, but not insurmountable, leads. Plus, there’s a campaign to come. The Beck analysis hinges on Clinton being able to leap backward in time, over the current Democratic administration. Republicans will do their best to link Clinton to the much less popular Obama – a president she served in a key position, after all.
For these and other reasons Beck’s producer Stu Burguiere said he remained unconvinced that Clinton is inevitable. After all, she lost once before.
“There is a great-on-paper argument,” he said on Tuesday’s show. “But the issue with Hillary Clinton is: She could have done this in 2008 and was unable to do it.”