Jonah Goldberg

Clinton's clearly not taking any chances. In her first campaign-style speech on the economy last week at the New America Foundation, Clinton mentioned Obama exactly once. (He's worked hard, she said.) She referenced her husband a half-dozen times and talked at great length about how we need to return to the policies of the 1990s. (The Clintons remain convinced that the 1990s boom was a function of Bill's expert tweaking of the dials and knobs on the master control board of the economy.) It wasn't even subtle. No mention of the stimulus, cash-for-clunkers, Obamacare or Dodd-Frank. As economics writer James Pethokoukis noted, "It was like Hillary was placed in suspended animation in 2008 and just recently revived to give a stump speech about the evils of the Bush tax cuts."

Not only was there precious little talk of Obama, there was precious little talk of her four years on Obama's once-vaunted "team of rivals." She listed none of her major accomplishments as secretary of state, probably because she had none. (She did open with a reference to some bureaucratic reshuffling on her watch.) No serious student of foreign policy thinks our strategic standing in the world improved on Clinton's watch as America's chief diplomat. That alone doesn't mean she was a terrible secretary of state -- lots of people in that job tread water. But it doesn't inspire either. Meanwhile, the most famous thing she did in that job was nothing -- on the night of the Benghazi attack. She also traveled a lot, which is nice.

You can understand why Clinton might want to pretend that the Obama years never happened. I certainly get why she wants to run on her husband's record rather than her own. But I can't see how this is adds up to a compelling message outside the Hillary Industrial Complex, which may be stuck with a lot of bumper stickers.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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