I’m trying hard not to obsess about the 2016 presidential campaign. The election is more than three years away, the campaigns two years away from kicking off in earnest.
But two things keep jamming thoughts of Sweet ’16 to the front of my mind: one, I live for the opportunity to bring the noxious Obama era to an end, and two, the storylines for that year are taking bold shape right now.
This has happened before. There was Reagan presidential buzz in 1977, George W. Bush presidential buzz in 1997, Obama presidential buzz in 2005. We lament our long, drawn-out campaigns, but the fact is that once one election ends, we become junkies for the next one.
So I give in.
I am all in for talk of the establishment vs. libertarian populist wings of Republican aspirations, all in for speculation over tea party influence over the field, all in for evaluating how much to fear Hillary.
And that means I am pleased to weigh in on this week’s dust-up over plans at NBC and CNN to air special programs about Mrs. Clinton just as her presidential storyline thickens.
Let’s start with the business basics. I totally understand why NBC loves the idea of a Hillary miniseries with Diane Lane as the star, and why CNN fancies the notion of a huge documentary on the highest-caliber woman in the history of American politics. It’s about ratings. It’s about money. Both programs would be big hits.
But with what effect? Conservatives properly observe that this is the zillionth example of media bias, a craven love offering to a candidate both networks would love to see installed as our 45th president.
But in an ironic twist, fallen ex-conservative David Brock has peered out of his dank Media Matters cave to say his leftist lapdog group is also cool to the idea of those shows.
Brock may have become ideologically unhinged, but he shows a ray of interesting insight in this regard. The last thing Hillary may need is an air of seeming inevitability, so obviously lofted by the fawning love of the dominant media culture. After the Obama decade, even Democrats may grow weary of Hollywood and Big Media anointing a nominee for them.
This is probably not crippling to the massive locomotive that is the potential Hillary candidacy. Fairly or not, she is the dominant force for the Democrats in 2016, and no one else is remotely close.
I can’t even begin to calculate the Republican ticket that can beat her. It may not exist.
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