How to be excited about Hillary Clinton

April 15, 2015 Originally published on SFGate

She’s no Obama. She’s not nearly as immediately likeable, captivating, hyper-articulate. She’s not a great orator, she doesn’t have much by way of magnetism or personal charisma (though she reportedly does have a terrific sense of humor), much less Obama’s famous, deeply reassuring/infuriating Zen-like calm.

She can’t hit a three-pointer from 25 feet out. She’s not a surprising unknown, an electrifying newcomer with a curious pedigree who might, just might, really shake things up in DC. While she’s as intelligent, experienced and politically savvy as they come, everyone knows all that experience comes with so much baggage and entrenched cronyism, not to mention a hawkish foreign policy, that her campaign already feels a little, well, heavy.

This is the bad news. And it’s just terribly easy to wallow in it, to be somewhat less than enthralled with Hillary’s second presidential bid, if for no other reason there’s just not much genuine spark there – nothing, aside from her gender and her inherent promise not to mess with Obama’s legacy overmuch, to truly inspire the Left and galvanize the ever-wary liberal youth. And that announcement video? About as captivating as an Allstate commercial. Is this what we’re in for?

But wait. That’s too easy. And not at all helpful.

There is simply no need to point out the aspects of the 2016 race that will be less exciting this time around. After all, it’s unlikely anyone in this lifetime will ever match Obama’s otherworldly 2008 run, which had the added thrill of yanking the World’s Worst President off the national stage, once and for all.

Let us not EVER underestimate the power of women and the New Female Vote, WRT Hillary. They are the new dominant class. They are outpacing men pretty much everywhere. I mean, thank God, and finally.

Let us not EVER underestimate the power of women and the New Female Vote, WRT Hillary. They are the new dominant class. They are outpacing men pretty much everywhere. I mean, thank God, and finally.

So what if she’s not a particularly compelling presence? So what if her policies are very much in line with Everything That Came Before? She’s the most unifying and potent force in the Democratic party. Her poll numbers are fantastic. She’s pro-choice, pro-science, pro-gay marriage, pro-environment (well, sort of), pro-women’s rights, pro-immigration reform and very much not an insane anti-science, anti-intellect Tea Party twitch-bot.

But even better than all of that – and this is, right now anyway, by far the best reason to be excited for her run – is the reaction of her enemies.

Which is to say: Totally. Freaked. Out.

See, with Hillary, it’s all about the haters. It’s all about the competition’s predictably unnerved response – which was both instantaneous and ferocious – to the possibility of another hugely successful Clinton presidency.

Let us note how, mere seconds after she announced her campaign, every male in the GOP field unleashed a spasm, a torrent, a shotgun blast of ready-made anti-Hillary rhetoric designed to terrify their own constituents and stab their curiosity right in the eyeballs. “You thought the intellectual black guy was bad?” they seemed to wail, en masse, “Just wait until the shrewd old woman gets in there.”

Each nervous conservative male had his statement ready, his sound-bite honed. Even Rick Santorum, a true simp of a human known more for his frothy relationship with Dan Savage than his dumber-than-thou politics, Santorum had the gall to say Hillary wasn’t “prepared to lead,” which is a bit like a chronic department-store masturbator telling a veteran porn star she doesn’t know how to fake an orgasm.

But by far the best, and most quintessentially Republican, reaction came from Jeb “I am not my idiot brother” Bush, who immediately, upon Hillary’s announcement, asked every one of his supporters to send his PAC $5.

And why? Not to help him defeat Hillary. Not to help promote his ideas or invite something different. Not really for anything at all.

The money was needed, he said, to stop her.

Please note the tang and tone. Please note how this is the conservative mandate, writ large and explicit. You know, just in case you forgot.

“Send us money,” they beg, “so we may stop things from happening. The different thing. The liberal thing, the progress, the female, the gay, the advocate, the black people, the immigrants, the sex, the unusual idea, the change, the horror and uncertainty of, well, of life itself.

“We are the GOP. We do not create. We do not invent, experiment, innovate. We like institutions, dogma, authoritarian rigidity. A vote for us is a vote for reactivity and negation. We are forever against questioning, much less upsetting, the status quo. Mostly because we own it.

“Ergo, Hillary must be stopped. Not because her ideas are radical (they’re not) or her plan for the country is revolutionary (you wish) or because she’s more liberal than Obama (just the opposite). She must be stopped simply because, well, stopping things is what the GOP does. Besides, a woman should never have that much power. Over men! Can you imagine?”

Get the message, America? Vote against, not for. Live negative and suspicious, not positive and curious. Welcome nothing, block everything.

Hillary might not be much by way of a radical liberal candidate, but one thing she very much is, is an abject nightmare for the conservative male status quo. And sometimes, that’s all you really need.

Read more here:: How to be excited about Hillary Clinton

Mark Morford

About Mark Morford