Hillary's hat is in the ring. But what kind of hat?
She wants you to believe it's a Chicago Cubs cap, the kind they wear in the bleachers at Wrigley. Or maybe a cowboy hat, something that displays her common touch.
But more likely, it's a Christine A. Moore big brim variety, one of those $500 chapeaus favored by upscale ladies at the Kentucky Derby.
However mightily Mrs. Clinton tries to seem like a woman of the people, she just can't seem to pull it off. Whether making a "spontaneous" visit to a Chipotle restaurant, or talking with "everyday folks" in Iowa, Mrs. Clinton comes across as an elite and privileged woman of means. Of course, that could be because she is an elite and privileged woman of means.
Charles Krauthammer has pithily defined her overriding personality trait as "glaring inauthenticity."
But that is just one of the problems she faces as this presidential season begins. More substantively, what should the former Secretary of State say about her foreign policy accomplishments? Does she admit the world is in chaos and blame it on President Obama?
No, because she can't afford to alienate a man whose support she sorely needs.
Should she claim that she and the president helped make the world a safer place, that America is respected? That would be a good strategy if the only voters are hand-picked by Jesse Watters during spring break in Florida.
The truth is, this administration's foreign policy accomplishments are few and very far between. One liberal guest on The Factor, when asked to identify an Obama/Clinton success, pointed to Myanmar. Myanmar, aka Burma! As Peggy Lee pondered, "Is that all there is?"
How about pocketbook issues and President Obama's big government nostrums? After more than six years of his presidency, income for working Americans is down by about $1,700 per person. Does Hillary Clinton promise more of the same?
Again, she has to explain how she'll be different from President Obama without offending the man who vanquished her in 2008.
We can certainly expect to hear a few things over and over. How President Obama dug us out from "the greatest recession since the Great Depression." And how Hillary Clinton yearns to be our "champion." Whatever that means, it already seems to be a running theme of her nascent campaign.
So these are just a few of the dilemmas faced by Hillary Clinton. And one more – how does she endorse campaign finance reform while raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from those dastardly "fat cats?"
Right now Hillary Clinton seems ready to cruise to the Democratic nomination. That is distressing to many on the party's left wing, who despise her for endorsing the invasion of Iraq. And for her enduring courtship of those demons on Wall Street. Self-proclaimed progressives would be far more comfortable with Elizabeth Warren or the avowed socialist Bernie Sanders. But the former seems unwilling to run, the latter unlikely to garner much non-loon support.
And what should we expect from the media? They will probably be fairly tough on Hillary Clinton for a few months. The press resents her evasiveness, her refusal to submit to tough questioning, her sense of entitlement.
But do not be fooled. If and when Mrs. Clinton wins the nomination, the media will turn on a dime. Whatever her faults, the media and the left – pardon the redundancy – will rush to support her, while heaping scorn on her GOP rival. In their eyes, she is far preferable to any of those nasty Republicans.
To be fair, Hillary Clinton had some genuine accomplishments during her time in the Senate, and she deserves great credit for running, knowing all the slings and arrows that will be coming her way.
But it's apparent that the next president is going to inherit an incredible mess, both at home and abroad. Is Hillary Clinton the right woman for the job? 40% of Americans, mostly conservatives, say "no way." 40% or so, liberals and women among them, say "absolutely."
Next year's election, like most, will be decided by those Americans in the middle. We should all hope that voters put gender aside and simply pick the best man – or woman – for the job. Our future depends on it.
Perhaps more than ever.