Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

About that “State and local governments are closer to the people” thing …

Indeed, they are; state and local governments are closer to the people.  It’s just that the people they’re closer to probably aren’t, well … you. So, here’s a question: Why isn’t, say, Kay Hagan, who’s running against the Speaker of the State House*, or Charlie Crist, who’s running against Florida governor Rick Scott, um, mentioning this in their campaigns?

Beats me, although it may actually be that they don’t know about this, since apparently the news media in these states and the other six that have enacted similar laws hasn’t bothered to report it. It’s part of what I now think of as vacuum-packed politics, in which only the Republicans ever say anything, and in which for nearly six years now we’ve had a Democratic president who doesn’t trouble himself to respond to falsehoods about policy, or ever actually educate the public about, like, anything. Normally, I would expect the president to, for example, inform the public that, as the New York Times puts it in an editorial today, complaining about the self-defeating cowardice of most of the Democratic Senate candidates in “red” or “purple” states, that the reason he has not imposed a ban on travel to this country from “African countries with Ebola cases [is that] most public­health experts say such a ban would be ineffective and could make the situation worse.  But I don’t expect that, because this president just plain doesn’t do explanation to the public.  It’s pretty difficult for a senator or Senate candidate to educate the public about something of this sort, but it would be very easy for the president to do that.

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Hillary Clinton (Obviously) Reads Angry Bear! Or at least she did yesterday.

Hillary Clinton will headline a fundraising dinner for Florida Democratic gubernatorial Charlie Crist next month, putting her in a key presidential state in the midterms battle, according to an invitation.

Crist, a Republican turned Democrat running for his old job, is in one of the toughest gubernatorial races in the country. He is facing incumbent Republican Rick Scott.

Clinton will headline a dinner Oct. 2 in Miami, according to an invitation.

She is holding a book-signing the same day in the state.

Hillary Clinton to campaign for Charlie Crist, Maggie Haberman, Politico, yesterday at 7:56 p.m.

Yesterday, as all you AB readers know, I posted this rant, I mean post, that was highly critical of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  About Clinton, I noted (among other things) the unseemliness of her current banalities in her public appearances, and said that because of the media attention she garners every time she opens her mouth, she actually could win elections for certain Dem candidates for senator or governor if she filled a six-year-long public-education-and-correction-of-misinformation void by Obama and actually educated the public about such things as that healthcare costs and healthcare premium rate increases have declined rather than increased since the beginning of the year.  I mentioned that in Florida, a TV ad is running claiming that the ACA has increased healthcare costs, taking money out “your” pocket, and that therefore “you” should vote to reelect Rick Scott as governor. Scott’s opponent, Charlie Crist, the ad points out repeatedly, has said the ACA is working well.

I posted that post at 3:34 p.m., about four hours before someone on Clinton’s staff—I’m not sure why she has a personal staff, other than that having a personal staff is what she does—announced that as long as Clinton was going to be in Florida for a book-signing event next month anyway, she might as well headline a fundraising dinner in the state.  You never know, after all; there might be some Miami-area donors who haven’t yet bought her book.  Not to mention a few members of the wait staff who will pay $30 (or whatever) to get a handwritten personal message from Hillary Clinton to show their grandkids one day.

But the idea hadn’t occurred to her until she read Angry Bear yesterday afternoon, which obviously she did, notwithstanding the very busy day she had yesterday.

The good news is that by then she will be a grandparent rather than an expectant grandparent, so, along with the giggly thinking-about-running-for-president entendres, she will regale the audience with new-grandparent stories.

The bad news is that she won’t actually correct any misinformation about the ACA and its effects, or about anything else, since that would require her to have had a staff member actually obtain statistics and such, and would necessitate her own preparation for the speech by reading a several-paragraph memo from that staffer that recites the information.  Sure, she’d be preaching directly to the choir, but she’d be preaching indirectly, and virally if videotaped, to undecided voters in Florida and beyond.*

She won’t, though.  Unless, of course, she reads Angry Bear again today.  Nah, even if she does, she won’t.  I’m tempted to say that Clinton’s fundraising and campaigning is only ostensibly for others but actually for herself.  But actually I don’t think she’s planning to run for president I think she’s just milking all this for the book sales and the fawning attention. In fact, I think that one reason she’s constantly talking about her impending grandparenthood—other than that she has to talk about something at these appearances—is that she wants eventually to invoke this new, exciting chapter in her life as her reason for deciding not to run for president.

And, if I’m right that she is not planning to run, that may actually be part of her reason.  In November 2016, Clinton will be 69 years old.  Most people are not looking, at that age, to undertake something all-encompassing like the presidency.

But also, I think that she and her husband want most of all to not have to deal with questions about their finances.  Hillary Clinton has achieved what she sought to achieve: extraordinary wealth and extraordinary fame and (in some quarters) adoration.  And running for president again would require her this time around to stay overnight at hotels in Waterloo, Davenport, and (even worse) Sioux City, rather than campaigning mostly in the Des Moines area during caucus season–as, I read recently, she did in 2008 in order to have sufficiently comfortable hotel accommodations.

The article in which I read about that Iowa-hotels-in-2008 thing contained an assurance from someone in her orbit—“orbit”; what an apt journalistic euphemism—that she wouldn’t make that mistake again and open herself up to charges of unapproachability.** But that’s just too much of a compromise, I suspect, and reason enough in and of itself for her to decide not to run.  Some members of her orbit may soon have to find another sun.

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*This paragraph and the following one were edited slightly for clarity after posting.  9/23 at 8:22 p.m.

**Sentence edited for clarity in light of confusion by a commenter about whether this was a true anacdote or instead facetious. It was reported as a true anacdote.  9/23 at 10:29 p.m.

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