Confronting the Inevitability of Hillary


With her massive win last month in New York, followed up with several other triumphal processions through the Northeast, Hillary Clinton has, for all intents and purposes, captured the Democratic nomination. And given the abject weaknesses of her two most likely opponents, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, she seems likely to capture the White House this fall as well.

So the question now becomes: How does Hillary govern? She may win a decisive victory over a divided, dispirited Republican Party, but she will not return to the White House with much of the aura that surrounded President Obama. As feminist writer Camille Paglia has pointed out, she is widely distrusted by the majority of Americans, including younger women. Older feminists may worship her as the incipient queen, Paglia notes, but few others seem ready to kowtow.

Instead, Clinton will enter the presidency more disliked and distrusted than any incoming executive in history. Her trajectory, notes Paglia, has more in common with that of Richard Nixon, whose persistent scheming and ample intellect allowed him to win in 1968, another year marked by intense political divisions.

Alternative one: Obama third term

When Bill Clinton entered the White House in 1992, he did so as the standard-bearer for “New Democrats” of the Democratic Leadership Council, a pro-business, pro-individual responsibility faction that captured control of the party from its labor and grievance industry old guard. When I worked for the Progressive Policy Institute, the DLC’s think tank, in the early Clinton years, many powerful interests – greens, feminists, minority advocates, trade unions – opposed many of the Arkansan’s policy innovations, ranging from welfare reform to NAFTA.

Read the entire piece at the Orange County Register.

Joel Kotkin is executive editor of He is the Roger Hobbs Distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His newest book, The Human City: Urbanism for the rest of us, will be published in April by Agate. He is also author of The New Class ConflictThe City: A Global History, and The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050. He lives in Orange County, CA.

Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America - Hillary Clinton, CC BY-SA 2.0