If Hillary Runs, We Need Specifics, Not Platitudes
Eugene Robinson: She must lay out her vision
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2014 1:04 PM CDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's annual fundraising steak fry Sunday in Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton's appearance in Iowa last weekend—"I'm baaaaack," she told the crowd—brings us closer to the political reality everybody expects: She's running in 2016. But then what? wonders Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post. Electing a female president might be a "great milestone," he writes, but given all that's happening in the world, "voters will not likely be in the mood for symbolic gestures." No, if Clinton wants to win, she needs to lay out the specifics of her vision. On foreign policy, for instance, she likes to talk about "smart power," which Robinson thinks is a vague, buzzword-y phrase that allows her to duck out of tough choices.

Domestically, she talks a good game about the middle class, but she'll have to do better than platitudes, given her past ties to Wall Street and the potential challenge from the left by Elizabeth Warren. "Centrist pragmatism as a campaign theme? In US politics today, the middle is a dangerous place to be," writes Robinson. At the Hill, Amie Parnes writes that many Clinton supporters fear that she often comes off as out of touch and want to see her "uncut and unvarnished, not deliberative and cautious." Don't count on it, says one former aide, referencing a 1998 movie of note: “Anyone expecting her to go Bulworth is dreaming, and a Bulworth would never win, no matter how appealing to the media." Click for Parnes' full story, or Robinson's full column.