The sudden appearance of Monica Lewinsky on an American talk show raised many eyebrows. The titillating memories the name carried resulted in millions of hits. Many across the globe watched her narrative of the disproportionately harsh consequences of a benign adolescent crush. However, her assertion, that there is no grand plan behind the timing of her public appearance, convinced only a few.
Then came Hillary Clinton's announcement of running for 2016 presidency and things started falling in place. This clever, anti-Hillary camp initiative of reviving Lewinsky's chapter to embarrass Hillary is a double-edged sword. It will certainly remind many Americans of the moral degeneration of Clinton's era. All the same, it is also likely to create a sympathy wave and a sense of admiration, for the dignified way she handle the crisis.
If the launch in mid April is any indication, Hillary's presidential campaign this time has likely to be quite different. In 2008, Hillary ran the most expensively financed campaign in the presidential history, criss-crossing the country by chartered helicopters but in the bargain failed to connect with the common electorate, always appearing distant and aloof at the same time .
This time however, she seems to have learnt her lesson. Hillary today has reinvented a different political profile, more of a more humble and populist public persona.
On 13th April, Hillary launched her public campaign at Iowa, with an extensively televised "spontaneous meeting" held with students and faculty members in a car mechanic's workshop. Later on, it was discovered to be, a well-choreographed event, indeed managed by professional campaign managers.
This time, Hillary's opening message is rather a populist one. In her announcement video, she claims the four pillars of her campaign as: reforming the "dysfunctional" system of the US political funding, improving the economy, strengthening families and defending the country from foreign threats.
The populism becomes heady and intoxicating when she claims; "I think it's fair to say that as you look across the country, the deck is still stacked in favor of those already at the top. And there's something wrong with that."
The campaign managers for Hillary for 2016, seem to have done their homework sufficiently. They have crafted the relaunch of Hillary, as being a common American. So, a photograph of Hillary at the Nebraska airport, toting her own luggage appears on social media sites. Or for instance, during one of her encounters, held in a Mexican restaurant, she carefully drops a story about her experience as a grandmother. All in all, there appears to be a conscious effort to project "humility" and do away with the perception of being too much part of a "Washington Establishment".
So how much can Hillary be trusted with her agenda? Having always had a public life, starting with the First Lady during her husband's presidential tenure, a Senator for two terms, a Presidential candidate - running in primaries and Secretary of State, there are ample resources in the public domain that are available to judge her core value system and convictions.
During the first year of her husband's presidency, Hillary got herself appointed as the official presidential appointee, vowing to work for universal healthcare in the United States. Now the problem was, in doing so, she was taking head-on the biomedical commerce lobby, one of neoliberalisms' mainstay institutional structures. Having realized what this was, she quickly withdrew and embraced conservative and gendered roles as the first lady of the United States, "standing by her man". Following the White House years, she focused on her own political career as the US Senator from New York.
During her senator days, Hillary supported America's Global Domination agenda including some very controversial issues like; supporting the invasion and occupation of Iraq, lying about Iraq's military capabilities to frighten the public into supporting the illegal war, repeated attacks against the United Nations, opposing the ban on the use of land mines & cluster bombs and defending war crimes by allied right-wing governments.
The 2008 primaries were really the best chance for her to break the proverbial glass ceiling in American politics and assume the top mantle of the Democratic Party, and thus the nation. However, Obama's clever projection of Hillary as an agent of the old guard and juxtaposing himself as the real agent for change caught the fancy of the electorate. The credit though, for the success of this strategy, goes as much to Hillary's own doing as to the astuteness of Obama.
From the early days of Bill Clinton's presidency, the Clintons have been close to Wall Street. No wonder, out of the top ten donors to Hillary Clinton's primaries in 2008, five were Wall Street investment banks and two others being Wall Street law firms.