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For years, Democrats have hitched their wagon to Hillary’s star. In 2002, Democrats tried talking Hillary into running against George W. Bush. She declined, supposedly to run for the open seat rather than run against a well-financed incumbent. Now, Democrats have a problem on their hands.

Josh Kraushaar’s article highlights the difficult situation Democrats are facing:

Democrats didn’t fully appreciate the size of the gamble they’re taking on Hillary Clinton by assuming she’s their strongest 2016 candidate, but they’re sure finding out now.

Forget the email server. The latest revelation—that a Canadian mining company with close ties to the Clinton Foundation sold its uranium business to the Russians with approval from Clinton’s State Department—is more damaging than any of the previous controversies that have buffeted the campaign.

The story goes to the heart of several serious, growing vulnerabilities that Clinton will be facing, sooner or later. First, the perception of foreign entities paying the Clinton Foundation and later getting favorable treatment from the State Department raises the spectre of foreign governments buying access at the highest levels of the U.S. government—a politically potent allegation should any connection be proven. The fact that Clinton reportedly concealed the company’s donations to the foundation from the Obama administration only raises the reason for suspicion.

Hillary’s apologists have insisted that she didn’t break the law since this story broke. That remains to be seen but it’s irrelevant. It isn’t that committing a crime is insignificant. It’s that selling US foreign policy to the highest bidder is disgusting.

There’s nothing coincidental about Bill Clinton getting oversized speaking fees and $145,000,000 in contributions came into the Clinton Foundation while Russia was tried buying uranium from the United States through a proxy in Kazakhstan.

Third, it raises the question of what other actions she took as secretary of State that would have the consequence of enriching her family through the Clinton Foundation. Former President Bill Clinton made a half-million speaking to a Russian investment bank promoting the mining company’s stock shortly after the corporate takeover. That badly threatens to undermine her positioning as a populist fighter for the “everyday” American—an image her campaign has been assiduously pushing with her low-key launch.

Last weekend, John Podesta was confronted by Hillary supporters at a fundraiser. Specifically, they bombarded him with questions about her biggest scandals. When your chief fundraisers are questioning you, you’ve got problems.

Q: How do you give a chameleon a nervous breakdown? A: put him against a plaid background.

Hillary’s nervous breakdown moment will hit when Republicans and moderators ask how she’ll solve the international crises she’s created. Will she admit that her decisions contributed mightily to the ISIS crisis? Will she admit that her giving the Russian foreign minister emboldened Putin? Will she admit that the Arab Spring was a total disaster?

I can’t see that happening.

Meanwhile, the Republican candidate can simply say that his foreign policy won’t make the mistake of capitulating to Iran or Russia. The GOP candidate will just have to lay out a comprehensive strategy rather than jumping from one hotspot to the next without a real strategy.

Hillary isn’t a great candidate. If her last name was Stein instead of Clinton, Democrats would have run her off.

When I first read David French’s article, my first reaction was that John T. Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, should be disbarred, then tried and convicted, then thrown into prison for a very long time. Chisholm is a progressive political hack with a mission to destroy the conservative movement in Wisconsin:

Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.

She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic. “I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”

She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee. “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”

Last night, Megyn Kelly interviewed David French. Here’s the video of the interview:

Here’s the most chilling exchange of the interview:

MEGYN: Who was the judge that signed off on these subpoenas?
DAVID FRENCH: The judge’s name is Barbara Kluka, I believe is how you pronounce her name. She signed off on hundreds of pages of subpoenas in literally one afternoon of work. It was a rubberstamp process. It was not true judicial oversight and the result has been catastrophic to citizens’ rights.

French’s statement might be the understatement of the year. The things that are alleged, if they’re proven in a court of law, should be grounds for termination of the police officers and the disbarment of the judge and the district attorney.

The policeman (policemen?) who ordered Ms. Archer that she couldn’t speak with a lawyer and that she couldn’t speak about the police officers’ actions violated Ms. Archer’s constitutional right to an attorney. Saying that she couldn’t speak about the raid essentially amounts to putting a gag order on Ms. Archer. I’m no lawyer but aren’t gag orders meant to preserve the right to a fair trial?

In this instance, the purpose of the gag order was to protect these thugs’ secrecy. The only people that benefited were the thugs with badges.

This isn’t just about prosecutorial or judicial misconduct. It’s about how the Democratic Party weaponized the district attorney’s office and the Milwaukee police force to intimidate conservatives from speaking about the issues that matter most to them. That’s the heart of the First Amendment’s protections.

Finally, this is the face of pure evil. These Democrats should be destroyed politically. They should all spend years in prison doing hard time. Silencing people who just wanted to support a political issue is despicable.

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You’ll want to read Scott Rasmussen’s article if you want to what’s driving the 2016 election. I’ll highlight here a couple things that Mr. Rasmussen things are important:

It’s all about personal finances—Some believe it’s about the economy, which is a close substitute. But what really matters is how people feel about their own personal finances. If people are feeling much better about their own finances in a year, that would be good news for the Democratic nominee. If things stay the same or get worse, it’s bad news for the president’s party.

The White House has regurgitated their chanting points on the economy whenever there’s a monthly jobs report or a quarterly GDP report. Their economic team could probably recited it in their sleep. That means nothing to voters.

Because the Obama administration’s policies help big corporations, people working for big corporations have done well, especially with their stock market investments. They weren’t hurt by excessive regulations like small businesses have been hurt.

Small businesses have gotten hit with tons of additional costs through regulations. Because much of their would-be profits have gotten eaten by compliance costs, they haven’t been able to expand their businesses or give employees raises.

The Big Blue Wall is a Myth—Democrats argue that all they have to do is win states that consistently voted for their party since 1992 and they just about have the Electoral College locked up. The problem with this theory is that it’s the result of the Republicans winning a majority of the popular vote only once in the past six elections. If a Republican does better in the popular vote, he or she will win some of those states Democrats think they have locked up.

I recently sat down with the red state-blue state map for 2012. Democrats, we’re told, have 242 electoral votes in their column. Republicans have 199 electoral votes in their column. It’s likely that Florida will flip back into the red column. That’s 29 EVs. I can’t picture Hillary doing well in blue collar Ohio. If that’s flipped into the red column, that’s another 18 EVs. Those states’ results suddenly put the race 246 Republicans, 242 Democrats. Colorado will likely flip for the Republicans, too. That’s another 9 EVs, putting the GOP ticket at 255 EVs. Winning Iowa’s 6 EVs and Wisconsin’s 12 EVs puts Republicans at 273. That’s before talking about Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire.

It’s likely that Hillary will run a ‘War on Women’ campaign. The question isn’t whether that will be Hillary’s strategy. The question is whether she’s a terrible candidate who’ll be seen as manipulative and contrived. Thus far, Hillary hasn’t shown that she’s got the political talent required to pull that off. I think that the thing that other pundits have called rust is really Hillary’s lack of talent. If her last name was Miller, I don’t think the DC punditry would call her a top tier talent.

With Democrats and the Washington Post criticizing him for not bringing Loretta Lynch up for a confirmation vote, Mitch McConnell is still playing hardball:

The hardball tactics, coming in McConnell’s first 100 days as majority leader, pose some risks for a GOP majority determined to show it can govern. Democrats can win back the Senate in 2016 by winning four or five seats, depending on the outcome of the presidential race.

McConnell is facing rising pressure to allow a vote on Lynch, who Democrats this week noted has waited 160 days since her nomination for a confirmation vote.

Supporters launched a hunger strike this week, and The Washington Post editorial board on Thursday slammed the GOP leader for the “shabby treatment” of Lynch, who would be the first black woman to serve as attorney general. The Post wrote there is “no principled reason to link Ms. Lynch’s nomination to the passage of the trafficking bill,” and that she should get “immediate floor consideration.”

However, McConnell’s strategy also has benefits for the GOP leader and his conference, which has unified around him.

Republicans are irked that Democrats blocked the trafficking bill over language that would prevent money for a victims fund set up by the bill to be used for abortions, even after some Democrats voted for the bill in committee. Democrats later said they did not realize the abortion language had been included in the legislation.

The Washington Post Editorial Board said that there is “no principled reason” for denying a vote on Lynch. They’re wrong.

Actions have consequences. Democrats unanimously voted for the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act in committee. Then the Democrats’ pro-abortion special interest groups descended on the Judiciary Committee Democrats like locusts descended on Egypt in the time of Moses. Immediately, Democrats started lying, saying that they didn’t know the 68-page bill contained Hyde Amendment language. That’s BS.

If Democrats want to continue pandering to Planned Parenthood, NOW and other abortion extremists, there’s a price to be paid. Breaking promises has consequences. Democrats broke their promise on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Until they stop pandering to these extremists, Mitch McConnell should let them know that lying isn’t acceptable.

There’s a simple solution to this. Democrats will get what they want the minute Republicans get what they want. If Democrats insist on getting everything, they’ll get nothing.

Finally, it’s disgusting that these Democrats are these abortion extremists’ puppets.

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Last night on ‘On the Record’, host Greta van Susteren played a clip of Harry Reid saying something utterly outrageous, which isn’t surprising. Greta then asked her Political Panel why Democrats haven’t spoken up about Reid. Kirsten Powers’ response was the obligatory ‘Harry Reid has been effective’ chanting point.

I’m tired of getting that reply. There’s no justification for the disgusting things Sen. Reid has said, especially the lie that he told about Mitt Romney not paying taxes for 10 years. I know that Sen. Reid is protected from litigation because his statements on the Senate floor are covered by the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution.

Harry Reid’s actions condemn him. Reid didn’t think about troop morale when he said that “the war is lost” shortly after President Bush ordered the start of the Surge. It didn’t take long for Sen. Reid to be proven wrong. The surge worked.

Key question: What type of dirt bag puts a higher priority on criticizing the commander-in-chief than the puts on maintaining the morale of true American patriots who are putting their lives on the line?

Harry Reid didn’t hesitate in lying about Mitt Romney. He didn’t have proof that Mitt didn’t pay taxes. He didn’t care. Sen. Reid put a higher priority on winning at all costs than he put on being a man of character.

Key question: What type of political party sits silent while their leader repeatedly lies about the other party’s presidential candidate?

Frankly, it’s disgusting that a political party wouldn’t criticize a dirt bag like Sen. Reid. Today’s Democratic Party isn’t just without character. They’re disgusting to the core. They’re unrepentant. Their first concern is accumulating and maintaining power. Their next priority is to never criticize a fellow Democrat no matter what they’ve done.

Edmund Burke said something that Democrats should think about if they still have a heart. He said “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Right now, the Democratic Party is filled with people who a) apparently don’t have a heart and b) haven’t lifted a finger to criticize one of the nastiest politicians that’s ever served in the US Senate.

Key question: Are there any Democrats still in the Senate or in Punditland that will excoriate Sen. Reid and run him out of DC?

Kirsten Powers has done some honorable things. Still, last night, she didn’t do a thing to excoriate Sen. Reid. She had the opportunity to criticize him and take down the nastiest man in the Senate. Ron Fournier had the same opportunity. He didn’t lift his voice to excoriate Sen. Reid, either.

Key principle: Americans shouldn’t trust a political party that doesn’t care about ethical behavior.

The Democratic Party is infested with disgusting people who don’t have the character required to consistently do the right thing. During the last 6 years, they’ve consistently put doing what their special interests wanted them to do ahead of doing what’s right for the American people.

If people with character within the Democratic Party don’t rip the party away from the Harry Reids of the world, then the Democratic Party should be vanquished to the trash heap of failed political parties. They will have earned it.

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Hillary Clinton’s grass roots appeal is a bit underwhelming. Last night, I wrote this article talking about how there were more reporters that greeted her at her first official event than there were activists. This post will be the perfect ‘Part II’ to that article. According to this article, Hillary’s Astroturf operation is operating at peak efficiency even if she isn’t:

Hillary Clinton’s AstroTurf candidacy is in full swing in Iowa.

Her Tuesday morning visit to a coffee shop in LeClaire, Iowa was staged from beginning to end, according to Austin Bird, one of the men pictured sitting at the table with Mrs. Clinton. Bird told Daily Mail Online that campaign staffer Troy Price called and asked him and two other young people to meet him Tuesday morning at a restaurant in Davenport, a nearby city. Price then drove them to the coffee house to meet Clinton after vetting them for about a half-hour.

The three got the lion’s share of Mrs. Clinton’s time and participated in what breathless news reports described as a ’roundtable’– the first of many in her brief Iowa campaign swing. Bird himself is a frequent participant in Iowa Democratic Party events. He interned with President Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign, and was tapped to chauffeur Vice President Joe Biden in October 2014 when he visited Davenport. ‘What happened is, we were just asked to be there by Troy,’ Bird said Wednesday in a phone interview.

Hillary meeting with ‘ordinary people’ is off to a glorious start. Who knew that she’d just happen to find some former Obama campaign volunteers at that quaint little diner? If that isn’t the most coincidental meeting in the history of campaigns, it’s close.

It’s still too early to be certain but the hunch I’m getting is that Hillary’s campaign is suffering through an enthusiasm gap. This staged event isn’t the only indicator. The fact that there’s a ‘Draft Elizabeth Warren’ organization after all the times Sen. Warren has said she isn’t running indicates Democrats just don’t like Hillary.

Price was executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party until a month ago. Clinton’s team tapped him last week to be its political director in Iowa. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Bird is a government and community relations coordinator at Genesis Health System in Davenport, Iowa, according to his LinkedIn profile. A coworker at Genesis said Wednesday that Bird is ‘basically a lobbyist in training. That’s what he wants to do.’ Bird disagreed, saying his role was ‘more public relations.’

I’m betting that Iowa Democrats don’t care that Hillary’s events are staged. They just care about winning. Hillary’s problem with this publicity is that it feeds the narrative that Hillary is distant and doesn’t connect with voters.

Clinton’s nascent campaign has carefully coordinated her image as a spontaneous, handshaking populist in her first days as a candidate, posing with Pennsylvanians at a gas station and venturing into an Ohio Chipotle restaurant for lunch. When no one recognized the former first lady – she was wearing sunglasses – the campaign leaked information to The New York Times so its reporters could get security-camera footage to prove she had tried to mingle with voters.

If Hillary doesn’t change things, she’ll need to raise that $2,500,000,000 just to bribe enough ‘activists’ to attend her events.

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If there’s anything that’s constant about Hillary, it’s that she’s constantly re-inventing herself. If people gave me a $10 bill for every time Hillary’s re-invented herself, I’d have enough money to make the house payments on the Clintons’ Georgetown mansion when they were dead broke.

Prior to her announcement Sunday, someone must’ve told Hillary that she was too distant. We know this because Mark Halperin admitted as much:

Check this out:

“Her problem now is not to prove to people that she’s ready to be president because people think she is,” Halperin observed. “The two words she needs are ‘fun’ and ‘new.’”

If the GOP nominates a youthful ticket with a thoughtful reform agenda, Hillary can reinvent herself once a month for the rest of the campaign and it won’t matter. It won’t matter because Hillary is stiff and inauthentic. Hillary isn’t spontaneous like Bill was on the campaign trail.

Hillary’s had to reinvent herself because she rubs people the wrong way too often. Moments like this cement that image:

At the time, progressives praised Hillary’s response. The rest of America flinched. They flinched because they couldn’t believe that a US Secretary of State was that flippant about the assassination of a US ambassador.

Immediately after Hillary’s ‘defense’ of Bill, they quarantined her. Bill’s staff quarantined her because of her “vast right wing conspiracy” statement. That quarantine ended with Hillary’s “pretty in pink” puff piece interview.

Halperin is right in that America has formed an opinion about Hillary. Unfortunately for her, she’s been one of the most polarizing political figures of this generation. Hillary’s advisors understand that, which is why they’ve instructed her to run on her ‘champion of every day people’ theme. Between that and her ‘Let’s crack that last glass ceiling’ theme and the certainty to run one of the most negative campaigns in presidential history, many more reinventions will be required before election day.

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CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and Dana Bash talked about Sen. Rubio’s youth and turning it around now vs. how they criticized then-Sen. Obama about it in 2008:

Here’s what Baldwin said that caught my attention:

BROOKE BALDWIN: Well, they tried to slam the then-Sen. Obama for it and now you have all these freshman GOP senators in the same situation.

It’s fair game to ask whether Republicans should’ve criticized then-Sen. Obama. The answer to that question is simple. Yes, it was fair that Republicans questioned then-Sen. Obama because he was just 2 years removed from being a back-bench state senator when he started running for president.

First, let’s remember that Barack Obama served only a total of 4 years in the Senate. In 2003, Obama was a state senator who frequently voted present. He didn’t have any accomplishments to speak of. Upon joining the Senate, he essentially started running for president. Just 2 years after getting elected to the US Senate, Obama announced that he was running for president. As a result, he didn’t take his committee assignments seriously. That’s one of the reasons why President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. (The other reason why they’ve been disastrous is because of his belief in a failed ideology.)

By comparison, Sen. Rubio and Sen. Paul are in the fifth year of their respective terms in office. They’ve taken their committee assignments seriously. Sen. Rubio, for all his faults, is an expert on national security and terrorism. I said here that Sen. Rubio would mop the floor with Hillary’s behind if they ever debated foreign policy or national security.

It’s substantially different to go from being a state senator to president in 5 years than to go from Speaker of the Florida House to presidential candidate in 7 years. Sen. Rubio’s understanding of the issues is significantly better than President Obama’s understanding of the issues.

I don’t doubt that Sen. Rubio was nervous initially when he started his presentation. It’s an emotional moment for him and his family. I’d be worried if he wasn’t a little emotional. It’s worth noticing that Ms. Bash said that he settled down once he got a little ways into the speech. That’s why I wrote that Sen. Rubio blew Hillary away.

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I’ve frequently said that Marco Rubio will highlight the image that he’s the future and that Hillary’s ‘sell-by date’ had passed. This article verifies that I was on the right track:

Portraying Clinton as a candidate of the past, Rubio, 43, talked about the opportunity awaiting the GOP as it seeks to recapture the White House after eight years out of power.

“The Republican Party, for the first time in a long time, has a chance in this election to be the party of the future,” Rubio said on the call. “Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow.”

Hillary will do her best to run away from Washington, DC, partially because the average voter doesn’t have a positive opinion of DC but partially because she’s had a high profile, non-productive career as a Washington fixture. When initially asked what her accomplishments were, State Department officials touted the fact that she’d put on more air miles as Secretary of State than any of her predecessors.

Appropriately, Carly Fiorina brought the house down at CPAC with this riff:

In a debate on foreign policy, there’s no question in my mind that Sen. Rubio would convincingly win that debate with Hillary, starting with her giving the Russian foreign minister that gimmicky-looking reset button. Part of the reason why Sen. Rubio would convincingly win that debate is because Hillary would either have to defend a pathetic Obama foreign policy or she’d have to distance herself from President Obama’s foreign policy.

If Hillary runs away from the Obama administration’s foreign policy, she’d open herself up to charges of being less than forthright. That plays into the narrative that’s haunted Hillary for 25 years in DC. That’s a damned if you, damned if you don’t situation.

The other thing working against Hillary is the fact that he’s youthful and energetic, 2 words that aren’t associated with Hillary. That isn’t sexist. It’s politics in the TV age. Starting in 1960, image has mattered. In that Kennedy-Nixon debate, people that listened to the debate thought Nixon won it. People that watched it thought JFK won it.

It’s been that way ever since.

The other thing that’s working against Hillary is that she isn’t a great campaigner. Her book tour was a disaster. Yesterday, Hillary’s team botched it with this:

Bill’s people never would’ve made that mistake. Period. For all the credit she’s been given for being a top-tier candidate, there’s ample proof that suggests she isn’t. Winning the Democratic nomination will be relatively easy. Winning the general election is an entirely different matter.

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Earlier today, Hillary officially announced that she’s running for the Democratic nomination for president. That’s surprising like finding out Bill Gates made money is surprising. Hillary’s gaffe-tastic announcement will soon be swept away. Marco Rubio’s candidacy won’t be swept aside:

Rubio was elected in 2010 as part of that year’s tea party wave. Since then, he’s delivered the official republican response to President Obama’s state of the union address, played a key role in passing bipartisan immigration reform through the Senate and proven himself a powerful rising star in the Republican Party. His announcement Monday that he is running for President should scare Democrats, and here’s why.

First off, Rubio is a confident and effective public speaker. He’s likable without sounding weak, and he’s powerful without being arrogant. He responded to an unfortunate gaffe during his response to the state of the union in which he awkwardly reached for a water bottle in the middle of his speech, with humor and political savvy. This leads to my next point. On likability, Rubio is a great foil to Clinton.

Clinton is a very seasoned political insider at 67 years old who has played crucial roles in two Presidential administrations, and has run in a previous campaign for the office. The 43-year-old Rubio, on the other hand, is a fresh face, who was elected over an establishment Republican (the now Democrat Charlie Crist) just five years ago.

Hillary isn’t likable. Further, she’s secretive and calculating. In making her announcement, Hillary said she wanted to be everyday Americans’ champion. Marco Rubio is the personification of America’s rags-to-riches dream-come-true. It’s possible to disagree with him on policies but there’s no denying he’s an appealing candidate.

Most importantly, he’s comfortable with himself in a way that Hillary isn’t. Sen. Rubio is young, charismatic and knowledgeable. Hillary is secretive, distant and cold. That isn’t the match-up Democrats are looking forward to. Clearly, they’re worried:

It’d be naïve for democrats to think that these demographic and geographic advantages won’t boost the young, handsome and telegenic Senator into a pretty good position against their all-but-anointed nominee. Add this cross party appeal to the possibility that Rubio uses his unique background to unite establishment Republicans and grassroots conservatives in November 2016 and you’ve got a possible disaster for Democrats, who were pummeled in last year’s mid-term elections.

Around a dozen Republicans will announce presidential bids for 2016. Only about five of them will have any chance at winning. I’m firm in my belief that the best shot for Republicans is to nominate a young charismatic senator with cross party appeal to go up against a well-known national figure. Democrats did just that in 1960 with a guy named John F. Kennedy. In case you didn’t hear, he won.

Sen. Rubio has the potential to be a transcendent candidate. It isn’t known how strong of a campaign he’ll run but, to use sports phrase, Sen. Rubio’s got a high upside. Hillary is a known quantity. She isn’t an ‘X-Factor candidate’. Neither is Jeb Bush. Sen. Rubio and Gov. Walker are X-Factor candidates.

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