THREE YEARS TO GO: 2016 presidential campaign under way (with video) Comment on this post ↓
August 22nd, 2013 by Warren Swil

Hillary Clinton

leads the pack

out of the gate

Hillary Clinton’s “non-campaign” campaign has already begun. Click image to enlarge.

IT IS MORE THAN three years until Americans go to the ballot box to elect a president, but there can be no doubt the campaign has already started.
Contrast that with Australia. Just six weeks after Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister, he called a snap election for Sept. 7, Al Jazeera reported.
The 2016 presidential campaign seems to have kicked into high gear the past 10 days with moves by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to prepare the ground for her “assault” on the American voter.
Watch out! Duck and cover!
The mud has already begun to fly.

THE CAMPAIGN HAS been formally kicked off by The New York Times, which, according to its public editor, has assigned a reporter to the newly-created “Clinton” beat.
Writing in Covering Clinton’s Candidacy in Waiting, Margaret Sullivan said on Aug. 17:
 “When Hillary Clinton joined Twitter in June, her profile described her many roles ­– as the former first lady of Arkansas and the United States, former secretary of state and New York senator, and as “hair icon” and “pantsuit aficionado.”
“And it described her future with three letters: TBD. To be determined. “
Sullivan goes on to say that the former first lady “may consider her future up in the air, but The Times apparently does not. Or at least it’s hedging its bets.”
According to Sullivan, The Times has assigned a reporter to focus exclusively on the First Couple (Bill as well) for different reasons.
“It’s a major use of precious reportorial resources, considering that Mrs. Clinton holds no public office and has not said that she’s running for one,” Sullivan wrote. “And, after all, the next presidential election is more than three years away….”
Oh my gosh!
We are going to be subjected to three years of torture!
It’s not just The New York Times that is already spending “precious reportorial resources” on the 2016 campaign. Examples abound of others doing the same.
Writing in The Washington Post on Aug. 13 in Hillary Clinton’s voting rights speech is essential for her future. Here’s why. Sean Sullivan reported:
“As Hillary Rodham Clinton weighs a second presidential run, there are certain steps she needs to take along the way to a decision. She took a couple of them in San Francisco Monday afternoon (Aug. 12) in a speech about voting rights.
“Clinton can afford to keep a low public profile more than the other potential 2016ers.

The San Francisco CBS affiliate covered her visit to the city on Aug. 12. Click image to enlarge.

“But she simply can’t be a non-factor on the big issues of the day. If she were to do that, she’d face criticism that she was absent from the political debate for a couple of years, assuming she makes an announcement after the 2014 midterms.
“She dove right into one big issue on Monday, weighing in with a lengthy take on a matter that has fired up the Democratic base.”

THE STORY WAS not only covered from Washington. It made a huge splash locally in San Francisco, too.
The local CBS affiliate ran the following story:
Hillary Clinton’s ‘Shadow Campaign’ Comes To San Francisco
It said: “Hillary Clinton appeared Monday at an American Bar Association convention in San Francisco with every indication that a 2016 run for the White House is on the agenda.
“The former U.S. Secretary of State spoke at the Association’s annual meeting after receiving the group’s highest award for service to the law. She used the occasion to kick off a series of speeches with a call to combat what she called an “assault on voting rights.”
At least the CBS account also admitted that “Campaign 2016” has not really begun.
“Clinton likely won’t officially tip her hand for some time, but that isn’t stopping speculation that she is building her brand for 2nd run,” the story said, then added:
“Clinton received a standing ovation when she entered the meeting room and when she finished her remarks.”

Bill Clinton has been making news with his Clinton Global Initiative. Click image to enlarge.

Others are not quite so circumspect. A local newspaper columnist in Colorado was much more blunt in Hillary Clinton for president campaign already underway  Morgan Liddick wrote:
“For those who think a perpetual political campaign is detrimental to getting the nation’s business done, sorry. The presidential race of 2016 is already underway.
“If you’ve been hiding under a rock, the past week has seen a barrage of “Hillary for President” ads, masquerading as puff-piece journalism from the usual suspects.”
Spare us, please, Mr. Liddick!
“As the Clinton machine revs up, expect much more of the soft-focus same. We will be treated to hours of breathless coverage of Hillary’s groundbreaking achievements as a FEMALE! SECRETARY! OF! STATE!”
The all-caps is a dead give away.

Few would argue that American voters are being subjected to a perpetual campaign season.
The last presidential election was just nine months ago, and the next one has already begun.
Is anyone really paying attention? Should we?
Why is the media – including The New York Times – paying so much attention to a matter so far into the future? It risks turning voters off by the millions. Voter fatigue is a well-researched phenomenon.
Sullivan at The New York Times makes this point.
“With Mr. Obama only seven months into his second term, and Mrs. Clinton’s future still TBD, The Times runs the risk of overdoing it and … “pre-annointing” a candidate. But it certainly runs no risk of having to make up for lost time.”
Having the media narrative all sewn up three years in advance is anathema to an open election with a true expression of the voters’ opinion.
It is regrettable – but, alas, in America unavoidable.

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