Hillary Clinton, Champion of the Downtrodden?

Hillary Clinton surprised everyone today by announcing that she is running for president. (Just kidding.) Hillary says that the wants to be the “champion” of “everyday Americans.” She says the “deck is stacked in favor of those at the top.” Who knew?

Stranger things have happened, I suppose, but Hillary is an odd choice as spokesman for the middle class. Hillary, who charges $300,000 to give a lousy speech; who claimed to have been “dead broke” after eight years in the White House; who hasn’t driven a car since the 1990s; and who promises to spend more money than any political candidate, ever. Byron York comments on the incongruity of Hillary the plutocrat claiming to be the champion of the middle class:

All of which made another part of the Clinton rollout — a new photo spread in the trendy fashion magazine ELLE featuring Chelsea Clinton modeling high-priced clothing, jewelry and shoes while discussing equal opportunity — … a discordant note in ClintonWorld’s big week.

One photo in the ELLE article featured this caption:

Chelsea Clinton in a Gucci dress, Mateo New York bracelet, Cartier bracelet, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring.

Another photo featured this caption:

Derek Lam blouse, Stella McCartney trousers, Bulgari necklace, Tiffany & Co. bracelets, Trollbeads bangle, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring, Brian Atwood pumps.

Cartier, Gucci, Bulgari — they are some of the most expensive names in the fashion business, and in this case they are the background to Chelsea Clinton’s thoughts on equality of opportunity, especially for women.

Hillary no doubt would tell us there is nothing wrong with noblesse oblige, and perhaps she can get away with it. But the natives are restless, and she will have to explain why her policies will serve “everyday Americans” better than those the Obama administration has pursued for the last eight years. I don’t think we will be hearing a lot of “four more years” chants from everyday Americans.

Then there is the fact that noblesse oblige works better if people don’t think you’re a jerk. Hillary is popular in Hollywood and on Wall Street, but the common man (and woman) is likely to sympathize with the posters that have been popping up in Brooklyn:

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Hillary has always fared better when she is out of the public eye. When people see her in action, they tend to be reminded that they don’t much like her. My guess is that 19 months from now, the thought of having to listen to Mrs. Clinton for another four years will make most people shudder.

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