Hillary Clinton: Retro-Candidate

I believe the Florida trounce paves the way for President Hillary Clinton and I think most of her electoral power comes from people yearning for the 90s, when another Clinton was president. You ask what was so great about the last decade? I point you to the current one, this dead decade we're enduring now. The tone for the double-oughts was set with the election of George W. Bush, a life-long failure with a rich-boy syndrome who cynically promised that he would be a "uniter" and a "compassionate conservative." Then came September 11, which gave the entire nation something it hadn't had in at least 60 years -- existential fear. Then came Shock and Awe and the illegal Iraq War, in which America played the role of invader. So far it has left a country in ruin, spilled blood from all sides, and left a generation of American soldiers to pay the emotional and physical toll. We're all paying. The war has stolen our national prestige and left us in debt, just in time for a recession brought on by a housing bubble and credit crunch, where millions of people lived above their means borrowing money they could never pay back. Don't worry, maybe the Fed, the Chinese, and the Arab sheiks will bail us out.

Compared to this dire, dead decade, the 90s were real halcyon days. The economy was strong, housing prices were cheap (yeah, that actually used to seem like a good thing), we found the Internet, newspapers were booming (if not actual journalism), America had a surplus (!), and Bill Clinton's smooth rhetoric set a sweet tone for all of it. Yes, there were bad spots (Cobain killed himself, the dot-com frenzy led to the tech bubble, Bill had too much fun with his cigar), but compared to this disaster, the entire decade seems like a good dream.

And it's a dream that people want to have again. There's a huge power in that for Hillary, one that not even Barack Obama, an orator that might even outrank Bill, can overcome. There are, of course, other reasons that Hillary is going to pull it out, but don't underestimate the pull of the 90s.

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