Though neither candidate was on any sort of actual ballot, Rand Paul and Hilary Clinton – both of whom are very likely to pursue their respective party’s presidential nomination in 2016 – were front and center Tuesday night.
Taking to the cable circuit after it appeared the GOP would reclaim control of the Senate and maintain control of the House, Paul quickly used 2014’s results to frame the discussion for 2016.
“Somebody should ask Hillary’s Democrats why they got wiped out tonight,” Paul wrote in an email to Brietbart News. “Clearly, Hillary is yesterday’s news.”
Paul, a Republican with a libertarian streak, is Kentucky’s junior senator. There are a lot of rumors that the son of perennial candidate and former US Representative Dr. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will seek the nation’s highest office in two years’ time.
So Tuesday night, with the facts and momentum on the side of his party, Paul took to blasting Clinton, who needs no introduction. On social media networks, Paul’s people posted pictures of Clinton with six candidates she endorsed for Senate races this year, all of whom ultimately ended up losing their respective contests. They include:
- U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) lost reelection to her second term to Republican Thom Tillis.
- U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) couldn’t ward off Republican challenger Cory Gardner.
- Alison Lundgren-Grimes couldn’t unseat U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.).
- Bruce Braley couldn’t hold off Republican Joni Ernst in Iowa.
- U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) got crushed in Arkansas, losing to Republican Tom Cotton by 17 points.
- Michelle Nunn lost to Republican David Perdue in Georgia.
The best part? All of the pictures were updated with the endearing hashtag: #HILLARYSLOSERS.
Setting the Tone
You know what’s kind of awful about American politics? Though there was an actual election happening on Tuesday, Paul’s focus was already on the next contest. So now that the 2014 midterms are in the books, it’s already time to talk about 2016.
So even though primaries don’t kick off for more than a year, you’d better buckle up: There are two more years of presidential fodder to sift through on a daily basis.
But that’s just how things are. In an electorate where Senate seats cost $100 million, there’s really no room for politicians to relax and get comfortable. Rather, they must strive to move forward, keeping up with the fast-paced 24-hour news cycle. Otherwise they risk becoming irrelevant.
While at first glance it might seem as though Paul’s redirection of the evening’s events is odd – after all, shouldn’t you at least acknowledge what Tuesday’s results mean for the GOP before blasting your presumable opponent, should she decide to run and voters not be repulsed by that notion – for those who play political games, it was actually pretty masterful.
Hillary Clinton is a Clinton (and Hillary Clinton facts are quite well-documented) – they are a brand that doesn’t go gently into that good night. She’ll be back, and she’ll have the vigor she’s never lost. So if Paul believes he’ll be running against Clinton in two years – and while there’s a chance that will happen, there is also a chance it won’t – he might as well kick her while she is down.
After all, endorsing six candidates – three of them incumbents – and having none of them emerge victorious is a lot like being a financial advisor who consistently buys terrible securities.
The Clintons are political people. Every move they make is extremely calculated. In other words, Hillary didn’t just endorse these six candidates because they were fellow Democrats. She didn’t go on the stump for Mark Begich, for example, the Democratic Senator from the great state of Alaska. The polls indicated he was most likely going to lose, so the Clinton clan decided it wasn’t a good bet to make.
With the six failures, Clinton had to assume at least one of them would have won. Instead, she got nothing, and Paul jumped at the chance to call her out on it.
Political prognosticators will certainly look to Tuesday’s results and extrapolate what they see fit. Over the next two years, there will be no shortage of ink and breath devoted to the state of the present political tides.
But at the end of the day, two years is an eon in the political realm. After all, it was two years ago when Mitt Romney was running for president, talking about Russia being a threat. Remember how he seemed so foolish back then? Now, with the whole hindsight thing, maybe he doesn’t seem so bad, after all.