Friday, June 19, 2015

[COMMENTARY] How Obama screwed up Hillary’s ‘mommy party’ strategy by Monica Crowley

For those trying to identify one accomplishment of Hillary Clinton‘s, here it is: She has put the “Mommy party” on pantsuited steroids.

For decades, the Democratic Party has been considered the “mommy party,” stressing expansive government as a provider of safety and social welfare. The “mommy issues,” therefore, consisted of health care, the environment, welfare and other poverty programs, education, and Medicare and other programs for the elderly.
The Republican Party, by contrast, has been viewed as the “daddy party,” emphasizing limited government as a force for order and restraint, a mechanism to ensure rights, not engage in social engineering. The “daddy issues,” therefore, consisted of national security, illegal immigration, terrorism, law and order, and familial and societal breakdown.
If the “daddy party” is the enforcer, making individuals live up to their responsibilities and face tough realities, the “mommy party” is the overbearing, suffocating and invasive busybody.
In other words, Hillary Clinton. But now she’s not just a mother but a grandmother who freely admits to coloring her hair, presumably to cover the gray. Running to be “America’s grandmother” fits in nicely with the longstanding “maternal” sensibility of her party.
Or does it?
The problem for her now is that President Obama turned the maternal imagery on its head when he positioned himself as a coldly detached father, using the wooden spoon on the noggin of anyone who dared to disobey him.
To Mr. Obama, anyone voicing public disapproval of his plans needs to be removed or crushed. Campaigning as a unifying transcendent figure and governing as a radical redistributionist involved two different skill sets. Once he became president, the unifying, jovial guy disappeared and was replaced by Big Daddy.
Every president assumes a somewhat paternalistic role as he leads the nation, even if he comes from the “mommy party.” He’s the guy in charge, shaping the country, leading us in war, making or keeping the peace, herding Congress and presiding over some 300 million citizens who look to him for protection, reassurance and guidance.

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