Oh, Hillary. Please just go ahead and announce your candidacy.
This weekend, Hillary and Bill Clinton showed up in Iowa at the Harkin Steak Fry. For political novices who need a Politics 101 briefing, the Harkin Steak Fry was created by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) 37 years ago that became the go-to event in a state that often decides who will be president because of its early caucus.
Hillary and Bill stumped for Democrats running for November’s elections while at the steak fry, but come on, we know she is also campaigning for president. I admit that her cat and mouse game of toying with running or not is becoming exhaustive and boring.
“It is true, I am thinking about it,” Clinton said Sunday about a presidential run. “But for today, that is not why I am here. I am here first and foremost for Tom [Harkin], for Ruth [his wife] and for the great candidates that you have a chance to elect.”
According to CNN, “The crowd reacted with unhappy groans, some yelled ‘Just do it!’”
In the 21st century, people – especially Millennials, a core voting block in 2016 – have shorter attention spans than they did in 1992 when Bill Clinton ran. The Clintons are also political royalty, and their every move is documented by hundreds of journalists. As a result, Hillary with her teasing has a very good chance of making people suffer from Clinton fatigue — again.
Remember, that’s what happened in 2008 when Barack Obama, a new face in politics, blazed right past her courting the younger generation that Hillary needs to win. There’s no guarantee that some young Democrat may just slip in.
There’s also the real problem – fair or unfair – that younger voters won’t connect at all with a soon-to-be grandmother. Forget that by electing her, Hillary could become the first woman president. They may, to be brutally honest, just think of her as old, both literally and figuratively. The coolness factor she had while serving as Secretary of State seems to have vanished.
Then again, Hillary may be unbeatable regardless of the growing Clinton fatigue. A poll released Monday showed Hillary with a huge lead – 60 percent – in New Hampshire, another key presidential state, among potential Democratic candidates.
Still, how many more months do we have to endure guessing whether Hillary is going to run for president when it is so clear that she is? How many more articles have to be written guessing whether she’s in or out? Each day she plays coy she runs the risk of people just yawning and tuning out by the time she finally does announce.
Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt” and “1000 Best Bartender’s Recipes.” She writes frequently for Reuters, TakePart, and numerous other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker.