The Democratic primary is a strange animal. Hillary Clinton is the obvious and expected front runner, but she’s got a mad socialist chomping at her heels in key primary states; meanwhile, a respected former governor is waging an all-out war against the party apparatus over the party’s apparent protectionist attitude towards Clinton—and actually getting headlines and activists behind his efforts.

Wasn’t this supposed to be Hillary’s year? Isn’t it her turn? You’d think she’d be more prepared for it.

Last night NBC aired the second half of a “meet the candidates”-style conversation between Hillary Clinton and Chuck Todd. When Todd asked Clinton to differentiate herself from President Barack Obama, she demurred, arguing that she wasn’t running for Obama’s third term; when he pressed the issue, she completely and utterly failed to provide a single distinguishing trait of herself, her campaign, or her plans for the presidency.

Watch the spiral:

What a disaster:

Clinton dug in her heels and evaded the question with her best effort. She noted, “I would have a different job.” She then gave the President copious accolades about him inheriting a fragile economic framework and how he needed to dig us out of a ditch (“which he has done”). When it seemed like Clinton had sufficiently wiped the surface clean of that question (presumably, with a cloth), Todd pushed back.

“But where do you differ with the President?”

Rather than list concrete and easily digestible answers to Chuck Todd’s questioning, Clinton replied, “I have a different set of specific priorities because I will face a different set of issues.”

For those of you keeping score at home, this is not an answer to the question, “But where do you differ from the President?”. To make matters worse, Clinton then offered up another popular critique of hers, which is that she would serve the “third term” of husband Bill Clinton. Her response? To highlight that the (hypothetical) circumstances she would inherit in January 2020 would be so drastically different from Obama and her husband that there’s just no way to know.

Either Clinton can’t find any fundamental differences between herself and President Obama, or she simply is refusing to say so out of fear of offending a valuable chunk of her voter base.

Whichever theory you go with, this still should have been an easy get for Clinton. Questions like these are low-hanging fruit; all it takes is a cursory glance at polling data to figure out what Americans don’t like about what the Administration is doing. With a simple twist, Clinton should have been able to point out policy areas that Americans are displeased with, then pivot toward her own (if budding) policy proposals.

Throwing a member of your own party under the bus is an art form, and Hillary is still drawing stick figures.

This interview serves up a golden opportunity for Republican candidates to hit back against Clinton, Obama’s failures, and progressivism at large. Obama ran on a platform of “hope and change”; Clinton, in turn, is running on a platform of no hope for change—which is a devastating realization for people who have seen their lifestyles and businesses take a hit as a result of Obama’s disastrous policies.

If this is the best the Democrats can do, you owe it to yourself, voter, to try something different!

Take it. Run with it. It’ll be worth it.

You can watch the full interview here:

Follow Amy on Twitter @ThatAmyMiller


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