Not even Hillary Clinton’s staunchest fans would say that her book tour has gone well. From the wealth gaffes to her testiness with interviewers to her boring book to her lack of a forward-looking agenda, it has neatly encapsulated the historic complaints about her: too cautious, too remote, too familiar, too much about Hillary Clinton. We are 18 months or so from the first presidential contest, so there is plenty of time to remake herself (that’s another Clinton problem — too many reincarnations). She will have some big decisions to make in the weeks and months ahead, including these 10:
1. Does she stop giving speeches for $200K a pop?
Pro: Each time she gives one of these speeches, it is more fodder for her critics.
Con: Stopping now seems like another act of hypocrisy and raises the question of why she did not stop millions of dollars ago.
2. Does she campaign for Senate candidates?
Pro: She could show that she is a team player and polish her skill on the stump.
Con: She could look politically ineffectual if the candidates for whom she campaigns lose.
3. Does she go rogue, revealing the extent to which she differed with President Obama’s policies on Syria and Iraq ?
Pro: She has to establish her own account of events or will be blamed for the current calamities in the Middle East.
Con: The left won’t like her more robust foreign policy vision or her dumping on the president.
4. Does she begin to set out an affirmative agenda for a presidential run?
Pro: She will need one.
Con: It gives critics something more to rail against.
5. Does she stop doing one-on-one interviews?
Pro: Currently they are generating only negative news.
Con: She will look as though she is hiding.
6. Does she take a position on the Keystone XL pipeline?
Pro: She needs to shed the image of excessive caution and continual evasiveness.
Con: She stands to lose credibility either with left-wing environmentalists or with general-election voters. It is a no-win issue.
7. Does she tell Chelsea and Bill to pipe down?
Pro: Neither one of them helped; indeed they only reinforced the “too rich” problem with their own tone-deaf comments.
Con: Silent Bill?! Don’t kid yourself.
8. Does she come out with a single-payer health insurance scheme?
Pro: It is bold and will help solidify her appeal to the base.
Con: It will make her look too liberal and embarrass the president with the base.
9. Does she make a push on immigration reform?
Pro: She will need to cement Hispanic support in 2016, especially if the GOP nominates a pro-reform candidate.
Con: Someone may ask what her plan is, and it’s not clear that she has one.
10. Does she testify before the Benghazi select committee?
Pro: She looks as though she has something to hide if she stays away.
Con: It will reinforce her role in a disastrous episode and pose questions for which she may not have satisfactory answers.