I was waiting for a flight at the Denver International Airport recently when I overheard two women talking about Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for the White House in 2016.
“I never feel like I’m getting a straight answer from her,” one woman said skeptically. “For once, I’d just like to hear the truth.”
It’s a legitimate complaint that I’m hearing with more regularity these days – and a potentially serious character flaw about Clinton that troubles me as well.
A recent poll from Quinnipiac University asked voters to describe Clinton in one word. The most common word chosen was “liar,” followed by “dishonest” and “untrustworthy.”
With each passing day, I’m hearing African-American professionals questioning Clinton’s trustworthiness – people who once supported Clinton unconditionally.
A new poll asked more than 1,000 voters each in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania: “Would you say that Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy or not?” A full 64 percent of Floridians, 60 percent of Ohioans and 63 percent of Pennsylvanians said “No.”
And I’m also hearing more Black folks wondering out loud if Vice President Joe Biden would make a better presidential candidate and divide Black voters if he enters the race for the White House. Indeed, Biden fares better against top GOP candidates in hypothetical general election match-ups than Clinton, according to a new national survey.
Many Black voters like Biden; he has been a staunch advocate for civil rights; he fills in nicely for President Barack Obama at NAACP conventions and National Urban League summits; and he has spoken out against racial discrimination and injustice in the workplace.
If Biden decides to run for president, he could certainly siphon off votes from Clinton and put her in a precarious position. Clinton was considered by many as a shoe-in for the White House in 2008 until President Barack Obama emerged and her campaign does not want to be derailed again.
Could Biden actually win the Democratic nomination? In politics, I guess, anything is possible, especially if Clinton’s poll numbers continue to plummet.
“Joe Biden has a lot of support in South Carolina, always has,” U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the most influential African American Democrat in the state, told POLITICO.