Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Why Hillary Clinton Will Run and Why She Will Win
Seriously, everyone else has chimed in with their two cents - some a nickel - why shouldn't I? So, with your permission, and even without it, I'll pontificate a bit.
Let's get to the first question on everyone's lips: Will Hillary run for President in 2016? Here's my answer: Is the Pope Catholic?
Of course she'll run, and for two reasons: One, she's a Clinton and Clinton's always run for office. They usually win, too. Bill served three terms as governor of Arkansas and two as president. Hillary won two terms as New York state senator. She ran for president in '08 and, had it not been for Barack Obama, she'd be sitting in the Oval office at this very minute. Face it, running for office is in her DNA.
But the second reason is probably the most important. She will never have a better chance of winning the presidency then she does at this moment in history. Think about it. With the Republican Party in complete disarray, her glide path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is virtually wide open. She'd be a fool to pass up this opportunity. And make no mistake about it, Hillary Clinton is no fool.
Regarding this idea that's been floating around recently that she won't run because she doesn't want to subject herself to another grueling campaign at her age or, even better, she can't stand the press and the way they savage her, two thoughts: 1. Age didn't stop Reagan from running AND winning twice, it certainly won't stop her; 2. So she can't stand the press. Bush couldn't stand the press. Neither could Bill. I can't stand the press. Most of the country can't stand the press. Watch CNN lately? I mean without being high. These days being anti press is akin to being a folk hero. Trust me, she's tough enough to take it - she is, after all, married to Bill. And besides, she'll be dishing out far more than she'll be taking. I pity the idiot who thinks he or she can bully her.
Now I know some progressive Democrats bristle at the suggestion that Clinton is the heir apparent - or more accurately, heiress apparent - of the Party. They privately and, in some cases, publicly tout the virtues of one Elizabeth Warren, who they say is far closer to their ideals. I, myself, was ripped a new one for prematurely "anointing" Hillary in an earlier posting.
As a progressive, I can understand their sentiment. I love Warren, too. Frankly, I wish there were more of her kind in the Senate. Her passion harkens back to a time when government actually represented the people and not special interests. In a perfect world, I'd endorse her in a minute.
Problem is, this isn't a perfect world. The simple and undeniable fact is that Elizabeth Warren can't win a general election. She polls very strong in those areas Democrats tend to do well in: the Northeast and West coast. She would also fair well in the northern Middle Atlantic states like Maryland and Delaware, also Midwest states like Minnesota, Illinois and maybe Michigan. That's about it. Pennsylvania would become a tossup at best. Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Colorado, all purple states, could conceivably go red. Game, set, match.
Put simply, Elizabeth Warren would be for Democrats what the Tea Party is for Republicans. She'd be the most polarizing Democrat to run for president in a very long time. Most voters would either love her or hate her. And that spells disaster electorally. At a time when Democrats enjoy an enormous advantage over the GOP nationally, her candidacy would cede most of that advantage back. If Republicans ever managed to nominate a "reasonable" candidate - no, I'm not drunk - it is conceivable that Warren could be routed in a general. Even with a business as usual candidate, it would be a very close election. Can you imagine a President Ted Cruz and a Vice President Rand Paul? You might if Warren is the nominee.
Not so with Hillary. Progressives can pout all they want, but their best chances of keeping the presidency rest with her winning the nomination. She would not only hold onto the swing states Obama won in 2012, but possibly pick up North Carolina and maybe even Indiana to boot.
All this presupposes that Republicans will nominate yet another flawed candidate. All indications are they intend to do just that. With Chris Christie's stock taking a nose dive over the Bridge-Gate scandal, some have speculated Jeb Bush could be the one to lead the GOP back to the promise land.
Fat chance. For one thing, the Tea Party would roast him alive. His recent comments about immigration reform, besides being the most heady and most compassionate I've heard come out of the mouth of a Republican in decades, all but sealed his fate. That leaves Cruz or Paul as the most likely nominee. I'll save you the trouble. An ice cube would stand a better chance in hell than either of these two against Clinton, though Paul would at least give some far-left progressives something to flirt over for a while. His stances on military spending and government surveillance are right up their alley.
But let's say the unthinkable happens and ole Jeb actually wins the nomination. There is no way in hell the country would ever elect another Bush to the White House. We may be stupid, but we're not THAT stupid. Michael Tomasky in The Daily Beast may have summed it up best. "Jeb Bush just isn’t very popular."
But what about Benghazi? What about it? Republicans have been beating this horse for over a year and a half. The very worst you could say is that the State Department and the CIA appear to have gotten into a pissing contest over the attack and its causes. Frankly, there was more than enough blame to go around. The bottom line is that, despite all their ranting and raving, the GOP will have an extremely difficult time proving any maliciousness or criminal wrongdoing here. Darrell Issa can hold all the hearings he wants; in the end it won't matter one bit. If they couldn't get Bill in 1999, what makes them think they have any chance with Hillary in 2016?
So that, as they say, is that. Hillary will run, and she will win. You heard it here first, or second, or third, or fourth.
Oh, fuck it!