August 24, 2015

If not Hillary, then whom (for Democrats)?

Per the poll on the right, a post of mine from last week, a post of PD's from last week, and this Huffington Post piece, what if 2016 is 2008 redux for Hillary Clinton? She's got a fresh semi-scandal on hand with her email server, done to avoid both the real and fake parts of the "vast right wing conspiracy" and also done for Clintonian secrecy. (Ultimately, this seems more a Hillary than a Bill thing.)

I agree with Perry that there's enough "real" in the email scandal, plus, enough Hillary Clinton mindset in the issue, and the fact that it's going to be a "drip, drip, drip" for at least a couple of months, that she's officially entering damaged goods territory. Bernie Sanders, per Puff Hoes, is drawing crowds, doing the right thing with Black Lives Matter (if/when they let him), etc. If not the frontrunner, he is in "serious contender" territory.

Is he a winner? (Not in terms of electability, but first in terms of actually getting the Democratic nomination, then in terms of desirability.)

First, other candidates.

I've already said I don't get anybody visiting this website, if they know my political views, and, per that poll, favoring Jim Webb over Clinton. Ugh.

O'Malley? I've noted, without a specific blog post, that a fair amount of today's Baltimore policing issues stem from his time as mayor. If Black Lives Matter wanted to disrupt anybody's campaign, it should probably start with his.

Biden? I blogged about the optics of how he's sticking his toes in the water, among other things; he has now met with Elizabeth Warren, a sign that he's sticking more toes in the water, and perhaps trying to position himself as the electable midpoint between Clinton and Sanders. He'd be incrementally better than Clinton, probably, but that's about it.

(Update, Aug. 24: He's running, it seems more and more.)

Al Gore? I shot him down a month ago, even before more massage therapist rumors started coming over the transom.

Sanders? I've noted that he's not all he cracks himself up to be. On foreign policy issues, a "tell" will be if he votes against Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. For me, that could be a semi-bright line as to whether I'd vote for him, or for nobody, in the Democratic primary.

And, as I noted on the Biden piece, while not listing Gore's age, Lincoln Chafee is the only announced or hotly rumored candidate who's not eligible for Social Security. Biden and Sanders are both 70-plus.

Meanwhile, Nate Silver and his 538 gang provide an analysis of Sanders' chances. It's more off the cuff than scientific, but I agree with the issue that Sanders needs to increase his black support to have a real chance in the primaries. A black supporter of Sanders in South Carolina says it's about name recognition and familiarity as much as anything. Probably at least halfway true.

And, I also agree that Biden's not likely to enter unless Clinton's "drip, drip, drip" picks up.

Which gets to a longer-term question: Where's the Democratic bench? Jerry Brown in California's in the geriatric set and the original neolib governor. Andrew Cuomo in New York is skating on the edge of state-level scandal. Colorado's John Hickenlooper, if the GOP wins 2016, will probably move to the front of the line of 2020 Democratic candidates, if he wants. And he'd be 68 then. Jay Inslee of Washington, just maybe, but on age, he's a year older than Hickenlooper.

Name any other Democratic governors that catch your eye. Or senators. If Kamala Harris replaces Barbara Boxer, she's a possible, but 2020 would be a Senate election year for her, too.

Finally, if you're a Democrat, do you even really want it other than ego? Depending on what oil prices and the Chinese economy look like a year from now, you could be starting your presidency battling a recession, plus trying to figure out the half of Obamacare that's yet to be officially implemented, and other things.


Katy Anders said...

I'm a little concerned that the Democrats don't appear to have anybody under 50 on their bench, but... Then again, everyone thought that the Republicans had such a deep bench, and most of their superstars are doing nothing.

Gadfly said...

Katy, a broad bench, with the clown car now a clown van, for the GOP, isn't necessarily the same as a deep bench, perhaps? Of course, anybody who's halfway sensible on the GOP side, like John Kasich, is kind of smothered.