The Anointing of Hillary

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167 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    She has the most power, and has no hesitation to use it to burn her enemies, and she’s got a long memory. No one wants to get on her bad side. She was already “understood” to be planning a run for quite some time now. Besides, most of the press is generally aligned with her political beliefs already. Best to get on the band wagon to ensure 1) access, 2) stay in her good graces. She’d likely win, and as you said, let the Republicans fight out the primaries while they go all in for the general election.Report

    • Vikram Bath in reply to Damon says:

      Was any of that not equally true in 2007?Report

      • In 2007, there was a lot of resistance to an HRC candidacy that doesn’t seem to exist to nearly the same degree. High-ranking Dems aren’t shopping around for an alternative candidate (Warren aside – and it’s not HRDs pursuing her, really).Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Damon says:

      I really love how the first post is basically “BECAUSE SHE IS TEH DEVIL!”.

      Evil, power-hungry, ruthless, cold, vindictive. Really, you just left out “b*tch* and you’d hit the trifecta.

      Not a single thought that, oh, maybe the field’s clear because Clinton has a ridiculous advantage in money, name recognition, performance in the last primary….

      Nope. Let’s jump straight to evil, power-hungry b*tch. Only possible explanation.

      I was never terribly fond of the Clinton administration (I truly loathe the DLC, for instance) but the reflexive assumption that Hillary Clinton is basically a villain from a children’s movie will move me to defender her every time, despite the fact that’s like…at least eight down on my list of “Women I’d like to see President”.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If your analysis of a person or situation basically has them twirling their mustache, you should probably step back and reassess.Report

      • Damon in reply to Morat20 says:


        I was answering Saul’s questions related to why “the liberal and left media is sarcastically attacking everyone who is putting their hat in the ring besides Hillary Clinton”. It wasn’t a response to her announcement.Report

  2. Jesse Ewiak says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious why neither guy is getting much love in the liberal blogosophere – neither of them are liberals. Chaffee may be positioning himself as a populist, but his governing record in Rhode Island and as Senator shows him to be the right of Hillary economically, and frankly, Webb is a nice candidate for 1992, not 2016 where those pesky women, gay, and people of color are voting in Democratic primaries in larger and larger numbers.

    If there was an actual liberal candidate running against Hillary, he or she would get some love – even if us realist social democrats would still support Hillary because give me a nearly guaranteed win where I’ll get 70% of what I want over a possible loss where I’ll get 0% of what I want and in fact, things will get noticeable worse for me in the long run.

    Again, I’ve said this before. Liberals need to look at what conservatives started doing fifty years ago – instead of focusing every 4 years on the Presidency, run for school boards, run for county commissions, run for Congress, run for the Senate, run for judicial elections, run for everything so the Overton window is shifted to the left. Frankly, Obama’s Presidency has been a good start (that’s why he’s the Democratic Nixon without the scandals – he’s used liberal language to achieve largely center-right goals, but has shifted the language of the debate (even the Republican’s remembered poverty and income inequality for a few weeks this year!), just like Nixon used conservative language, but largely achieved center-left goals).

    Yeah, I’m going to be disappointed by parts of Hillary’s Presidency. But frankly, I’m going to be disappointed by large parts of every Democratic Presidency for the next twenty years, at the minimum, probably.Report

    • North in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

      This is pretty much pitch perfect.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

      Please don’t go into the Nixon was to the left of Obama b.s. Nixon governed as a liberal because Congress was dominated by liberals and Nixon generally didn’t care about domestic legislation. His focus was on foreign policy. As long as Congress let him govern as he pleased on that, Nixon would generally pass liberal legislation.

      Nixon did govern domestically as a conservative when it suited him. His judicial appointments were conservative. He also vetoed universal pre-K in the United States because the Evangelicals did not like it.Report

      • Jesse Ewiak in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I never said that. I said Nixon used conservative language (to push the Overton window), but passed liberal legislation because he was dealing with 1970’s Congress people, but yes, did conservative things (including trying to impounding appropiated funds) when he could get away with it, just like Obama uses largely liberal language (again, to push the Overton window) while passing largely conservative legislation (outside of when he had the largest Democratic majorities in decades) because he was dealing with the 2010’s Congress, but yes, also passed liberal legislation or executive orders when he could get away with it.Report

    • ACIS in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

      Liberals need to look at what conservatives started doing fifty years ago – instead of focusing every 4 years on the Presidency, run for school boards, run for county commissions, run for Congress, run for the Senate, run for judicial elections

      The plague of gerrymandering, the constant “free donations” of talk radio airtime only to conservatives and free talk-radio advertisement + attack ads on anyone left of Tea Party Cuckoo Land make that harder than it sounds.Report

  3. North says:

    I would like to note that every time a liberal pines for a Warren campaign someone should kill an endangered seal or something. She is not running for fish’s sake, get the fish over it.

    I like Al Franken (a lot) and he’s got my vote for Senator in Minnesota locked for life but he’s not got national chops yet. Seriously, get real. Also, every time someone muses about Biden maybe running for the nod a Democratic Party strategist falls down laughing in DC. The make is a walking gaffe on legs. He’s a good dude and fun but you don’t hang your nomination on that branch when the alternative is the GOP driving their clown car into control of the full federal government (and replacing Elvis only knows how many retiring/dying supreme court justices).

    I like Hill-dog, partially because I think it’d serve the conservatives right to have another Clinton in office (and I think Bill would drive them to distraction as First Laddie). Outside of spite I still think Hillary could do a tolerable job and that the team she’d bring in would do an excellent job (especially if the Party and Democratic Base kept them from getting too jiggy with foreign policy).

    All that said I would like to have some interesting viewpoints and a strong debater to put Hillary through her paces. Nothing destructive but something to get her blood pumping would be good. We’ve seen before that she does best once she’s revved up and going and a competitive opponent for the nomination would do her good. It’d also help hold some media attention.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to North says:

      I would vote for Joe Biden all day every day and twice on Sundays.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to North says:

      Also, it makes me sad to see liberals driven in their opinions by their imaginings of what would drive conservatives batty, the way I imagine (I think it’s evident) so many conservatives do. Let’s vote for the best person for the job, huh?Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to North says:

      I actually think Biden would be a better POTUS than Hillary – it’s just unfortunate that the conservative and MSM has both pushed the idea he’s barely able to walk to the White House under his own power. But, hey, Hillary can just nominate him for another term as VP. 🙂Report

      • North in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        I think who a good VP candidate would be for Hillary would be a whole post worth of conversation in itself.Report

      • I think who a good VP candidate would be for Hillary would be a whole post worth of conversation in itself.

        Yes, please.Report

      • greginak in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        A good VEEP for Hills would be …..drum roll….Jim Webb.

        He can at least try to bring in the white working class voters he wants to appeal to. He has military gravitas which the MSM loves and would be helpful with wavering middle of the roaders. He looks presidential and can appeal in a state the D’s want but aren’t a lock.

        Now that i have answered that question there is no need for a separate thread.Report

      • North in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        Well Webb wouldn’t be bad. I feel bad saying it but I don’t think we can seriously expect a woman for the veep nod. Maybe Tim Kaine from Virginia?Report

      • greginak in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        Webb can deflect the “OMG Clintons are Commies” attacks that will come. Well at least for those people who don’t automatically believe them, they are a lost cause.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        Webb can deflect the “OMG Clintons are Commies” attacks that will come. Well at least for those people who don’t automatically believe them, they are a lost cause.
        To be honest, I don’t think any VP candidate has ever, in the history of the US, really deflected anything.

        I tend to view it as the stupidest possible reason to select a VP candidate.

        You’d be better off saying your VP brings unique strengths or diverse points of view to the ticket, which is a polite way of saying “I had to throw a bone to one of the bigger minority blocs in my party”.Report

      • Dan Scotto in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        I think Joe Biden may have aged out. He is already 72, and would be 74 when his first term began. That would shatter the current record for “oldest at inauguration.”Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to North says:

      …Btw, I bet no one laughs at the idea of Biden running. He ought to run – he’s a two-term sitting VP, the idea that he wouldn’t run if he’s interested in the job is itself laughable – and serious people in the party should be putting in serious work to help him be a good candidate. And I think they are.

      I’m sure people laugh at the notion of him winning. And fair enough. But that is all about there being a different nominee presumptive. Absent HRC on the scene, no one is laughing about a Joe Biden candidacy next year, including North.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Joe Biden has had many opportunities to vie for the Democratic presidential nomination, and failed at all of them. But to be fair, so did Reagan and Gore, until they didn’t fail).

        Biden’s biggest disadvantage is that he would break the oldest President on the day of inauguration record by over 4 years, and over 2 standard deviations from the mean. That’s probably too much, even with nobody since Johnson failing to reach octogenarian status.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        But to be fair, so did Reagan and Gore, until they didn’t fail.


        Biden’s biggest disadvantage is that he would break the oldest President on the day of inauguration record by over 4 years, and over 2 standard deviations from the mean. That’s probably too much, even with nobody since Johnson failing to reach octogenarian status.

        And that’s fair enough, but it’s no reason not to run, nor to be laughed about at the idea of his running.Report

      • North in reply to Michael Drew says:

        I like Joe, I just don’t see him as a presidential contender. Frankly his age is the primary driver for me. I think Hillary is pushing it herself (though actuarially women do live longer and stay mentally sound older).

        Absent Hillary is an interesting musing but the Lady distorts the Dem field like a singularity. If she was not on the scene I quite literally cannot process the variables. So many inert political elements would be flying around everywhere.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        the Lady distorts the Dem field like a singularity


        In any case, I don’t think elite Democrats laugh about the very idea of Biden running.Report

      • North in reply to Michael Drew says:

        I am sorry I said something mean about Biden MD, it’s just my hangup. I find him kindof goofy, also I saw that picture of him washing his Trans am and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive him for that.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        You didn’t say anything mean; I just think you said something incorrect – that serious people in the party laugh about him running. We rubes laugh because he’s an entertaining (or appalling if you’re a certain sort of sensitive person) guy. But he’s also a serious political quantity in a position in which in any other context (i.e. not-HRC) he would not be presumed to be running, but presumed to be the most likely nominee.

        On the Trans Am photo, you know your beef is with The Onion, yes?Report

      • North in reply to Michael Drew says:

        My head knows that but my heart does not forgive. Darn right wing media.Report

      • Biden’s biggest disadvantage…

        Might as well set myself up to be a target this morning… Biden’s biggest disadvantage is that he’s a BosWash candidate from a small state. Only one candidate from the Northeast urban corridor has won the Presidency since FDR, and he had one hell of a VP on the ticket. It’s going to be Hillary’s biggest disadvantage if she’s the candidate in the general — there are states outside of BosWash and the 100-mile strip along the Pacific where she needs the base to be excited, and to let my regional biases show, the rest of the country just doesn’t get excited about urban corridor candidates.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain says:


          As much as I have the reputation of being the NE snob on OT, I would never use geographic origin as a reason in deciding to cast a ballot or not.

          Does the rest of the country really hate the North East and/or New York that much?Report

          • Damon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Likely mostly as it relates to politics and political alignment, yes. But I’d suggest that, in many places, it’s second to DC.Report

          • @saul-degraw
            No, there is rather enormous animosity directed at the entire urban corridor that stretches from Boston on the north to DC on the south. I’ve been a casual observer of the phenomenon for decades, and my summary with respect to Presidential candidates goes like this.

            By accident of history, the urban corridor has inherited great wealth and power. The perception outside the corridor is that (a) the amount of wealth and power is quite out of proportion to the actual contemporary “value” of the region; (b) that wealth and power will be applied first and foremost to its own preservation and expansion [1]; and (c) in the interests of (b), that wealth and power has been regularly misused to the detriment of other parts of the country. A candidate from the corridor has to overcome the substantial hurdle that, outside the corridor, they will be seen as a tool of that wealth and power. It’s much harder for such a candidate to get the base outside of the corridor excited and to the polls [2]. Reasonable people can disagree with me, but I think that it cost Hillary the nomination in 2008, and could cost her the general in 2016.

            Some days I worry that there will eventually be a backlash to the fact that it now appears to be nearly impossible to become a Supreme Court Justice unless you go to law school in the NE and spend your pre-court working career largely in the urban corridor.

            [1] Eg, outside the corridor, there was no question in people’s minds that DC would bail out the NYC banks and bankers, the only question was whether DC would bother with anyone else.

            [2] Eg, Elizabeth Warren is seen as one sort of person by wonks. As a candidate for the nomination, she has to overcome the perception of Harvard professor, DC bureaucrat, and Massachusetts politician.Report

      • Mr. Blue in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Nah. Once you’re the Vice President, your origin state doesn’t really matter that much. Nobody thinks of him as Biden (D-DE). It might be different if he gave off East Coast airs, like Kerry and Romney (who only adopted the northeast as his home, but still gave off the airs), or Chris Christie in a different way. Watching a video of him, I don’t even think most people would be able to place him being from Delaware or Pennsylvania.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to North says:

      Dan Quayle had his partisans in 1996 and 2000. “The press gave him a bad rep! He’s not dumb, he’s actually really really smart!” they cried. Not without good reason, either. But that doesn’t mean I would have supported Quayle for POTUS even had he been an exact match for me, issue-for-issue, on everything that I cared about. By the time he was being discussed, the bad experiences and baggage from his time as VP had changed and visibly embittered him.

      Now, Joe Biden isn’t Dan Quayle. He’s not particularly bitter and seems to take the jokes about him in stride. But he’s also right where he ought to be. Smart enough to do the job for a little while if the worst happens to the guy at the top, but not the guy at the top because for whatever reason, when the spotlight’s on him, his inner doofus seems to kind of seep out to the surface like so much skin oil from the enlarged pores on his nose.

      When you’re POTUS, the spotlight is always on you. We could live with that doofus-oil seeping out onto the cameras as the personification of our national identity for eighteen months or so. But if Biden were going to have tamed that inner doofus, he’d have done it by now.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Burt Likko says:

        As far as I could ever figure out, the problem with Quayle was that he was dull as a log, not in the dumb way but in the boring way. And he misspelled a word, which snowballed. Which actually was unfair, but then he was just so uncharismatic that it was never going to matter anyway.

        I don’t think there is any baggage that Biden carries that would present a real problem, except maybe the plagiarism thing. What exactly is the issue? He’s got massive experience and to my mind exhibits generally quite good policy judgement (obviously I regret his Iraq vote, but then Hillary doesn’t offer me a better alternative there).Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

        The issue is foot-in-mouth disease.

        * “Hillary Clinton is more qualified than I am to be Vice-President.”
        * “And that Barack Obama, he’s so bright and articulate!”
        * “One of the great Justices, Justice Steward!” (He meant “Stevens.”)
        * “You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin Donuts in Delaware without a slight Indian accent.”
        * “Stand up, Chuck! Let ’em see you!” (Chuck Graham was confined to a wheelchair.) “Oh, what am I thinking? Everyone else stand up for Chuck!”
        * “The President has a big stick, let me tell you.”
        * “I wouldn’t travel in a confined aircraft [for fear of Ebola] I suggest you take the subway [to Mexico].”
        “[Healthcare reform] is a big f[ish]ing deal!”
        * “I like kids better than people.”
        * “This election is about a three-letter-word, jobs, J-O-B-S.”

        A few of these, yeah, okay, everyone mangles things once in a while. But they keep on coming!Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Burt Likko says:

        * “I like kids better than people.”
        * “This election is about a three-letter-word, jobs, J-O-B-S.”

        Those two demonstrate that you struggle to make the case that they keep coming. Those aren’t even things.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I think Biden could be a really effective president, but I am skeptical that he can really be an effective candidate. Even if unfair, the perception is there and will be hard to shake.

        BUT! If HRC had a heart attack, he’d probably be among the top candidates. It would take a hell of a Draft Brown campaign to keep him from filling the Clinton void.

        And if he were to win the nomination, I think he’d have a better than 50/50 chance of taking the presidency, depending on his opponent.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Yeah, I’m not saying all of that doesn’t weigh him down to some extent. I do think that he’s occupied the “fun uncle” position in the party since before 2008 and that guy has a hard the getting nominations.

        But I think he’s a person of real substance and knowledge, and I don’t think most of the optics stuff gives us reason that we’d have to be embarrassed to have him as president for more than a few months, unless we’re looking for such reason, in which it can always be found. The worst is the handsiness with women, which, indeed, is a problem, and would have to stop.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Oh, and he’d be 74 years old on January 20, 2017. Oldest President ever, by a good amount of time. (At five years younger than Biden, Hillary Clinton would be the same age Reagan was.)Report

      • North in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Look let’s be serious, with the GOP in the shape it is if HRC had a stroke and the field blew wide open the Dems’ would probably have a 45/55 chance of winning the presidency if they nominated a chimpanzee.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        The party that tries to lose the hardest will succeed at losing.

        The Democrats have Hillary. Will the Republicans be able to top that?Report

      • North in reply to Burt Likko says:

        If you’re talking about electing a candidate that can be defined badly in the minds of low info voters and will play badly across the electoral swing states I’d say the GOP would have to try really hard not to top that easily Jay.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I dunno. Maybe.

        While I’m not someone who thinks that Hillary will make a bad president necessarily (I’m a fan of gridlock and I think that Hillary will give me that), I have a lot of suspicions that she won’t inspire the low info voters inclined to vote for her the way that Republicans will be able to inspire low info voters inclined to vote for them.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Burt Likko says:

        As I say, age is an entirely legitimate consideration for voters, but it’s hardly a reason not to run or not to take him seriously.Report

    • Mo in reply to North says:

      Joe Biden exists to make Veep look like a documentary.Report

    • ACIS in reply to North says:

      and I think Bill would drive them to distraction as First Laddie

      If Hillary runs and wins, he is required to attend the inauguration in a kilt.

      Worn regimentally.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:


      I think even Chaffee and Webb can get her blood pumping a bit. I don’t think they are real contenders but I do like that they will make her hold positions. I am a De Blasio guy but I still think that Quinn would have won if she just came out for sick leave instead of hemming and hawing on the damn issue.Report

    • zic in reply to North says:

      Personally, I think one of Obama’s biggest mistakes was stripping so much D strength out of the senate to staff the government. Strategically, that was a disaster.

      Warren is just fine in the Senate, and I say this having been represented by Olympia Snow and Susan Collins, who both accomplished things I very much admire. Women in the US Senate can be very powerful, and I’m grateful for Warren’s work there.Report

  4. Michael Drew says:

    So here’s my thing: “Hillary Clinton is going to announce that she is running for the Democratic nomination on Sunday probably.”

    “Probably”? (I love the way you just tack that on there, Saul. It’s an exact representation of the actual situation: it’s obviously exactly what is going to happen, but somehow it’s still only ‘probably’ 40 hours beforehand.)

    Probably? It’s Friday afternoon. Are you doing it Sunday or not? Should people show up, make plans? Or not? If so, then announce it already. This is just so… I don’t know if it’s so Clinton or so Hillary, but it’s so Hillary Clinton. It’s not a big deal, but is this just the way the campaign is going to be? Everything is almost something or probably something, but not quite or not for sure?Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew says:

      To be fair, the reason why candidates are always deliberately coy about running right up to their actual announcement is because on that day FEC regulations kick in, and the associated reams record requirements and technicalities on who you can talk to about stuff.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Kolohe says:

        Then it makes a lot more sense now. I hadn’t seen any other candidates do it this cycle, but they don’t get the kind of possible-announcement-quasi-announcement coverage that HRC does.

        ‘Hillary might announce she’s running for president this Sunday, guys! Show up! Or maybe not! If you do, though, in case nothing happens, bring cribbage!’

        So does announcing you’re going to announce trigger the FEC regs?

        Regardless, they could be definitive that there is indeed an event at which a HRC will make a very major announcement about her political future solidly scheduled for Sunday. Show up! That’s not what I have perceived that they have done. What I have seen is more like, “Hillary Clinton could announce that she’s running for president as soon as this Sunday,” with the timing not the fact of it up in the air. (Though that could be through a media filter, not what the not-campaign said.) As recently this weekend I was hearing within two weeks. Is the salient point when the regs kick in? Even if so, if announcing that there will be the announcement counts for that, then why would it matter when the formal announcement happens? Maybe they’ve been inexact about both what will be announced and when.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Kolohe says:

        @kolohe @michael-drew And sometimes you want to be sure to maximize the number of books you sell before you cop that you’re not actually running.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        Todd, yeah that’s part of the ‘technicalities on who can talk to about stuff’. same with paid speeches.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        apologies, forgot Tod has no double d’s.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

        apologies, forgot Tod has no double d’s.

        Yeah, but you should see his legs.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Drew says:


      She could get hit by a meteor. Improbable but a very very very (repeat a trillion times) remote possibility.Report

  5. Tod Kelly says:

    I’ve said quite a bit round here that the Right these days reminds me of nothing more than the Left in the 1980s: out of power, fractured, convinced that purges of the impure was the ticket to political power.

    This election is making wonder if the Left is alternately becoming the Right from that same era: All those diverse voices, voluntarily not making waves to make sure that an ultra-establishemnt candidate has total control over everything the party is about to make sure that the other side doesn’t win, because *those* guys are the devil.

    I daresay as the GOP is becoming more and more radical, the Dems are looking more and more staunchly conservative.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      This is extremely different from the path you were taking to making the comparison between the paths of the right and left that other time, and I buy it altogether a lot, lot more. This is essentially exactly what is happening right now.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      that’s not how I’d read the history of the right in the 80s. Reagan was not an ultra-establishment candidate. Bush sr was, but in his first election, the party rallied around him because he sold himself well enough as Reagan’s successor, but then the party made a lot of waves going into his re-election, which contributed greatly to his loss.Report

      • ACIS in reply to Kolohe says:

        Reagan gave up on the Democrats because they were no longer interested in having pro-segregation members like Reagan. That makes him about as establishment a republican as could be in 1980 and he sealed the deal by shouting “states’ rights” on the graves of murdered civil rights workers to kick off the campaign.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Kolohe says:

        Agreed, the process right now parallels Bush in the 80s more than Reagan.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        Reagan came to power through the twenty year slow boring of hard boards, Carter proving for the second time in a century that engineers make poor Presidents, and just being Barry Goldwater without the prickly personality and incompetent campaign staff.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Kolohe says:


      • Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

        My guess is that Reagan came to power on a platform challenging a whole slew of policies that were no longer practical economically: tax&spend; excessive regulation; high individual taxes; disastrous Fed policy; etc., that worked while the US economy faced no real challenge from other nations, but post-72 (or whatever year you wanna pin the downturn on) they were exposed as needing revision.

        Add to that a little Southern Strategy-style vote-mongering based on “busing” and “welfare” and it’s a recipe that every subsequent GOP presidential candidate has tried to copy! How could it not work!Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:


        Answering ACIS claim that everything hinges on Reagan’s Philadelphia Mississippi general campaign launch speech. It deliberately misconstrues both the status of Reagan within the party in 1980 and how became President.Report

      • North in reply to Kolohe says:

        Relevant or not I thought it was super interesting.Report

    • ACIS in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I daresay as the GOP is becoming more and more radical, the Dems are looking more and more staunchly conservative.

      You’ve just stated one of the least acknowledged truths about politics in the USA. We don’t have a right- and left-side party, we have a centrist party known as the Democrats and right-wing nutjob party that runs around calling the centrists “liberals” all day. And we have no true “left” to speak of that merits any acknowledgement.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      “I daresay as the GOP is becoming more and more radical, the Dems are looking more and more staunchly conservative.”


      I think this is happening for a variety of reasons.

      1. The GOP has become really radical. As Lee and ACIS notes, they are still fighting a culture war that they lost in the 1960s and on the economic front seem to be trying to destroy every bit of the New Deal and Great Society.

      2. This puts the Democratic Party on the defensive and seemingly conservative because we need to fight tooth and nail to preserve what little remains of the old liberal Welfare State.

      3. Liberals are much smaller part of the Democratic Party base than Conservatives are of the GOP base. There are real and serious tensions between various groups in the Democratic Party and people like me who get skeptical of capitalism don’t always have power to create policies based on this skepticism.Report

      • aaron david in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Just as a point, if they lost the culture war in the ’60’s, per your #1, then the left shouldn’t need to fight “tooth and nail to preserve what little remains of the old liberal Welfare State.” Per your #2.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        There are dozens of little culture wars.

        The left won (decisively!) a handful.
        The right won a couple here and there without the left noticing.
        To the extent that Nature has a bias, it helped out with this or that battle in the culture wars depending on which side it was biased towards or against.

        Sex is one of the things that Nature approves of to a creepy extent.
        Hunger to the point that scarcity is created is another.Report

      • greginak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Ach “culture war” is a poor metaphor for the various social changes we’ve seen over the last few decades. For one, culture is always changing, various mores and habits grow or wane. That is the constant. Wars are intense time limited conflicts. Cultures are in a permanent state of flux. Also since we are a big country with lots of people and sub-cultures one region can change more or less than others. Over the last few decades there have been many social changes most of which were championed by liberal types but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t always been plenty of conservatism even among liberals since social , small l and c, liberal/conservative doesn’t completely map to political labels. Cultures just are simply boiled down to win/lose and change/ no change attitudes.

        Besides Pat Buchanan coined the term Culture War, AFAIK. That should be enough to besmirch the phrase.Report

      • greginak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I guess more simply, war is terrible metaphor for almost everything we use the word for.Report

      • Different emphases on various commonly acknowledge goods like autonomy and community,
        What is it good for?

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        It’s safe to say the left has won most of the strictly non-economic culture wars. The old school 80’s-early 90’s right has won much of the economic war- so much so that their victory was appropriated by the Dems’ particularly Clinton. In response the GOP has cribbed the libertarian economic argument on the surface what gutting it out on the inside and larding it up with GOP priorities and the old school right has virtually been extinguished from the GOP.

        Which leaves both sides in a bit of a pickle. The center left has an answer they stole from the right, moderated with their own centrists ideas and kind of works but is warty and unappealing. The further left hates the center left’s answer but haven’t really got an alternative so much as a bundle of criticisms. The right has an economic policy that’s basically either self contradicting or blatantly hypocritical and the libertarian right is sitting on top of the heap wondering “Why is it that everyone on the right is yelling our slogans but none of them are walking our walk?”Report

        • Jaybird in reply to North says:

          I think that that is what prosperity does. It gives enough elbow room for the left to win non-economic wars and the right enough elbow room to win the economic ones.

          If we have a contraction, I mean a *SERIOUS* contraction… we’re going to see some shit change course. Pronto.Report

  6. j r says:

    These announcements are being met with derision among the liberal and left blogosphere.

    In all fairness, is there anything that isn’t met with derision from LGM and Mother Jones?Report

  7. Dand says:

    Why do you say that Webb is more conservative than Clinton? From what I can find out the only issues he’s to her right on a gun control and immigration; he’s to her left on foreign policy, criminal justice and economic policy(he want’s to win working class whites though populists economic policy).

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Dand says:

      While ignoring the fact that a lot of smart people, even ignoring the fact I agree with them, think this idea you’re magically going to get the a huge number of votes from the white working class is kind of pointless (especially when the DNC does fine among the white working class outside of the South – for some weird reason), there’s the small matter that basically Webb believes that Obama won the wrong kind of majority (, since ya’ know, identity politics is bad, since as we know, white people can’t have any identity politics.

      Also, Webb still thinks the Vietnam War was a good idea, doesn’t want the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases, and has said several dumb, dumb things about women. There’s plenty of economic populists out there, like Sherrod Brown, who don’t have Webb’s hangs up about race or gender.Report

      • There are elections where you look at someone like Webb.

        The 2016 presidential race is not one of those elections (if you’re the Democratic Party).Report

      • greginak in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        If the D’s will be econ populists that starts with the Prez nominee. A veep is there to do a bunch of other things like help in a state you need to win, be a good campaigner, be an attack dog for the campaign and provide a balance to the ticket adding things you believe the leader is weak on.

        Yeah Webb has said some dumb things and is not a liberal. However do you remember who coined the phrase “voodoo economics” to attack Reagan? It wasn’t a Dem and the guy who said it seemed to still have a career in the R’s.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Dand says:

      Oh, and also the way to get the white working class to become economic populists isn’t to oppose immigration, it’s to get them into unions.Report

  8. Stillwater says:

    All I can say is I’m not feelin any love for Hillary. EmailGate! sucked whatever goodwill I felt right outa me.Report

  9. ScarletNumber says:

    I will not be voting for HRC in the 2016 Primary because

    1) I am ageist.

    2) I find her to be unlikeable.

    I didn’t vote for either her or BHO in 2008; I voted for Bill Richardson.Report

  10. Kolohe says:

    “I am still a bit annoyed that the liberal and left media is sarcastically attacking everyone who is putting their hat in the ring besides Hillary Clinton.”

    To re-attack this line again, people are sarcastic about Webb and Chaffee because they are clown candidates. Not the same as clown candidates like Trump and Carson, but definitely below the Mike Gravel Mendoza line. They have no cachet, no supporting organization, no prayer of getting anywhere near power.

    O’Malley will be taken seriously. Biden would be taken seriously. Brown and Hickenlooper and Patrick would be taken seriously. Cuomo would be taken seriously by the media, but savaged by the net-roots and other base activists. Gillibrand would be taken seriously, in the way Gore was back in 88. (i.e. not going to win, but a new generation of leadership for the next generation).

    The main reason the candidate pool seems small is, of course, because Hillary Clinton is looming large over it, and now has paid her dues and then some.

    But another factor is that recent republican victories in governorships and the US Senate has made a smaller pool of politicians in that sweet spot of 50 something years old with a term or two (but not more) of state-wide elected office under their belts.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to Kolohe says:

      Webb is a sub-Gravel candidate? I’m sorry, that’s wrong.Report

      • Sub-Gravel is a pretty serious insult.

        I think O’Malley will be taken seriously. But not seriously enough, not for long enough. I learned my lesson from Huntsman ’12.Report

      • greginak in reply to Michael Drew says:

        O’ Malley is dipping his toe in the water so he has experience and can build relationships for a more serious run in a cycle or two. Its a test campaign or angeling for a veep nod.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Webb, IIRC, burned a lot of bridges. He would have done better 10 years ago.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Webb played for both teams far more readily than Gravel ever did, and had half as much US Senate experience. There’s an unsourced claim that Webb endorsed Allen in 2000 before running against him, but in any case Webb won by a hairsbreadth because it was a Democratic wave year and Allen, who, as it was, had always been getting by in life by being a milquetoast head of hair that traded on the family name, didn’t know how to keep his mouth shut.

        I’m willing to entertain the notion though, that the political Mendoza line runs somewhere around Bill Richardson or Bruce Babbitt.Report

      • If O’Malley runs, he’ll be running to run. He threatens to be burning bridges by doing so.

        If he doesn’t run, it might well be he’s angling for a future run. Though if he’s angling for a future run, he really should be eyeing that senate seat he’s not eyeing.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Huntsman ’12 only showed that you can’t have two technocratic Mormons in the field. (and never speak Chinese at a debate)Report

      • greginak in reply to Michael Drew says:

        No Will…O’Malley can do a test run to build experience by having a campaign, not attacking Hills hard and bowing out early then throwing his support behind the winner.Report

      • Kolohe, Huntsman’s problems went beyond the Romney duplication (and even the Clinton appointee thing). I voted for him in the primaries, but Double Down made me pretty sorry that I did.

        Greg, that was my very original thinking, but from what I’ve read high-level Democrats are saying that any run will foreclose future support. Which kind of surprises me, because running on Hillary’s left will give her centrist cred whether she earns it or not. On the other hand, it didn’t help Al Gore and it hurt [Bill Bradley] pretty badly in the party.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew says:

        It’s not even strictly necessary for O’Malley to pull his punches with Clinton. The Obama-Clinton primary fight wound up rather vicious and cutthroat down the stretch, (including accusations of racism and sexism) but now all that seems to be bygones.Report

      • greginak in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Will….hmmm…interesting. I’d wonder which high level D’s said that. The Clinton’s had surrounded themselves with many of the scummiest and worst D advisors. That soured her to me way back in 2000.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        high-level Democrats are saying that any run will foreclose future support

        That’s re O’Malley or re anybody?

        Regardless, that to me reads like the kind of thing Clinton people say just to be all the more Clintonian in how they conduct themselves. If she wins, she dominates the 2020 Dem cycle, but you’re telling me thereafter she’s spiking people’s chances? Not buying it. If she loses, it’s over. Then it’s everyone’s ballgame in 2020, and she won’t have the juice to spike anyone. At best she’s just competing alongside everyone see then.

        She does, of course, have appointments and whatnot to wield. You don’t want to be on the outs with the sitting president. But I just have a hard time believing that people aren’t running out of outright fear of future retaliation/freeze-out. They’re not running because there’s just not a lot in it to run this year.Report

      • Kolohe, I think that speaks really, really well of Obama. I don’t think Obama would have gotten similar treatment had HRC won.

        To clarify: The “him” in the last sentence of my previous comment was meant to be “Bill Bradley.” I’m going to go add it for clarity.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        What have you been reading, Will?Report

      • If she loses, as long as O’Malley doesn’t get blamed for it, then no harm. If she wins? I have a really, really hard time seeing a path to the White House being on the outs of its leader. Maybe if she loses in 2020. But he needs to do something between now and then. He needs the vice presidency, a cabinet appointment… something.

        In my opinion, if he runs, he has a better chance of winning in 2016 than he does 2020 or 2024. If he doesn’t ultimately run, but runs for the senate instead after making sufficient noise, that could position him well for a future run. But he’s been pretty clear on that. Maybe he wants to go and make some money. But then what? He’d need Cardin to retire, and the primaries could be tough for him if the power of the White House is against him (in Virginia, they’d back whoever the strongest candidate is. In Maryland, they can be choosy).

        If he wants to be president, he either needs to run in 2016 and win in 2016, or run for the senate, or angle for the Veep or a cabinet slot, which won’t likely happens if he runs.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        So are they singling him out because he’s the biggest threat, or is this the message they’re sending generally? (What sources are you reading?)

        I suppose it certainly makes sense to do whatever’s necessary to stay on the ins with this candidate s long as she might be president.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew says:

        There’s also the dynamic that an insurgency, if victorious, still generally needs some of the old guard to actually run things, while the old guard never has use for an insurgency. Though personally selecting Hillary Clinton to one of the big 4 Cabinet positions is definitely a magnanimous gesture that wouldn’t have been mirrored.

        One yet to be determined factor of Obama’s legacy is how future aspirants to political office will handle that legacy. It’s not looking to be a cargo cult like Reagan veneration is, but it’s not looking like anyone wants to be Obama’s direct political heir, either.Report

      • I can’t remember where I read about this, or I’d forward the link. It was a month or two back.Report

      • Kolohe, Good point about revolution/old guard. I still choose to believe that it simply reflects something great about Obama’s character, though :).

        My own theory is that Obama is going to be a bit like Carter… a different ex-president than he was president. This is pure conjecture, but I personally think he’s been kind of genuinely frustrated by the confines of his office, and will become an advocate that will have a non-negligible effect on his legacy.

        Drew, I forgot to mention… it was about O’Malley specifically. I don’t know about Webb. I’m not sure they’re worried about anyone else because no one else of concern is actually running. (“Of concern” meaning “could drain resources and energy”… I don’t think they’re worried about a replay of 2008. That’s me, though, and not something I recall reading.) There’s Biden, I guess, but I don’t know that they can threaten him the way that they might be able to threaten O’Malley.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Will, everything I’m reading is that O’Malley’s biggest disadvantage now is that his Maryland political machine, the one that he built from Mayor to Governor, has largely already gone in for Hillary. Not that they dislike or have be alienated by O’Malley, but that they were mostly for Hillary even back in 2008. (it was attack line against Brown, that he ‘didn’t back Obama’ in the gubernatorial primary) (it’s also likely the same sort of thing on why the county executive of PG county has just backed Van Hollen, and not Edwards, to take over Mikulsiki’s US Senate seat – longstanding personal political alliances trump more ideological coalitions, at least in Maryland)Report

      • Kolohe, for all I know, those may be the people I’m talking about. I don’t know that it was Clinton’s people (though I did assume they were operating on her behalf). But it would be the Maryland Machine saying “We’re with Hillary, and if you run we won’t be for you in the future, either.”

        Also, sorry for the updating of the previous comment. There is a bug on my computer that keeps having me submit comments in the middle of my typing it.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:


        Agree on the Obama post-. Less like Clinton with the grand foundation-building and fundraising; more like Carter going around the world as rock-star (that wasn’t Carter, but will be Obama) advocate, diplomat, celebrity, etc. He will need to choose some issues. I’m guessing nukes and Africa will come into play, but that is a complete guess by me.Report

      • If I’m guessing (and I’m just guessing), it’ll be urban crime and poverty/inequality. Salient issues for his home town and things I genuinely think he wishes he were doing more about than he is presently able to really take a run at. But I could definitely see him going the international route (especially in the not-very-likely event that he’s replaced by a Republican).Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Will, that’s still a somewhat odd reaction to an underdog, cutting him off from future prospects rather than just ‘hey good luck and all, but we’re tapped out this time. Maybe next time.’

        Though there’s also the open question of how much fictional Littlefinger O’Malley in The Wire matches real world O’Malley. The closer it was to truthy, the more likely there’s long grudges and long knives out for O’Malley.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Especially if Clinton wins, I think he goes international, because the issues you mention are kind of the very stuff of our politics, and you sort of need to clear the field there for the new president I would think. Roving ambassadors kind of have to confine themselves to issues somewhat on the margin, or only engage in the central stuff sporadically when asked, I’d think.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Michael Drew says:

        I haven’t seen anything about Clinton (or Clinton people) threatening to withhold support for people that run against her.

        Not a whisper. It is, however, the exact sort of thing people who dislike Clinton might say. (It does, after all, fit into the mold that the Clinton’s are spiteful, power-hungry monsters, eh?)

        Why would she, even? What’s it buy her? She has a solid lock on the field — partly because she has the benefit of early polling that is solid (and not heavily influenced by lack of name recognition) that shows her doing VERY well against anyone on the GOP side. She was second place in the last primary (a VERY close second place, in fact) which tends to make anyone the putative front-runner of a field.

        She’s been involved in the Obama administration, been Secretary of State and she’s female — and a woman with a shot at the White House is a big thing, and long overdue.

        She doesn’t need to be spiteful or throw her weight around the clear the field. It’s not “big money” or “big power” Democrats that cleared the field — she’s just too big a name, with too much behind her (experience, name recognition, past performance in a primary, organization, and party support) for anyone to make a credible threat.

        You don’t need a dark room full of figures pulling the levers to clear the field. She does it all by herself. She gains nothing by threatening other primary contenders, and loses a lot. And if there’s ANYTHING you can say about the Clinton’s — they know how the game is played.

        She knows darn well that anyone that runs against her is not seriously running against her.

        I’d take that claim with a LARGE grain of salt.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew says:

        I actually see Obama focusing more domestic, like Will says, on things like criminal justice and poverty. Clinton, Inc is already fully vested in the international scene, and President Hillary Clinton needs Obama as a bridge to urban areas and minority communities, more than she needs him on the world stage, where her husband and the full power of American diplomacy and prestige of the US Presidency would already reside.

        But figuring out how to solve, for example, the persistent achievement gap in US schools? That’s something that Obama is uniquely qualified for in the current history of ex-presidents.Report

      • North in reply to Michael Drew says:

        Note, please, that Obama including Clinton in his administration was far from magnanimous; his new kind of politics mantra AND his practical unite the party needs both required that he reach out to her immediately. That wasn’t charity, that was politics 101. The GOP had one desperate moment of hope that she’d be bitter and reject his out reach (remember the PUMA nonsense?) but she and Bill squashed it by swallowing their pride and toeing the line. Her agreeing to play ball was one of the first layers of foundation in the edifice of party good will she’s built since. A lot of Dems were so very relieved and grateful that she got with the program.Report

      • Webb is a sub-Gravel candidate?

        It makes you wonder where they dig these guys up.Report

  11. Morat20 says:

    I admit, it’d be nice to have a crowded primary to help shape message — and candidates — and push concepts out there.

    But you have to remember, we had one of those in 2008. And it was a very, very, down to the wire thing.

    Nobody’s seriously running against Clinton because she has too much behind her. The usual suspects like to mutter about dark rooms and shadowy conspiracies and Clinton throwing her weight around, but the truth is…she doesn’t need to.

    She was the runner-up for the last primary, which makes her the superstar to begin with. She’s a heavyweight in Democratic politics for obvious reasons, which would make her a superstar if she wasn’t already one. She’s popular enough, and she’s such a public figure that her name recognition is through the roof — you can look at her polling NOW and get a very, very solid picture of what she’ll poll in the general election. She’s defined in a way no other candidate has ever been.

    She’s been slimed, battered, accused, and otherwise attacked so long that she’s pretty much bulletproof. Everything she can be accused of she has been, and it’s gotten to the point where she could probably murder puppies in front of crowds of children, and nobody would believe it because we’re so used to fake scandals about the Clinton’s that nobody but the GOP base takes seriously.

    And the GOP is playing right into that, to be honest.

    Nobody is running seriously against Clinton because people who run serious (rather than vanity or single-issue campaigns) for President are smart enough to run the numbers. The only person that can beat Clinton in the primaries is…Hillary Clinton.

    I really don’t think you need to go to machine politics, or speculate about super-orthodoxy on the Democrats side (which is, btw, just hilarious) when plain common sense prevails. Nobody is seriously challenging Clinton because the serious challengers know a lost cause.

    Democrats are still all over the map on how they see her, she’s mostly considered too conservative. But she has the benefit of facing the GOP in the general election. Whatever she is, she won’t be Cruz or Jeb Bush or Walker. And 2000 was an excellent vaccination between “There’s no difference between….”Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

      I think this is about right. HRC is the honorary vice president and this primary is taking on that dimension. Throw out everything else and that’s where you are. She is the prohibitive party favorite, as Gore was in 2000.

      I expect O’Malley to run because YOLO, and he’ll lose and disappear.

      Eventually the Democratic Party will have to reckon with its left, if the GOP doesn’t resurge, but this isn’t the election that’s going to happen. That looks to be 2020 or more likely 2024.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

        The GOP is basically the best friend conservative and centrist Democrats have. They can ignore the liberal wing entirely because the GOP is so rabidly worse.

        I honestly expect the next decade or so to see the turnout patterns continuing to pogo — Democrats winning Presidential years and losing off-years — which is somewhat self-reinforcing. The off-year losses keep Democrats from becoming complacent when it comes to politicians and nominees, and the off-year wins keep the GOP firmly believing that running hard-core conservatives is the winning ticket, which means Presidential years have WAY too much red meat on the GOP side.

        Which means government is going to basically limp along, mostly non-functional, until someone screws the pooch way too hard to be forgotten (or way too close to an election) and the pattern gets disrupted.

        Electoral feedback cycles are weird, and there’s still the latest wave of census gerrymandering to work out. In the end, just as Texas created the modern GOP I suspect Texas will ultimately break it.

        Texas is slowly moving purple, even as it’s State government moves more and more conservative. Couple that with immigration and Texas looking to be a minority-majority state well ahead of the rest of the South, and eventually the Texas GOP will undergo some serious changes — or Texas will flip blue. Not for a decade or more, though. Probably not in time for the next census.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

          I still need to write my post about how the GOP Primary stands to be the most important one since 1980 or even 1964.

          But the 2014 victory did not have the predicted effect. The right-primarying was largely unsuccessful. They were given an opening for a shutdown and did not take it. The Tea Partyers shot and the king and missed, leaving Boehner more secure than ever. The Hastert Rule walks with a limp and in need of a cane.

          There will be no shutdowns, no debt ceiling crisis, no serious run at impeachment.

          The Tea Party isn’t the GOP’s problem anymore. The story has changed.

          Now, though, the establishment needs to lead. The current problem being, they don’t know how.Report

          • no serious run at impeachment

            There are no conceivable grounds for impeachment. Anyone pushing for it would have looked like a complete idiot.Report

            • Morat20 in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              That’s never stopped them yet!

              Honestly, I think the blowback on the government shutdown really scared the GOP. I mean, some of them are still going full pants-on-heads stupid about it, but enough of them saw their prediction utterly rejected (that Obama would be blamed) and have been trying to recalculate since.

              They just didn’t see that coming, I think. (Or at least most of them didn’t). Maybe riding too high on victory, maybe too much in the bubble, but it was a slap to the face.

              Since then, they’ve been more fighting among themselves than unifying in assaulting Democrats. Maybe that’s clever work by Democrats on fault lines (immigration, for instance) coupled with the fact that being in the majority means the public expects results (which exposes fault lines that are hidden when you’re the relative powerless minority that doesn’t have to agree on what should be done, just what’s BEING done is totally wrong and un-American).

              I really think they suffered a lot of shocks — shutdown hit them, not Obama. Benghazi was a nothing-burger, the debt-ceiling thing hit them hard too, and the minority-rules playbook just isn’t working. And they don’t have a majority plan.

              I never figured them to try to impeach (Clinton really drove how stupid that was home), but I’ve been shocked as to how they’ve been tiptoeing around another shutdown or debt ceiling crisis.

              Enough of them have lost confidence that everyone will blame Obama.Report

              • Chris in reply to Morat20 says:

                The failure to see the shutdown blowback coming reminded me of the Benghazi-heads in ’12, represented quite well here by TvD.

                You’ll recall that Tom was convinced that the country was or would be so infuriated with Obama for over the truth about Benghazi that they would vote him out, perhaps in a landslide. Tom was convinced of this up until the very last moment. What he didn’t realize, because he was only listening to people like himself, was that most people didn’t give a shit about Benghazi.

                It was an issue bought and sold only among true believers, who weren’t buying and selling anything from anyone else. That’s because everyone else was selling biased goods, while they were trading in the Truth. This happened again with the shutdown.

                I remember during the Bush years, liberals used to smugly say that reality has a well-known liberal bias. Relative to the true believers, it kinda does.Report

              • Mo in reply to Chris says:

                @chris The shutdown had as much blowback as Benghazi. Despite all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth at the time, voters forgot and didn’t care and voted the Republicans control of the Senate.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                I’m not convinced that all that many of them expected success (against Obama). I’d say that they might have underestimated how much it would hurt the party, but in the end they picked up House seats and the senate in the next election. It ultimately wasn’t even about defeating Obama or the other team. It was about beating factions within their own.

                There was one group of Republicans, the Suicide Caucus, that didn’t actually care if the GOP lost if it meant success for them. This turned out to be a miscalculation. Not about Obama, but about who within the party would be blamed. They thought that they would be able to blame leadership and the establishment and moderates and they thought it would take. It turns out that they were wrong.

                The second group, everybody else, also miscalculated by overestimating how vulnerable they were to being primaried. But there was also a collective action problem. The base was Atticus Finch holding a gun saying “Maybe I can’t shoot all of you, but which one of you is going to rush me first?” But this would have helped with coordination and leadership that they lacked.

                On the other hand, the establishment faction actually won the internal battle by letting it play out. If they’d pulled the plug earlier, it would have been better for the party but worse for the faction. There would have been the illusion that something could be accomplished. By letting it follow itself to its conclusion, they shattered that illusion and left Cruz nowhere to hide.

                I don’t know whether that was cowardice or strategy, but ultimately what happened afterwards is pretty much what I said would happen at the time, before and after the 2014 results came in.Report

          • gingergene in reply to Will Truman says:

            What do you think about this:

            [I]n the final three months of 2016, the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund will run out of money and beneficiaries will see an immediate 20 percent cut in benefits.

            But just as Republicans in recent years have turned once routine debt-ceiling votes into near-catastrophic showdowns, the Republicans’ new procedural rule blocks the House from voting on this simple fix unless they also address the long-term solvency of the program by cutting benefits or raising taxes. Progressives expect House GOPers to use the rule to force through benefits cuts in late 2016.

            But what House Republicans have actually done is set up a battle that will force the two parties and their respective candidates to take a position on whether to expand or cut Social Security benefits in late 2016

            Do you think Boehner can/will stop this and just quietly extend the benefits? Or will it come down to the wire, with lots of soapboxing and attention from the media?

            And what about the Senate? McConnell seems to have his caucus much more in line (how could he not?!?), but a filibuster only takes one Senator with more concern for himself than the party (*cough* Ted Cruz *cough*).Report

            • Kolohe in reply to gingergene says:

              I agree with MoJo that this is a boon for Hillary Clinton, because no one is going to point out that, per the Center for Budget Priorities own analysis, the trust fund depletion year of 2016 has been known and has been consistent for a dozen years now, and the Obama administration did squadoodle about it when they had complete control of the executive and legislative branches from Jan 2009 to Jan 2011.Report

              • gingergene in reply to Kolohe says:

                Well, who is that argument going to work for? Who would otherwise support Clinton but won’t because “the Obama administration” didn’t do this thing?

                The question isn’t really “did Obama drop the ball on this?”. There were a lot things to be done during the brief window of all-Dem government, and most of the people who might be swayed by your argument are going to understand why stuff like ACA was a higher priority. And the ones who don’t- why would this drive them to vote for Republicans, who are the ones threatening not to fix the thing now?

                The question is going to become “Do you think SS Disability* is a good thing, and we should continue to fund it?” As the article points out, SS polls very well, and rolling it back does not. Not to mention that opposing SS Disability in particular has the potential to offer some very harsh opticals, for those who play political hardball (and that group definitely includes Clinton).

                *For the low-information voter tuning in a month before the election, the question will probably be “Do you think Social Security is a good thing?”, not realizing that we’re not talking about the retirement program.Report

            • Will Truman in reply to gingergene says:

              It’s a good question. There is a lot of specific policy support for rolling back SS benefits among not just the Tea Party, but also the establishmentarians. On the other hand, it’s electorally troublesome and they do want to win the election. It’s also possible that if the nominee is Walker or Rubio that there will be a calculated gamble to go forward with the cuts.

              My guess – and this is a guess – is that it will become the equivalent of Docfix until a safe time.Report

              • Of course they’re going to roll back SS benefits within a very few years — I’m about to become eligible. Story of my life. Also, tax cuts come two or three years after one-time occurrences where they would have saved me significant dollars.Report

      • North in reply to Will Truman says:

        And even more importantly will, they don’t know where.Report

  12. Pyre says:

    So what you want really is bread and circuses.

    You’re going to vote Democrat regardless of anything that happens. Since Hillary has the best chance to win, your vote (and, judging by the comments, the League’s vote) for Hillary is pretty much locked.

    There doesn’t seem to be anything to be gained from having any serious primary contenders to Hillary other than giving the news media something to talk about.Report

    • North in reply to Pyre says:

      Nonsense, even if one’s priority was victory for an acceptable Democratic Party candidate (which is certainly mine) a contested primary would still be desirable for more than entertainment. Candidates that have a vigorous but not brutal contest emerge stronger; more honed for debate, more vetted and readier to face the opposing party’s candidate.
      A coronation potentially weakens any candidates odds of ultimate victory at least slightly though obviously a nomination battle that divides the party and leaves the losing side demotivated and bitter would be worse.Report

      • Pyre in reply to North says:

        As has been said in the above comments, she has already been faced with all sorts of attacks. Feeding her candidates for “vigorous but not brutal” contests (IE, the opposition makes some noises about challenges and then jobs to her) will do nothing to hone her debate skills.

        And vetting? Please. There hasn’t been a Presidental contest since the turn of the decade and beyond where both sides, after they get to the general election, haven’t reversed positions that they took in the primaries. With Hillary, that statement is even more ludicrous. If the last 2 and a half decades haven’t been enough to vet her, having her step on a few jobbers in the primaries isn’t going to change things.

        The very fact that everyone keeps using qualifiers for the primaries that would make them little more than just feeding candidates to her is proof that the coronation has already happened. A candidate who only has weak opposition in the primaries will actually be less prepared for the general election. Weak opposition doesn’t prepare anyone for the go-for-the-throat style of the general election and, in fact, makes them lazy.

        Or it would if, y’know, the last 2 and a half decades hadn’t happened.

        Further, as I pointed out:

        By his own admission, Saul (like almost everyone in the League) is going to vote Democrat anyway. From the tone of the article, Saul doesn’t think any of the potential candidates actually have what it takes to knock Hillary off so he’ll vote Hillary in both the primaries and the general. For people like Saul, all that the primary debates will amount to is watching Hillary take a few victory laps before the main event.

        Bread and circuses.

        This is probably the main reason that a lot of Saul’s potential candidate picks are avoiding the run. A Presidental campaign takes up time and money. Wasting that much effort and resources just so you can be a sacrifice candidate for Hillary’s victory lap is probably not the most appealing prospect for a lot of these potential candidates.Report

        • North in reply to Pyre says:

          Well sure, there’s not much of a constituency for being HRC’s punching bag, that’s for sure but a contested nomination, even for (or especially for) HRC would make her stronger. She only hit her stride in 2008 after Obama had mostly eaten her lunch.Report

  13. KatherineMW says:

    I don’t know much about Chaffee except that he was a Republican who voted against the Iraq War, but that in and of itself shows guts and principle and I’m inclined to respect it. Polar opposite of Hillary’s decision to vote for the Iraq War, which showed political cowardice and opportunism.Report

    • North in reply to KatherineMW says:

      Voting against the war when such a vote will cost you pretty much bupkiss doesn’t strike me as particularly courageous though certainly it does seem prescient and speaks well to his principles and judgement. Absent his vote being the tie breaking deciding one he had little to fear from his own party and he didn’t occupy a particularly contested seat.Report

      • KatherineMW in reply to North says:

        The Republicans were on the edge of calling anyone who opposed the war a traitor. In that context, even though it was likely to have positive rather than negative electoral consequences given his district, I think it indicates both courage and good principles.Report

  14. zic says:

    Jonathan Bernstein wrote about this the other day; and he attributes this to her having gained enough support from what he calls party actors to win the nomination.

    From reading another post he wrote about Rand Paul’s run, and it’s usefullness in shaping Republican policy even if he stands no chance of winning (another debate, not here please). So I would think it would be good for other Dems to run; Chaffe’s got some sway on war. Webb in war and incarceration. I welcome those conversations; and the nomination process is also about building coalitions and thrashing out ideas for the party platform. We do not want just Hilary’s platform, I’d think. Running is how you represent folks interests in that platform.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to zic says:

      I think this is true (Hello, Senator Sanders!), though this primary seems so pre-ordained that I don’t see it having that much of an effect. This sort of thing is most helpful in cases where your party is on the outside, or when there is an open nomination (which is rare, but was the case in ’08 for Republicans and would be the case this year if HRC weren’t running.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to zic says:

      and it’s usefullness in shaping Republican policy even if he stands no chance of winning

      (This is why I’d prefer for Rand Paul to not get the nomination. I’d rather he be a Ted Kennedy type. Perennially in the senate, perennially threatening to run, perennially shaping the debate. Without the drunk driving, though.)Report

      • zic in reply to Jaybird says:

        That’s precisely why I welcome Webb, @jaybird; particularly on justice-system issues.

        I just wish Rand Paul would work out his feminist issues; he hasn’t really done the work to apply libertarian thought there yet, and he hits too many tinny notes, probably in an effort to attract conservatives.

        But many voices with a variety of ideas should be welcomed and encouraged, no?Report

      • ScarletNumber in reply to Jaybird says:

        Sheesh, he kills one person while drunk driving and it follows him to the grave.Report

  15. Damon says:

    HRC announcing = trigger alert.

    I’l be experiencing PTSD flashbacks from the first Clinton presidency for a week after the announcement.Report

  16. notme says:

    Hillary’s announcement was so stirring I felt a thrill up my leg. Everyday muricans need a champion and she is just the multimillionaire to do it. As her announcement said, she ‘fought children and families all her career.’ She is just the fresh, honest face this country needs.Report

  17. ACIS says:

    Hillary isn’t anointed.

    Ted Cruz the Domionionist Creationist Yahoo Messiah, now HE is “anointed.”

  18. zic says:

    Jonathan Ladd has a must-read post,on Clinton’s foreign policy frisking the conventional wisdom that she’s a hawk.Report