Seven things about the “inevitable” Hillary Clinton

NOTE: To jump to my own thoughts on this, click here.

We all know that Hillary Clinton, an undeclared candidate for President in 2016, is the front-runner by a huge margin.

It’s also obvious that she’s been remarkably silent on a number of issues, on many of which, as Secretary of State, she had direct personal knowledge, expertise or involvement.

Keystone Pipeline approval is one obvious such issue, but there are many.

Is Hillary Clinton a Carbon Candidate?

About the Keystone environmental report, for example, this occurred on Ms. Clinton’s watch as Secretary (my emphasis):

There are other political problems associated with the Keystone pipeline. The environmental impact report on the project was written by a consulting firm with a longstanding commitment to TransCanada, prompting several U.S. congressmen to call for an investigation into conflicts of interest.

Other sources have reported conflicts of interest between State Department officials and TransCanada, finding an unusual degree of support inside the department for the Keystone pipeline project. Some of these findings are related to people like Paul Elliott, now working at TransCanada. Elliott was a former campaign official with the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, the current Secretary of State who is intimately involved in the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Yet we have not heard Ms. Clinton speak about Keystone, except to indirectly extol the need for “U.S.” carbon to see us through those long cold nights (my emphasis and paragraphing):

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 80-minute lecture and discussion at upstate [New York] Hamilton College on Friday [October 4, 2013] touched on dozens of issues—the government shutdown, the global economy, what it takes to be a president and the creation of merlot ice cream, to name a few. But a few ears in the press corps perked up when she made a brief mention of a major issue facing New York: Production of oil and natural gas.

Late into the lecture portion of Clinton’s Oneida County appearance, she referenced a report that the U.S. in on track to surpass Russia in domestic oil-and-gas production. That’s good news, Clinton said.

So she’s a Carbon Candidate, but only via a side comment at a little-covered event. And other than that, her public speaking schedule has been mainly substance-free. Nevertheless, we’re often assured that Hillary Clinton is inevitable, which has a number of effects. One of those effects is to keep anyone else out of the race. But is she “inevitable”? And can she win?

Seven vulnerabilities of the “inevitable” Hillary Clinton

Guy Saperstein, writing in Alternet, takes a look at Ms. Clinton’s presumed candidacy and concludes that she could very well lose the presidency to any reasonable-sounding Republican in 2016. Interesting. I would say the risk of losing might even get Beltway Democrats to rethink their support. Here’s Saperstein to explain why (my emphasis and some reparagraphing below):

In December 2007, just as the 2008 presidential primaries were beginning to heat up, and with Hillary Clinton 26 points ahead in national polling of Democrats, I wrote an article for AlterNet arguing that she was beatable, that she had vulnerabilities the other candidates did not have, that she had historically high “unfavorables,” that she polled poorly against Republicans and that Democrats should rethink the “inevitability” of her candidacy.

Apparently, they did and we know how that turned out.

Once again,Clinton is riding high in polling of Democrats; once again, her supporters are claiming she is “inevitable;” and once again, she has vulnerabilities other candidates lack, including extremely high “unfavorables,” as well as additional liabilities in 2016 she didn’t have in 2008 — some of her own making, some not.

His list of her vulnerabilities is well-marshaled. For example, consider Clinton’s polling:

1. Worrisome Polling

Hillary Clinton has maintained consistently high “unfavorable” ratings since at least 2007 (ranging from 40 to 52 percent). In December 2007, they were running 45 percent and are still hovering in the 45 percent range today.

In 2007, I wrote that her unfavorable” ratings “currently are running 45 percent — far higher than any other Democratic or Republican presidential hopeful and higher than any presidential candidate at this stage in polling history. Hillary may be the most well-known, recognizable candidate, but that is proving to be as much of a burden as a benefit.” That still seems to be true.

Before Chris Christie melted down in the Bridge-Gate scandal, Quinnipiac, a well-respected poll, had him running ahead of Hillary Clinton 43-42 percent. That doesn’t, in my opinion, mean Christie is a strong candidate — people hardly know who he is — but it suggests Clinton is a weak, or at least vulnerable, candidate. …

In an April 24, 2014 Quinnipiac poll in Colorado, a state with two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor, Rand Paul is out-polling Clinton 45-40 percent and she is running 42-42 percent against the scandal-ridden Christie. Colorado is a blue state Democrats need to win in 2016 and having a well-known Democrat running behind a virtual unknown Republican is not good news.

She also has mood-of-the-base issues:

2. New Liabilities

By every metric, voters are in a surly mood and they are not going to be happy campers in 2016, either. Why should they be? The economy is still in the toilet, not enough jobs are being created even to keep up with population growth, personal debt and student debt are rising, college graduates can’t find jobs, retirement benefits are shrinking, infrastructure is deteriorating, banksters never were held accountable for melting down the economy, inequality is exploding — and neither party is addressing the depth of the problems America faces.

As a result, voters in 2016 will be seeking change and there is no way Clinton can run as a “change” candidate … This problem is not really her fault, but it creates serious headwinds for her candidacy and makes her susceptible to any Republican candidate who does not appear to be crazy, who can say a few reasonable things and who looks fresh, new and different. The status quo is not going to be popular in 2016[.]

Items in Saperstein’s list include her legacy as a foreign policy hawk; her lack of real accomplishments as senator and later, as Secretary of State; the inevitable “here we go again” reaction of voters to a renewed Bill-based Bimbo Eruptions (again not her fault, but still); and others. Please do read; this piece is well worth considering.

No progressive Dem will enter the race until Hillary Clinton is out

And now a thought of my own. As Saperstein points out, the strongest support for Clinton’s candidacy comes from those who think it’s way past time to elect a woman president. Saperstein agrees with the latter, and so do I.

Elizabeth Warren speaking to progressives at Netroots Nation

Elizabeth Warren speaking to progressives at Netroots Nation

But if this is the strongest argument for Clinton’s candidacy, is that reason enough for Democrats to put all their eggs in a base-depressing, Big Carbon–loving, neoliberal basket, when in fact there are other female candidates whom the base would be delighted to support?

(I ask this as a decided opponent of the wealth-serving, Big Carbon–loving, privatizing neoliberal agenda. If you love that agenda — so long as a woman leads it — the next few paragraphs are not for you.)

It gets worse. Barack Obama, the first black president, tried for five years to cut benefits to the working poor in a time of deep recession. Should that be the legacy of the first black president? Thank god he failed; still, he tried.

The irony writes itself. If Clinton does win, should the legacy of the first woman president be that she locked in global warming past repair, and gave her own grandchild a +7°C (12½°F) world — a world that feeds a tenth, if that, of the humans alive today?

Of course the rich will survive — that’s what government is for, in their minds — or at least they think they’ll survive. But what about the rest of us, about whose help government will claim austerity? I’m willing to bet that comes the crisis, every name who got us there will be remembered, and not fondly.

If we’re going to elect a woman, can we not choose a woman worth electing? And is there such a woman?

Saperstein thinks there is. But there’s a problem getting there — the aforementioned “inevitability” of not-yet-candidate Clinton. So long as Hillary, whether or not she’s in the race, is presumed to have won it, no progressive Democrat will even enter, or for that matter, even start fund-raising.

In other words, even while not declaring herself, Hillary is blocking all of her potential rivals, save the neoliberal, bank-friendly ones who can fund-raise from the rich starting instantly, if Clinton decides to bail, for example, for health reasons. On that, Saperstein again:

In December 2012, [Clinton] suffered dehydration and fatigue, fainted, fell and hit her head, suffering a concussion. She was rehospitalized two weeks later and her condition was described as a clot between her brain and skull. She previously had suffered a large blood clot in her leg. These medical issues could cause her to rethink undertaking the rigors of a presidential campaign, which are brutal.

I’m almost certain that if Hillary is the presumed front-runner in 2016, whether she runs or not, our only other choices will be privatizing neoliberals like Joe Biden. Ready for that?

Put simply, no progressive can get through the door while Hillary is still a presumed candidate. Given that, shouldn’t she be asked, at least, to go on the record, so Democrats as a group can decide if they even want her policies? Or is it in her (neoliberal) interest to make sure no progressive runs, whether she runs or not?

(We have it as fact that Bill Clinton hates the “far Left” of the party; he’s told us so. I’ll have that story later. Does Hillary share his view of us? For a hint, go back to the top of this piece and read how she likes her carbon.)

Whichever way this goes, unless she withdraws, she puts the base in a tough spot, like the spot Obama put us in last time. 2012 was a “hold your nose” year, and he had the benefit of incumbency. If Hillary makes 2016 a “hold your nose” year for most of us — the single exception being Democrats who would happily vote for any woman at all — she risks everything, for herself, for us, for our climate future, and even, as Saperstein points out, for the party itself, neoliberals included. (After all, the corrupt revolving door only works if you can corruptly use those government jobs first. No government jobs, no revolving door.)

Do mainstream, neoliberal Dems want to lose the White House and all the corrupting goodies it hands out, to support a losing presidential bid, no matter how loyal they may be to the Clinton “brand”?

And what if Hillary eventually withdraws, but way to late for a progressive to enter? We’ll likely end up with aa neoliberal male as a candidate, and there goes that pro-woman support. I know for a fact that I will not vote for a Carbon President in 2016, knowing that by not acting decisively — i.e., in a way that David Koch will hate — the “game over” card will be played in the early 2020s. And I know a lot of women who will support a corporate candidate only if it’s Hillary.

Much to think about, and yes, it really is time to have these thoughts. In my view if we want a real progressive, we’ll need to clear space for her … starting now.


Twitter: @Gaius_Publius
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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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66 Responses to “Seven things about the “inevitable” Hillary Clinton”

  1. rabblerouzzer says:

    Not as long as the 1% can buy any election they want.

  2. ekaneti says:

    Scott Walker

  3. ekaneti says:

    As a progressive the last thing you should want would be Hillary Clinton. The party that wins 2016, will lose in 2020.

  4. pvequalkt says:

    Nostalgia? We’ll be saved by nostalgia? and by democrats?
    You forget the 110th with 60 Ds in the senate who WOULD NOT pass cloture for anything. Their seminal bill, obamneycare, was written by the lobbyist who was sleeping with the lead D. Ds gave audacity hopey changey what can only be compared to Hitler’s first enabling act in the NDAA, since nicely upheld by the 5 best-bought on the court.
    I have a revelation for you… there aren’t 65 Elizabeth Warrens LEFT in that sect of the money party. The Ds are horrified of a majority of 65 or more… because THEN they’d HAVE to do stuff in the FDR/Truman tradition… or forever expose themselves as the corrupted charlatans they almost all are.
    Go ahead and pray for your D resurgence. It won’t help.. it won’t matter.. and it won’t happen.
    Absent a sudden resurgence of labor… and that’s almost impossible since both sects of the money party have been knocking them down brick by brick since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers (audacity hopey changey forbidding his misnamed “labor department” from operating in WI while all those teachers and firemen were rallying at the capital… need anyone say more?)… the ONLY way to get change is for the whole house of cards to burn the hell down.
    For 34 years I had hoped that voters… or a majority of them… would realize the horrible mistake of Reagan. But instead voters have iteratively doubled-down. ahc’s second term is Reagan’s 9th. jeb/hil’s first admin will be Reagan’s 10th. And we’ll just keep affirming Reagan every 2 and 4 years until that cancer kills its host. And your democrats are part and parcel… ever since Clinton et al sold them out to the money in ’81 with the DLC.

  5. Bubbles says:

    Worship Clinton? Surely you jest.

    But so,you dislike the Clintons. So what? You also say it doesn’t matter who is president because of Congress is all bought and owned by Big Money. No doubt, we are living in an oligopoly. Still there are forces out there than can shift directions. Big Money wants xyz. But Big Construction and their allies can buy lobbyist who buy congressmen and that can buy a big infrastructure bill, bringing relief, finally to millions.

    Clinton lucky? Maybe, but he didn’t screw up the luck he had. I will also point out that there were financial crisis in South East Asia, East Asia, Russia, and Latin America, and somehow those crisis didn’t infect our economy.

    I once read that economist had traced 10% of the growth in the 1990s to the effect of Walmart, the lower prices they generated increased purchasing power for other things. Walmart like so much of the rest of society was realizing the benefit of the prior 20 years investment in information systems (especially to control inventory). The decade of investment in trying to catch up with Japanese quality, flexibility and productivity also paid off. The pubic had better products that lasted longer and cost less to buy and then to own. Y2K was limited to Info Professionals.

    Bush pushed roughly $12 Trillion (with a “T”) from demand to supply side of the economy over a 10 year period – $5 trillion thru tax cuts alone. You can’t do that and not expect demand to crater. Republicans are fighting to keep Dems from getting credit for fixing the economy, by preventing spending on needed projects.

    By now everyone and their brother knows we need huge amounts spent on infrastructure (and other projects). That kind of spending reverses some of Bush’s rush to supply side suicide. Those projects will largely pay for themselves in increased inefficiencies.

    The only thing getting in the way is a GOP congress. We need a Democratic flood. That won’t happen without some emotional connection. If you were alive during the 1970s, there was an enormous nostalgia craze for the 1950s that erupted with the release of the movie “American Graffiti.” One spin off was the tv show Happy Days. Some say nostalgia is a nature occurrence after 20 years. In 2016, if Clinton is running there is going to be a HUGE nostalgia for the the 1990s. Almost like living in the dark ages and remembering the Roman Empire. That nostalgia will be the emotional link that causes a bull rush for democratic candidates.

  6. pvequalkt says:

    Bernie, yes… but he’d be impotent due to the 535 in congress who would be serving the money.
    Your Clinton worship is badly misplaced. He didn’t “create” more than a few jobs… in FEMA mostly. The rest were due to bid’ness hiring millions to deal with Y2K (and paying a shitload for them) and the dead money in the economy rushing into e-startups in their search for big returns.
    Both were moot by 1Q2000, which is when bill and his slick willie left to mine the speaking circuit for their millions (that they earned with GLBA, CFMA, xxFTA, WTO and so on.)
    In other words, slick willie wasn’t so much good as lucky in his timing. In fact, GLBA and CFMA were the foundation and cornerstone for the 2007 banksters’ crushing of the middle that continues to this day. WTO and the myriad of xxFTAs are the SSTs that continue to fly our capital overseas… never to be seen again.
    so… there’s that…

  7. Houndentenor says:

    Clinton didn’t put up much of a fight on either front and even ran radio ads in the south in 1996 bragging about signing DOMA. That’s hardly acquiescence. Even into the Obama presidency both were still against marriage equality (so was Obama and just about everyone else in the 2008 primaries except for Kucinich). Hillary came out for marriage equality only after polling went above 50%. Don’t whitewash the Clintons’ shameful past on gay issues. They made promises, rarely kept them and raked in dollars from gay people who had no other horse in the race. You have made a case that they did what they had to do but to me that makes them tainted. I think American needs to move forward not backwards.

  8. MyrddinWilt says:

    They got thrown under the bus by Powell on DADT. Clinton thought he could force the military to accept gays by executive order, Powell betrayed his uniform and blocked the orders of his commanding officer. DADT was the best compromise they could salvage.

    On DOMA there was a veto-proof majority in the House and Senate. Attempting to veto would merely provide an opportunity for the reactionaries to pass something even worse.

  9. Bubbles says:

    As a progressive I’ve been voting for people for years who were the lessor of two evils. An old boss of mine once said “a 2nd class something is better than a first class nothing.”

    Here’s what I feel certain about. By 2016 people are going to be so nostalgic for the 90s that even Republicans, en mass, will pull the lever for Hillary.

    Everytime I watch Seinfeld rerun these days, I’m so wishing Clinton was still president and I had an upwardly mobile job.

    The Clintons can say that Bill was building a bridge to the 21st century, and Bush demolished it, and all Obama was able to do was hold what was left together, and now its time to rebuild the 21st century. There will be a tidal waive in 2016, and if they get enough in the house, they can pass a $3 trillion infrastructure bill and the recession will finally be over in a fortnight. The

    Here’s what the evidence that the average voter would be taking into the voting booth in November 2013:

    Number of private sector jobs created …-
    Clinton – 20+ Million
    Bush – 0 (Zee-roh)
    Obama – 8-12 million (still pending)
    Reagan – Ancient History.

    We once were a 1st world nation. The restoration would probably make Clinton a shoe-in for 2020 and the Republicans would be boxed out of the White House until at least 2025, by then the demographics will have shifted and there will be more liberals on the Supreme Court (one hopes).

    Clinton has more experience than any viable candidate and she fights against the hard right, knows not to make friends and if she’s nominated she’ll win in a walk.

    Having said all of that, I’d love to see Bernie Sanders run.

  10. Cetandi Bolger says:

    Rosanne Barr!!
    WHY NOT!?

  11. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    We don’t like who we elected, so let’s try electing the person that we thought was second-best to the guy we did elect.

    Oh, so that’s why McCain was nominated! I couldn’t think of another reason.

  12. hoIoh says:

    “Once more, the Clintons will rule the galaxy. And, we shall have peace.”

  13. hoIoh says:

    You gotta love the fact that Hillary was the runner-up to Obama and Obama’s approval rating is in the dumps. That’s typical liberal logic. We don’t like who we elected, so let’s try electing the person that we thought was second-best to the guy we did elect. LOL. What morons.

  14. Houndentenor says:

    Kerry was a terrible candidate and even so he did very well and may have actually won Ohio (and therefore should have won the electoral college). We’ll never know because the state’s secretary of state (who was over such things) destroyed the records needed for a recount and resigned in scandal.

  15. Houndentenor says:

    Agreed. My two main objections to Clinton in 2008 were her vote for the Iraq War and the Clintons’ history of throwing gay people under the bus when it was politically expedient (DADT, DOMA). Not that I had any confidence that Obama would be any better but I certainly wasn’t going to reward someone I knew I couldn’t trust in lieu of someone who might do better.

  16. lynchie says:

    If I see no one to vote for I am not voting. voting for the lesser of two evils still elects an evil person. As far as keeping my mouth shut just as it is my right not to vote it is my right to speak my mind.

  17. Jade says:

    Al Franken? … Maybe? …

  18. Guest says:

    Tragic that an innocent 16 year old boy with his whole life ahead of him is killed. While at the same time, bitter, jealous, hateful Bill Perdue, who has wasted his entire unsuccessful life working on behalf of some revolutionary fantasy, continues to breathe.

    Now that’s an injustice!!

  19. Guest says:

    “nice people come here ”

    With the exception of you, of course.

  20. emjayay says:

    And Kerry was a bit clueless as a candidate.

  21. Snaggletooth says:

    So basically no change at all then…

  22. MyrddinWilt says:

    If she had voted against the Iraq war in 2002 she would have been ordering curtains for the oval office in 2004.

    Bush was vulnerable. The problem for Kerry and Clinton was that they had both voted for the war and made it a bipartisan disaster. There was no clear opposition.

  23. MyrddinWilt says:

    Rudy pandered shamelessly as mayor. He attended numerous IRA fundraisers and gave Gerry Adams, the leader of the IRA a humanitarian award. Not exactly in keeping with his anti-terrorism personna.

    His private life was a pantomime while he was mayor. He insisted on constructing a $15 million emergency response center in the world trade center against all advice so he could use it for meetings with his mistress.

    To grab credit for the drop in crime he sacked Bratton, the guy who had turned the NYPD round. A lot of ugly stuff resurged as a result, ‘Giuliani time’.

    Nothing like Christie’s deal with the mob thats behind Bridgegate. But more than enough to cancel out every one of the selling points he was trying to use. Before 9/11 Giuliani’s poll numbers were very unfavorable, the city could not wait to be rid of him.

  24. rabblerouzzer says:

    If the GOP wins the Senate and keeps the House, I think perhaps the first order of business will be impeachment proceedings for the President, repeal of the PPACA (Obamacare), and probably DADT. Keystone XL will definitely be approved, creating very few permanent jobs, nothing will be done on climate change except legislation that exacerbates it and we’ll have another war somewhere in the Middle East, unless Dems take a page from the GOP’s obstructionist playbook or have the numbers to prevent a veto override. I think if that happens, and folks see that the only thing stopping the GOP from succeeding in rolling back rights, limiting access to healthcare and safe abortions, privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and stifling economic growth is the veto of a Democratic President, they may think twice about giving the GOP the trifecta. As for myself, I think HRC would be nuts to run. I don’t know yet if I’ll support her if she does. Maybe if Bernie Sanders enters the contest as he’s said he’s considering, if for no other reason than to make sure progressive policies get air time, he can push her further left. Nobody’s ever going to live up to our expectations as President. Big money won’t let them. And we’ll never get an anti-corporate crusader for the 99% until we get the Kochs and their ilks’ money out of the equation.

  25. BloggerDave says:

    Much to think about, and yes, it really is time to have these thoughts. In my view if we want a real progressive, we’ll need to clear space for her … starting now.

    To have a “real progressive” candidate, you will first need a real progressive infrastructure capable of supporting that candidate… To date, there is none and no one is getting off their couches to start one including you…

  26. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    It’s some measure of how insane the American political system has gotten that I feel slightly obliged to get behind Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, not because I think she’ll be any good as a President but because I don’t like the idea of making common cause, however indirectly, with all of the Republicans who hate Clinton and heap derision on her for utterly batshit reasons.

    Same thing with Obama, really. I don’t like him but he gets a bit of sympathy from me cos his enemies peddle the most outrageous lies and wild stories about him. Similarly, the GOP is a bit soft in the head when it comes to Hillary Clinton, and I like to see them lose.

  27. Bill_Perdue says:

    It he ran as a Democrat his base would disappear overnight.

  28. The_Fixer says:

    That’s all very fine and good, however, words are words and deeds are deeds. Ms. Clinton can say anything that sounds a bit more to the left as a result of popular or campaign pressure. Assuming she is elected, she can do what she has been pressured by big money to do – go right.

    There’s precedent for this – very recent precedent.

    I think she’s a poor candidate for several reasons, chief among them is the fact that a lot of people find her abrasive and think of her as the female equivalent to “Slick WIlly”. For that reason, they hate her. These people I speak of are the so-called “moderates” and swing voters. One semi-reasonable sounding Republican can keep her from being elected, and bring yet another Republican corporatist into office. Which would not make much difference in terms of most policy. Where it would make the difference is in social policy. Obama found out that in order to get a second term, he had to respond to the more liberal populace when it came to social issues.

    Beyond that, yeah, they all serve the bankers and fabulously wealthy. Sadly, we’ve let this get away from us and are going to pay the price. It will take a real “people’s revolution”, either political or physical, to change this.

  29. epazote says:


  30. mirth says:

    If her winning depends on my vote, she won’t.

    I would vote for Gaius.

  31. ComradeRutherford says:


  32. ComradeRutherford says:

    Yeah, that’s it… I have the whole segment on my computer…

  33. ComradeRutherford says:

    Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos…

  34. emjayay says:

    Excellent comment but I don’t understand ” a lot more skeletons than Kirk”.

  35. emjayay says:

    Gosh you are so ideologically impure. How do you live with yourself?

  36. MyrddinWilt says:

    I think Biden very electable. And Warren’s statement that she won’t run could be unmade if need be. Saying you won’t run when there are two candidates ahead of you is one thing. Quite another if Hillary and Biden were out.

    Dems have a very deep bench. Its the GOP that has the problem. Their best looking candidate right now is Huckabee and after that its Santorum.

  37. emjayay says:

    Who although I would be personally thrilled to have for president, would get approximately no votes at all outside of Vermont.

  38. emjayay says:

    Or in reality, as Kodo and Kang explained, enabling the winner to win, even if they weren’t really the winner, like in the case of GWB. Of course, as both corporatists, having Al Gore for president for eight years would have made no difference whatever in any imaginable way. Assuming you have no imagination.

  39. cole3244 says:

    that’s as good a description as any.

  40. Bill_Perdue says:

    That’s one more reason I like Nevada. The other is that nice people come here and gamble and pay our state income tax. How thoughtful.

  41. HolyMoly says:

    By not casting a ballot you actually ARE voting. Your choice is “none of the above.”

  42. cambridgemac says:

    By “remain about the same,” I assume you mean, “We’ll keep heading for the cliff at 55 mph.” No slowing down.

  43. Houndentenor says:

    Hillary got and took very bad campaign advice in 2007-2008. If she had run a stronger campaign in the early caucus states (especially Iowa and Nevada) she’d be president now. (I say that as someone who preferred Obama then and now.)

  44. Ford Prefect says:

    Compared to 97% of all the “progressive” posts about Hillary, this is a breath of fresh air. She has locked up the corporate donor base and they in turn have locked up the bulk of the party apparat. They ARE the nomenklatura, for the most part.

    Do mainstream, neoliberal Dems want to lose the White House and all the corrupting goodies it hands out, to support a losing presidential bid, no matter how loyal they may be to the Clinton “brand”?

    In a word, Yes. Being co-religionists with Republicans, they’d rather lose the WH to the GOP than hand it over to the DFHs. Ideological and class imperatives are more important than party branding. They will still make lots of money while waiting for their next shot at the WH.

    See “Democrats & The Iron Law of Institutions.”

    It was a Republican state party boss, Senator Boies Penrose of Pennsylvania, who early this century stated with notable candor the basic principle and purpose of present-day party politics. In the face of a powerful state and national resurgence of reform and the sentiments of the majority of the Republican rank and file, Penrose put up a losing slate of stand-pat party hacks. When a fellow Republican accused him of ruining the party, Penrose replied, “Yes, but I’ll preside over the ruins.”

    Of course, these days, there’s a ton of money in losing… for corporate hacks, anyway.

    Lastly, HRC’s candidacy will have to be based in empty symbolism, since almost everything she represents can be reasonably viewed as deplorable and destructive to the public interest. Even her brand of “feminism” is so steeped in class bias as to be useless for most women, since most women aren’t rich. And that is her one good selling point! Since electing the first black president, African-American families have lost 50% of their net worth. Electing HRC will have largely the same results for most women who aren’t rich.

    I doubt she’ll drop out. But maybe she’ll rack up the donations and bail, so she can enjoy all that cash, but I doubt it. She’s making promises to people in order to raise a couple billion dollareenies. She has to keep those promises or suffer the consequences. You don’t diss the Wall Street mafia and get away with it.

  45. cambridgemac says:

    I’m so old I remember when Democrat presidential candidates were to the left of Richard Nixon. Hasn’t been true since 1984.

  46. cambridgemac says:

    LOL. Try reading the Simpson’s clip above.

  47. Bill_Perdue says:

    I’m sure that would please right wing types who never win political arguments because they suffer from a right wing miseducation but the answer is no.

    I think Obama taught constitutional law and now he murders Arab and muslim Americans. He miseducated a lot of people.

    30 million abandoned the right wing Democrats in 2010. How many will it be this time?

  48. dcinsider says:

    Have we considered the possibility she does not run? Who do the Dems have if not Hillary? Warren is not running and Biden is not electable.

    Who is out there?

  49. Indigo says:

    I don’t think she’s inevitable, just ironic. Not her personally, no, she doesn’t seem to have a funny bone let alone an ironic twinkle, but as a situation, this is it. I guess I can be okay with Hillary running, I feel strongly that if indeed, as we seem to have chosen by our silence, we are to become a Security (i.e. Police) State, Hillary is fully qualified and perfectly capable of implementing it and making this an effective Security (i.e. Police) State.

  50. Elijah Shalis says:

    If you don’t vote just keep your mouth shut then.

  51. pricknick says:

    She’s bought and paid for……..but not by the commoners.

  52. Bill_Perdue says:

    I’ve never voted for anyone in either of the two right wing parties. When I can’t vote socialist I either write-in Castro, or more recently, Manning or just stay home. There’s not much point in voting except for important referenda and no point at all in voting for the right.

  53. ComradeRutherford says:

    Someone like Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, for example…

  54. ComradeRutherford says:

    The Simpsons from 1996, when Bill Clinton was up against Bob Dole.

    Setup: Space aliens Kang and Kodos have kidnapped Clinton and Dole and have been campaigning in disguise:

    Homer: America, take a good look at your beloved candidates. They’re nothing but hideous space reptiles. [unmasks them]

    [audience gasps in terror]

    Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us.


    Man1: He’s right, this is a two-party system.

    Man2: Well, I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.

    Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.

    [Kang and Kodos laugh out loud]

    [Ross Perot smashes his “Perot 96” hat]

  55. ComradeRutherford says:

    I haven’t voted for the Mainstream Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1992 who promptly behaved farther to the right than the previous 12 years of Bush I!!!

  56. Bill_Perdue says:

    The Democrats don’t have anyone worth considering in 2016. The best they can do is an Obama clone, who was himself a Clinton clone, or Nixon clone, or a Reagan Clone depending on who you ask.

    People are learning about these lesser evil clones. In 2010 30 million of Obama’s 2008 voters deserted the Democrats and this year is shaping up to be a repeat.

    Nate Silver: GOP Ahead In Race For Senate Silver’s data-driven journalism website FiveThirtyEight made one of its first major political predictions since its relaunch: Republicans will take back the Senate in the midterm elections behind held later this year. Famed statistician and political prognosticator Nate Silver is predicting that the Republicans are the slight favorites to take control of the senate in the 2014 midterm elections.”

    And Gallup has corroborative data. “Voter Enthusiasm Down Sharply From 2010 – Republicans, Democrats less enthusiastic about voting. PRINCETON, NJ — A majority of U.S. registered voters, 53%, say they are less enthusiastic about voting than in previous elections, while 35% are more enthusiastic. This 18-percentage-point enthusiasm deficit is larger than what Gallup has measured in prior midterm election years, particularly in 2010 when there was record midterm enthusiasm.”

    If they lose the Senate Democrats will blame lazy uninformed voters but that’s the opposite of the truth. It’s because they are informed that voters stay away from the polls and curse both parties.

  57. BrianG says:

    Reason Number Eight. A French economist named Thomas Piketty.

    Hillary Clinton received $400,000 from Goldman Sachs for a couple of speeches is clearly not going to do anything to bring us back from the brink of our Gilded Age inequality. Combine that with the tape of Bill Clinton conspiring with Paul Ryan to gut Social Security, and it is clear that their loyalties lie with the oligarchs. She is an “r>g” candidate.

  58. magster says:

    I thought it interesting that Biden went all populist in a recent speech. I’m sure his advisers are telling him Hillary is vulnerable on her left.

    If for nothing else, there needs to be a progressive candidate, or one pretending to be, to bring Hillary left of where she may otherwise want to be.

  59. pvequalkt says:

    interesting conjecture. I don’t see Warren as anyone’s running mate. The money cannot afford to have her talking about wall street fraud in front of the teevee cameras. And if she “nuances” herself to align with the nominee, she’ll expose herself as no better a corporate whore than the rest. And THAT will lose more millions of votes. Can you imagine how utterly and irreparably disillusioned they will be when the one and only D (now seen as) worth supporting gets corrupted as absolutely as all the rest of that worthless pos party?
    Warren knows this. And at least SOME of the D gentry also know this. They NEED to cultivate at least a hint of still being the party of the everyman… even though they have not done so in deed since slick willie et al in the DLC sold out to the money.

  60. Elijah Shalis says:

    Hillary will win easily unless someone like Elizabeth Warren runs. I am kinda tired of neo corporate democrats but I will vote for them over a Republican.

  61. MyrddinWilt says:

    Hillary was by far the best call at the start of the 2008 race but only an ignorant twit would think Rudy had a chance.

    Obama looked like a man running for Hillary’s veep slot and then to take over the big job in 2016. And Hillary came very close to winning.

    Rudy was the Christie of the 2008 race, he was the media favorite but not the party favorite. The only way Rudy got national support was by pretending to be a Democrat. But GOP primary voters don’t want a Democrat. So Rudy was always more popular with Democrats than Republicans.

    Like Christie, Rudy didn’t have as good a shot at winning the general election as claimed. The politics of the Tri state area are notoriously corrupt and Rudy had a lot more skeletons than Kirk. Like Christie he was a pol that would have been down and out but for the fact of handling a disaster competently. If it wasn’t for Bridgegate likely killing Christie’s campaign completely, expect Biden to say of Christie ‘a noun, a verb and Sandy’.

  62. MyrddinWilt says:

    I would not get excited about what people don’t say about KeyStone. The problem with KeyStone is that the executive approval decision is subject to judicial review and the Koch Bros have bought much of the Federal bench. In Clarence ‘uncle’ Thomas’ case quite literally with that million bucks a year he gets through wife Ginny.

    Not making a decision delays the day when the Koch bros can appeal. The longer this can be spun out the better. If the Obama administration wanted the pipeline built they would have said yes a long time ago. Hillary would have to play the same game.

    I don’t think it is a bad thing for Hillary to be delaying the start of the Presidential campaign season either. Remember that Ashley Judd Senate campaign for McConnell’s seat? Was it ever at all likely that a candidate with a bipolar disorder diagnosis was going to unseat the Senate Minority leader? But Judd did run strong enough for a while to be able to seriously damage wobble-chops and more importantly force him into a bad tactical mistake caught on tape.

    If Hillary is not going to run, best have her doing exactly what she is doing now. Its not just the Democrats she is keeping out of the race. Rubio isn’t going to run against Hilary nor is any pol who thinks they have a chance in 2020 or 2024. Christie, Santorum, Huckabee are all now-or-never candidates. And Christie is the only candidate that the GOP had who the media could have pretended was a ‘moderate’ conservative like they did with George “Joffrey” Bush till he turned out to be a sadistic psychopath once inaugurated. Ted Cruz might because the #2 in 2016 would likely be the choice for 2020 but if Rubio runs he is likely to get the nomination in a year the GOP is all but certain to lose.

    That Hillary versus Obama campaign cost a half billion dollars. I am quite happy to let the GOP spend that sort of money while Hillary and Biden spend their time campaigning in the states needed to win the general election or get candidates elected for the party.

    The problem with Warren is the same as the problem with Hillary in 2004: She hasn’t finished a term as Senator yet. If Biden is the nominee it would be very difficult for him not to tag Warren as running mate. If Hillary is the nominee she is going to have to keep the liberal wing of the party on board. But maybe Al Franken rather than Warren.

  63. pvequalkt says:

    Saperstein makes some very good points. He also misses a few.
    Hillary lost the 2008 primary because of her overt warmongering… and the false façade of audacity hopey changey being anti-war.
    Hillary also lost because she came out early as the corporate/wall street whore… and audacity hopey changey’s brief façade of being the everyman.
    While ahc’s façade has been demolished… and then some… Hillary cannot possibly morph into something she isn’t… nuanced on Israel, a changeling on wall street fraud, and a neo-antiwar candidate.
    What Saperstein didn’t say is that the Rs are loaded for bear in pre-emptive nullification salvos already… the house panel that will tar and feather her, again, with Bengazi (and you can bet that whitewater and Foster will be brought up showing a “pattern of incompetence and dishonesty). This will goose their own proles while discouraging the loyal D proles.
    But here’s the rub… it really doesn’t matter who the Ds nominate that is NOT named Warren. The party has disaffected tens of millions of voters who would tend to favor them with their worst-than-abysmal performance since Pelosi “took impeachment off the table” which announced to everyone that Ds are just a nuanced version of Rs… all the way through the worst ever D admins of audacity hopey changey and particularly the pathetic 110th congress which saw the Ds with 60 in the senate and a big advantage in the house, yet REFUSE to do anything at all to change/fix/remedy anything at all. The D 60 couldn’t/wouldn’t even bypass cloture on anything… at all.
    The next unitary, be he/she another bush or Clinton or someone else, will carry on the neocon, neoliberal, fascist gravy train for the plutonomy that has been shepherded by all unitaries since Reagan… because Warren won’t run.
    And Warren won’t/can’t run because her party cannot afford to have a real change candidate up front… lest they lose out on all those wall street/war street/rich fuck billions. Warren knows this, which is why she will never run.

  64. Houndentenor says:

    I’m having a flashback to 2006 when all the insiders were certain that 2008 would be Hillary vs. Rudy. Wrong and wrong. I do think this is a different game and I don’t see an Obama on the horizon to unseat her like last time, but this is certainly not the done deal that pundits want us to think. Frankly, most of them are lazy. They can’t be bothered to learn any new names or think outside the box of the latest Georgetown cocktail party chatter. (Sorry, americablog writers, I don’t mean you, but you know what I’m talking about.)

    About the Republicans, as I am related to several Teavangelical types, I can tell you that the meme among that crowd is that McCain/Romney lost because they weren’t conservative ENOUGH. They will reject anyone not Tea Party enough in the primaries.

  65. cole3244 says:

    if hillary is the dem candidate whether she wins or not things will remain about the same that’s what you get when every pres is right of center and the left is out in the cold.

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