Hillary 2016?

Maureen Dowd keeps the trial balloon aloft in her Sunday column that equates today’s GOP with “Southern gentry overrun by Yankee carpetbaggers in ‘Gone with the Wind.’”:

But history will no doubt record that withering Republicans were finally wiped from the earth in 2016 when the relentless (and rested) Conquistadora Hillary marched in, General Bill on a horse behind her, and finished them off.

Sounds like a good result to me even if Dowd botched her metaphors. Hillary did a great job in the Senate and at State, and four years should be plenty of time to write a best-selling book and build an insurmountable campaign war chest. She did hire some absolute wretches to run her campaign, but perhaps she could avoid that mistake this time around and, in practice, who could stand against her?


36 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Responsibility to Run

    I would argue she has a responsibility to run. The foreign policy record of this administration was its strongest asset and she was its chief architect and enforcer. I would also add that I am sure her insulation from domestic politics keeps her hands clean of any of the less popular aspects of the Obama administration and she has the deftness to articulate how she could be a stronger legislative leader to cement the progressive victories he had into lasting foundations for progressive governance for generations to come. She could be a liberal lioness that finally reverts the country back to the liberal leadership we had under FDR and LBJ.

    I would also say that she has nothing to lose and no excuse to run the middling Mark Penn DLC stamped campaign she ran last time. Let her run on actual concrete policy proposals and truly promise to govern from her heart. She also needs to come out for gay marriage as soon as she’s out of the cabinet. Otherwise our strongest candidate and I would argue the only one we should consider first.

    • There are some practical issues

      like her age, for one. She may not want to be a 70+ year old President, and running for a first term at 68 or 69 isn’t going to be easy.

      The fact that she could probably clear the field could help mitigate that problem, but opens the door to a more challenging general election, in which she’s had no practice running 24/7.

      If she feels up to it, I hope she will. All indications are that she’s in great health and she’s never struck me as lacking in any energy. But 4 years isn’t a short time, and she may want to spend it differently.

      (I also question whether we’re going to get any hints of FDR and LBJ out of her. I’d imagine she’d be slightly to the left of the President — just slightly — on domestic issues, and perhaps even slightly to the right of him on international issues. To be honest, she’s so competent and hard working, that I’m okay with that… but let’s not have any unrealistic expectations.)

      RyansTake   @   Mon 10 Dec 4:51 AM
      • I didn't read your comment

        before writing mine, but you said it very well.

      • Expectations

        I’d say you’re right on in terms of expectations, though I’m not sure what you mean by “to the right” on international issues. What foreign policy would you envision as different under her?

      • Biden keeping his options open

        and he would be 73 as a campaign season started and 74 when (if) elected. 4 years older than President Hilary Clinton would be. Women candidates face a different standard with regard to age/appearance – I get that but it pisses me off.

        • I think Biden's too old as well

          He looks younger than McCain, but he’ll be older in 2016 than McCain was in 2008. 74 when elected, potentially 82 after 2 terms, is old for the Presidency.

          I don’t consider Biden that serious a contender, because of age, etc., but also because I don’t believe Obama could support him full-throatedly. I’m sure Obama made some promises of support, should Hillary choose to run, to the Clintons this year.

    • I didn't see it as an accident

      that she had a DLC-stamped campaign last time. Bill Clinton was a charter member of the DLC and, for the most part, governed like one. It’s the major reason why I had trouble getting too enthusiastic about Hillary in 2008, and still don’t see her as the neo-FDR or LBJ. I do think she might have gotten tougher on the GOP in Congress than Obama has.

      I agree age will be a potential factor. She’ll turn 69 just before the 2016 election. That would make her 77 at the close of two terms. Given how the job ages everyone who does it, it’s a lot to ask. Reagan was essentially the same age but was in very poor health by the end.

      • Yes

        The DLC factor is what made me a supporter in 2008. I certainly view this as a positive, rather than a negative.

        I certainly agree with your paragraph 2.

        • Obviously

          it was the single biggest turnoff to me. We already have a right-wing party in this country and I see where their ideas got us. The Democrats should not be a second.

          • We have a right-wing party

            We do not have a conservative party. Rather, we have conservative elements as a minority in each of the existing parties.

            In any event, I never thought the DLC anything other than moderate. That is a matter of perspective, of course.

            • We have plenty of conservative elements

              in the Democratic Party. What is really lacking is an influential left.

              When Clinton was first running, and I was pretty ignorant, I thought well of the DLC. Now I see what they’ve done as hopelessly out of step with the times. It’s not a matter of polarity with them, it’s a matter of neo-liberalism and market-oriented “solutions” to problems. Education policy is almost purely an outgrowth of that neo-liberalism.

              Like Ryan, I think, I supported Hilary in the 2008 primary. I look forward to considering her in the 2016.

  2. Notice who's walking

    and who gets to ride:

    …Hillary marched in, General Bill on a horse behind her…

  3. She'll have to be glowing with energy all day long

    I don’t think the US electorate is willing to vote for an old-looking lady. Yeah, it’s terrible. It’s also foolish since senior women seem to have their physical and mental faculties at later ages then their male counterparts. Still, an old man in a powerful suit is a powerful man; an old woman in formal clothing can easily appear to be a grandmother. It’s something she’ll certainly have to deal with, and not something much different from what women in power have had to deal with their entire lives. It’s a real challenge methinks.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that she could win, and win big. A few reasons:
    1. The GOP has been throwing everything they have at her for the last two decades. There’s nothing left. Nothing we haven’t heard. We still like her and her hound dog husband.
    2. She’ll be able to round up lots of voters Obama got…
    * she is married to the “first” black president
    * she was Senator in NY, where there’s plenty of black and Puerto Rican voters; that should help her with minorities across the country
    * she’s clearly got an inside track on the largest “minority” voting bloc there is, female voters
    * she was far more popular than Obama in Appalachia, meaning she should grab more votes than Obama from PA, VA, NC (to help them stay blue) as well as WV, KY, TN (to threaten to grab their EVs, forcing GOP to play defense).
    * She might even take Arkansas. [yes, WV, KY, TN, AR were blowouts for Romney... and that's why it's such a big deal that HC could go for 'em]
    * Given her demographic, she could make a play for Arizona too.
    3. What could energize the Democratic base — and Democratic volunteers — more than an Obama campaign? A Clinton campaign.
    4. As Bob wrote, she’s got four years. Time to get her legs under her, write a book, give lots of speeches working on her precise language, and raise boatloads of money. She could “announce” in 2014 and have $200M by the end of the year.
    5. She’ll nullify any claims that Jews are moving toward the GOP right-quick.
    6. I hear Joe Biden doesn’t have a job lined up after 2016, so he could be available for Veep. :)

    My biggest concern — she’ll DLC/Blue Dog it. I don’t care if she’s slightly to the right on foreign policy; it’s not something I’d be thrilled about but her experience as SofS will give me reassurance. On social issues, how far left will she be? Dunno. But, she’ll be leftward enough to satisfy my basic desires I’d bet. SCOTUS: I’m sure her pick(s) would be awesome, and having 12-16 years in a row of SCOTUS picks is a very good thing for Dems methinks — it will pay a generation worth of dividends for women, gays, immigrants, and anyone else who has ever been called “one of them.” Finally, I’d bet that her coat-tails are extremely long. She could help the Dems win SOTUS and HOTUS seats across the country, banking up substantial majorities in both chambers in 2016.

  4. It all depends on the opposition

    and what goes down in the interim. If Obama’s very popular at the end of his Presidency it helps the Dems, if he’s thought of in the same terms as W in 2007 and 2008, that’s bad news. If the GOP nominates, say, Rubio and Christie, they could make things tough. The GOP would have a strong shot at FL (which the Dems don’t need but it’s still 29 EV), and some appeal in a number of other states.

    I think Rubio can be beaten; he’s not going to get all the Latino votes if he’s actually against the people on issues, and he’s Tea Party enough we have ammunition. But if they put him in charge of a major immigration overhaul on the GOP side he could make major inroads.

    • Generally speaking,

      Mexican Americans are not big fans of Caribbean Hispanics. They may speak the same language, but there are cultural differences. See Ryan Lizza’s article.

      • Sure

        My wife’s from Puerto Rico and my brother-in-law is from El Salvador. They joke all the time about the differences and attitudes in each community. But a large part (not all) of the opposition to the GOP among Mexican-Americans and people from Central and South America is their stance as the party of self-deportation, hostile to immigrants and perhaps particularly to Spanish-speaking immigrants. A Spanish speaking nominee, albeit a Cuban, who played a key role in reform could compete for those votes.

        In any event there are plenty of Caribbean Hispanics in Florida and places like PA and NJ. Having to play any considerable amount of defense in “blue” states drains resources, and I wonder if younger Cuban-Americans in the Miami area, who have been much more open to Democrats, would be moved by the possibility of someone from their community being elected President.

        Anyway, it’s years off and I don’t know who the GOP nominee will be. I just think Rubio presents unique challenges for our side, as opposed to, say, Paul Ryan.

  5. Hillary has what it takes

    Hillary has my complete support in whatever she does to do. If she decides to run, she can count on my time and vote. If she decides to do something else, she has my deep appreciation for her public service so far. If I were her, I would not run because I could not put up with the b*s* that goes with it, including, for example, endless superficial discussion about her appearance and age that mostly women politicians seem to have to endure. She is not a perfect person or candidate for that matter, but I do not know of any other Democratic candidates at this point who I admire and respect as much.

  6. I suppose it's too much to ask to, say,

    wait until after Inauguration Day before we start looking past the next four years to 2016.

    That aside, did we learn nothing from 2008 about how long a time 4 years is for unexpected events to play out if there’s not an incumbent president? All the pundits were convinced in 2006 Hillary was unstoppable. How’d that work out?

    I’m reading Nate Silver’s book now about why most forecasts fail and some don’t, and I’ve just gotten to the part where he talks about the comon error of assuming current trend lines continue indefinitely. It’s the mistake many of my Hillary-supporting friends made in 2006 and the mistake many of my liberal friends made after the 2008 election (“The Republicans will be in the wilderness for years after this!” several of my lefty friends assured me.) Four months may be a good time period to assume the continuation of granular political trends (and by granular, I mean more like how a certain candidate will fare among a large field and less things like “support will increase for gay marriage”), but I’m not ready to buy into four years.

  7. Why Hillary-LBJ analogy apt

    I think she was shell shocked from the 90s and ran a safe, poll tested general election campaign in the primary which was a mistake she won’t repeat. I also think she is aware now of her cache, has healed significant Democratic opposition to her candidacy (ahem remember me and how bad I was in 2008?) and has favorable among independents she lacked then. Politics is all in the timing.

    There was no other year where Obama could have won. We needed a more skilled legislator than JFK to pass his program like LBJ. Similarly, this is her time to run true to herself and her values and govern like the wonk she is and continue the Obama legacy and extend it. And she can do it. The only question to ask is, if not her than whom?

    • Slow down there...

      I agree that Hillary would be a great POTUS. But do you really think that the GOP would have been willing to work with Hillary Clinton (of all people) when they wouldn’t work with Obama?

      I say no way. I think that if Bill Clinton and George W Bush taught the GOP legislators anything, it’s that the public expects the Democrats to compromise on legislation, but doesn’t hold the GOP to the same standard. That’s how the GOP gets away with digging in their heels and demanding acquiesce from the Dems. Bill Clinton went third rail and passed a whole bunch of GOP ideas. GWB gave the Dems nothing, and made them like it thankyouverymuch. Obama comes along, and even when he tries to be Bill Clintonesque, the GOP holds out for more.

      Come Hillary in 2016, she’s getting nothing out of GOPs in Congress. Think about the attack ads the GOP will send out on the Dems and on any GOP members who work with Hillary. Grainy photos of them and an unflattering shot of Hillary, drawing on 25 years of emotional anger the conservatives have toward Clintons.

      • They will pick apart Bill Clinton's

        foundation donors, board members, etc., and every speech he’s made since leaving office.

        • I really don't think that's a problem...

          She ain’t him. She’ll make that clear. If they want to go after Bill, I just don’t think it will stick. People like him, he’s doing good works, and I think she’ll argue convincingly that he’s got plenty of faults, and that they’re his, not hers.

          • She can try to make that clear

            but the public appearances of any candidate’s spouse are going to be subject to scrutiny. And particularly when the spouse was President of the United States. I agree they’re both liked by the public, but I’m expecting plenty of “scandales du jour” if she runs, like the GOP raised when he was in office. I don’t think they’ll destroy her as a candidate by any means but it will be a distraction, like Warren’s heritage or Bill Ayers.

      • Oh I agree

        And having been the victim of many GOO vendettas I am sure she would have been ready to fight and spend here mandate in Day 1 and not squandering it as Obama has in his first term and is beginning to in his second. She knows the GOP stands for Gloating Obstructionist Partisans and would have never been bullied by them. No third way with her. The thing is LBJ and FDR didn’t compromise-they won.

        And that’s what she would do. Maybe not in 2008 but she is not putting herself into an early grave from her service without getting lasting results. I would add that like LBJ she has great relations with all Senators and would be able to schmooze and carry a big stick at the same time. Obamas first term failing was viewing schmoozing as beneath him and stick waving as an obstacle to post partisanship nobility.

        • "Squander" What are you talking about.

          There are several promises that were made and not realized, like closing Guantanimo, but that is a long way from classifying it as “squandering”. Striking down the insipid “Don’t Ask, don’t tell” malarkey for me was a highly personal victory for many reasons, and for that reason alone, I would call his first term a success.

          • I can't agree

            There were successes, like DADT, but I couldn’t call the first term a “success” on the whole. The economy remains awful and the entire debate’s been on how much spending to cut. The way Obama allowed the discussion to be switched to “deficit reduction” (something that’s economically destructive right now) strengthened the GOP’s hand and precluded real success.

            One result for which we’re still paying the price was the 2010 election debacle. Our inability to get anything progressive done in DC since 2010 is a clear product of those election results. The GOP’s House takeover led directly to things like the debt-ceiling mess and the current fiscal faux-cliff, as the GOP still refuses to budge on the Bush tax rates. Not to mention the GOP victories at the state level in 2010, which gave us not only gerrymandered US House districts but Scott Walker, John Kasich and the current Michigan anti-union crowd.

            I pin a fair amount of blame for the 2010 elections on Obama’s coddling of the GOP in Congress when he had big majorities.

            • There was that really small health care reform

              I mean, it’s hardly noticeable and all.

              I don’t think Obama hit many (any?) home runs, but he moved the US forward on a long list of fronts, including health care, civil rights, education, environment, foreign policy & military, and transportation. I’m sure I’ve left off others.

              • You mean the Heritage Foundation plan

                he sold badly? The one he took most of the best elements out of, and wasted 16 months on and that cost us the House?

                • As I wrote,

                  it wasn’t a home run, but it did move this country forward. That we lost the House is as much the fault of the Democratic Congressional Caucus as it is the POTUS — they, individually and as a group, managed the process poorly as well.

            • Again

              It cannot be understated that this President was right on policy and hands off in politics. Had he proposed a simple public option and forced it through we might have that instead of the bill the lobbyists wanted. Ditto on deficit reduction and fiscal cliff negotiations. I defended Obama at the time from Krugman and other left wing critics but I can say in hindsight that they were right and the President and I were wrong. Hillary would have been braced for that fight and ready to wage it. Counter factuals aside, I am confident this President has learned from these mistakes and will be willing to fight these fights now. I am also confident she will need no on the job training and will e ready to fight day one.

              As for Cos a single issue voter is an uninformed one. How many working class Christians vote against themselves over single issues like god, guns or gays? Lets not make the same mistake. She has been in charge of our foreign policy for four years and its day to the night that was Bush’s record. Let that record speak for itself. As I recall she should share credit with Obama and Biden for extricating us from that debacle.

              • And

                For the record I voted against her and bashed her on this blog for the same reason and I am sure we can dig up quotes of mine that sound like yours. I think I may have even opposed her cabinet nomination. That said part of being in a reality based community is admitting when the facts erode the basis of your opinion.

  8. Way to soon for 2016, but...

    Way too soon for 2016, but since this was posted….
    I think that Hillary Clinton needs to run. The Republicans simply will not be able to compete against her. Given her high popularity, an economy in recovery (hopefully), and a Republican Party being held together with scotch tape and denial, I believe that Clinton would wipe the floor with a Christie, Rubio, or a Ryan.

  9. How soon we forget

    Hillary Clinton not only voted in favor of allowing George W Bush to invade Iraq … and not only refused to apologize for that or even say that it was a mistake … she also directly told voters to pick other candidates if they wanted candidates who thought that vote was a mistake.

    Please please please let’s do better than supporting someone who supported that colossal atrocity.

    • I supported Hillary in 2008 Primary

      And will gladly do so again in 2016 should she run. My support is based on a body of work not one issue (that I disagreed with her on). Barney Frank once said he found only one perfect candidate – himself the first time he ran – after by the second run he knew there where no perfect candidates.

      Democrats seem to forget we need to actually be in charge to even begin making changes. Having the strongest candidate (and yes 4 years is a long time for things to change but since we are talking real time today) means winning the WH. The rest we can debate after.

    • 2016 is

      almost 15 years after 2002. I’m willing to overlook that error, one committed by many Democrats in Congress at the time. LBJ voted against civil rights bills during the Truman years but his record as President was very different.

      People can change in response to events, especially politicians whose original position was based on political expediency. Let’s not forget the climate in 2002, the year they tested the Swift Boat tactic on Max Cleland. Tom Daschle, useless in my book as Majority Leader, signed off early and publicly on the Iraq resolution. It was tough for a Democratic Senator with Presidential aspirations to vote against it.

  10. Media mavens may make musings moot

    If Clinton runs, I fully expect the execrable Maureen Dowd to mount a campaign criticizing her for not being manly enough, or some other nonsense. Look at the stuff she invented about Al Gore to make herself seem interesting. That she still has that job is a major indictment of the NYT and of our corporate media in general.

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