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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:33 AM

The case against Hillary [View all]


An admirer explains: A campaign based on her inevitability and entitlement would crash and burn like it did in 2008

BY JOAN WALSH


As November’s election results sink in and the size of President Obama’s victory becomes clearer – he won 332 electoral votes and more than 51 percent of the popular vote — Democrats are uncharacteristically giddy about 2016. Not only is demography on the party’s side, with the share of the young, female and non-white vote rising almost every year, but destiny seems to be, too. Our first black president could be succeeded by our first female president, since the party’s star, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, would immediately become the frontrunner for the nomination, and for election, if she decides to run.

I supported Hillary Clinton in 2008. Smarter people than me believe she will run in 2016, despite her protests, and I mostly hope she does. Chances are I would support her again. There is no other strong certain candidate in the field. Vice President Biden and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are likely to stay out of the race if she runs. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley probably would, or should, too. He doesn’t have the stature to successfully challenge her. And there’s no obvious liberal or progressive star to date. Talk about a run by, say, Massachusetts Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren seems premature to me, as much as I admire her: Let’s give her a little bit of time in the Senate to make a difference before pushing her on the national stage. Of course, it’s still quite early, and an inspiring figure may well emerge that could give Clinton an energetic run from the left. Almost nobody was betting on Sen. Barack Obama on Dec. 4, 2005. So we’ll see.

I understand why some Democrats are giddy over the chance of a Clinton candidacy; I’ve gotten caught up in it occasionally, too. She’s the most popular political figure in the country, on either side of the aisle. And if Obama could pass her the baton in 2016, we’d get a chance at a 21st century New Deal, a 12 to 16 year Democratic era (maybe even more) that could eventually rival Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s in accomplishments. It would be powered by an electorate that polls say is more liberal than at any time in modern history, with an appetite for activist domestic government.

But it’s not just those with a bent for activist domestic government who see the thrill of a Hillary race. The activist national security wing of the Democratic Party seems high on a Hillary run, too. The New Yorker’s David Remnick took their temperature at big donor Haim Saban’s annual forum over the weekend, and found participants swooning over Hillary 2016. “Everyone had a theory of which they were one hundred percent certain. There wasn’t much doubt about the ultimate direction. 2007-8 was but a memory and 2016 was within sight. She’s running,” Remnick wrote Monday. He described a fawning video tribute to Clinton that summed up the case for her 2016 candidacy:

read more:
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/04/the_case_against_hillary/

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