Oh, sure, they’re calling calling it “Five figures on the left who could challenge Hillary Clinton,” but let’s face it: Democrats who aren’t on the Left these days are rare, and probably dying of old age. And since Hillary is pretty solid Left herself – socialized medicine is not even remotely conservative – the alternatives are pretty darn Left as well. Below is the Hill’s list, with my sardonic commentary attached:
- Hillary Clinton. Pros: Bill Clinton. Cons: Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama.
- Elizabeth Warren. Pros: Can make a plausible case that Barack Obama hates her. Cons: Ever see what happens when a Massachusetts liberal runs for President? It ain’t pretty.
- Joe Biden. Pros: He’s the only person on this list that has anything like a personality. Cons: He’s the only person on this list who can’t run against – or away from – Barack Obama’s legacy. Plus, you know, Joe Biden.
- Martin O’Malley. Pros: Hey! He’s a sitting governor. Cons: …I don’t find him interesting enough to be worth despising. Nobody does. That pretty much includes Maryland Democrats, the average one of whom will readily admit after his or her third drink that the man has the charisma of an empty soda bottle.
- Bernie Sanders. Pros: He’s as close to a Commie as you can get in this country and still be elected to anything. Cons: He’s as close to a Commie as you can get in this country and still be elected to anything.
- Russ Feingold. Pros: Of everybody on this list, he’s the only one who hasn’t been burned by Barack Obama’s policies, activities, feuds with Congress, or simple guilt-by-association. Cons: Russ Feingold hasn’t held office since 2010, and has been avoiding running for anything since then. And the Democrats badly wanted Feingold to run for Governor of Wisconsin.
Continue reading The Hill more or less publishes its ‘Democratic candidates in 2016’ list.
Few could have foreseen this White House struggling so much after Obama’s convincing 332-206 electoral vote victory over Mitt Romney last November.
Well. I guess that I’m one of the few, then.
…that’s why I am not as worried about Obama’s second term as some; I’ve seen his first term, you see. The major difference between that one and this one is that his own party had a vested interest in playing nice with the man running for re-election; but now that it’s clear that Barack Obama does not like other people very much, has no interest in stumping for his own side’s candidate, and simply does not like to exert any effort beyond the bare minimum: well. He wants to play aloof, then Harry Reid will happily become the most important Democrat in Washington DC by default.
Seriously, it didn’t take much in the way of precognition to realize that Barack Obama was going to flounder, once the main reason why the White House got up in the morning went away. I guess the Hill should read me more often…
And I wish them joy of the attempt. The Hill, musing on why beleaguered Montana Senator Jon Tester opposes Obama’s latest attempt to be relevant on job creation:
…those facing tough reelection fights will smell the same danger Tester has: that President Obama’s latest jobs bill is less a real jobs program with any chance of passage than a reelection strategy that could end up pushing Obama’s remaining congressional majority – the Democrat-held Senate – over a cliff.
House Democrats fell into this trap in 2010: putting their careers on the line for Obama initiatives like “cap and trade” that had no chance of becoming law. One term later, Senate Democrats are poised to do the same for a stimulus and tax plan that has no chance of becoming law – but serves up a useful sound bite for a president “running against Congress.”
(Via Instapundit) Frankly, Senate Democrats might as well line up behind Obama’s plan: it’s not like doing otherwise will save them. Tester, both Nelsons, McCaskill, and Manchin are in serious trouble this cycle. Heck, Casey, Stabenow, and Brown of Ohio aren’t exactly sitting pretty right now, either? And that’s not even bringing up the half dozen Democrats who are retiring, thus making most of those seats prime pickup territory. Under the circumstances, well, show some party loyalty. Maybe it’ll get you a nice lobbying job in 2013.
Or not. Either way, to dispute the Hill story title: Tester isn’t the canary. The canaries were Jimmy Webb of Virginia and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, both of whom have already looked at the map of 2012 and decided that it just wasn’t worth the aggravation…
This was one of their questions in their recent poll of ten open-seats (details here): 44% of likely voters think that the Democratic party is too extreme, as opposed to 37% who think that the GOP is too extreme. According to this poll, in fact, 22% of Democrats think that their own party is too extreme (11% of Republicans think the same of their own party)… and the breakdown of independent voters is virtually identical (43/37) to that of likely voters.
It’s the one-in-five of Democrats that’s the most interesting: consider that the districts being surveyed are a pretty good mix of Red and Blue, but did not have much in the way of hyper-Blue urban areas. What they’re surveying here are the suburban and mildly urban areas, where people feel perfectly safe in openly having Republican friends and where a GOP bumper sticker won’t get your car keyed. And in those places Democratic… I believe that it’s called ‘branding’… is taking a bit of a a beating. Why? One argument is that it’s because ordinary, decent Democrats are noticing that their leadership is somewhat at odds with the regular party voter:
“It is a reflection that the faces of leadership of the Democrats in government are seen as very liberal faces: Reid, [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi [Calif.] and Obama,” [former GOP Congressman Vin Weber] said. “The leading faces of the Republican Party aren’t that well-known.”
Democratic Party strategists have tried to change that dynamic, working to raise the profile of House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio), who would be in line to replace Pelosi as Speaker in the event of a GOP victory in the House.
But that effort has shown limited success.
Continue reading The Hill: Voters find Democratic party more extremist.
I just got sent something that was pretty garbled, but the gist of it is: the Hill’s reporting on at least 10 House races. Of them, 2 have the Democrat ahead and the others have the Republican ahead. Or possibly it’s 22 races, and the GOP is ahead in 19, Democrat ahead in 2, 1 tie: as I said, what I got sent was a link to something that’s pretty garbled.
Names in parentheses are the Republican candidates (the Democratic ones can fend for themselves).
IL-10 (Kirk’s old seat) (Bob Dold)
WV-01 (David McKinkley)
TN-08 (Stephen Fincher)
WA-03 (Jaime Herrera)
AR-01 (Rick Crawford)
WI-057 (Sean Duffy)
HI-01 (Charles Djou)
PA-07 (Patrick Meehan)
NH-02 (Charlie Bass)
MI-01 (Dan Benishek)
There’s a lot of embarrassing results there for the Democrats, of course – but probably the two most embarrassing are HI-01 and AR-01. Charles Djou was scheduled to be a pushover and placeholder (guess nobody told him); and Rick Crawford is leading his race by 12 points, in a district that hasn’t had a Republican representing it in a century. Guess the prognosticators are going to have to do some more revising…
Moe Lane (crosspost)