Let’s just establish something right here, right now:
Self-proclaimed Clinton Democrats are struggling this election cycle, and not even their powerful namesakes may be enough to save them.
Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have tried to turn on their charms to help centrist Democrats in Kentucky and Arkansas. But as candidates in both states are slipping, help from the party’s preeminent power couple is falling short.
…the article goes on to claim that in 2016 Bill and Hillary Clinton may be regional powerhouses in the South anyway. And that’s something that is completely at odds with the actual truth, which is that the Clintons know full well that they’re not going to make a darn bit of difference in the South. And how do I know that? Easy. They’re going to Kentucky and Arkansas: two states where the Democratic candidate will lose and it won’t actually be the Clintons’ fault. Both Mark Pryor and Alison Grimes have run poor campaigns against Tom Cotton and Mitch McConnell: there’s no real demographic benefit that Hillary or Bill Clinton could give those two, and pretty much everybody knows it.
But how about West Virginia? On paper, this is the place where the Clintons should be going: it’s a long-time Democratic-on-the-local-and-state-level stronghold where Hillary Clinton rather convincingly beat Barack Obama in 2008, and the state is full of the same kind of blue-collar Democrats that the Clintons supposedly can reach in Kentucky and Arkansas. The Democratic nominee there is current Secretary of State Natalie Tennant; and while she’s losing – badly – to Shelley Moore Capito that is in large part to the fact that Tennant cannot separate herself from the Obama wing of the Democratic party. If there is a location in the South where a couple of alleged Democratic populists like the Clintons* could make a difference, it’d be in West Virginia. I mean, nobody’s claiming that Tennant is a Pryor or a Bruce Braley or a Mark Udall of a candidate; she’s just… stuck.
But no Hillary. And no Bill. Because the reality is that they wouldn’t move the needle for Tennant, and it’d be pretty obvious that they weren’t moving that needle. And while Hillary Clinton can safely mention Tennant by name and wish that she could vote for her**, actually stumping… well. You know how it gets during the last two weeks of an election cycle! Always busy, busy, busy…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*I reiterate. ‘Alleged.’
**…Too easy. Far too easy. I have professional pride, thanks.