Friday, November 2, 2012

Bloomberg '16? Of Course Not

Reihan Salam:
Is it obvious that HRC would crush Bloomberg in a D primary? I don't think so.
Of course, that assume that Bloomberg looks good in the long run as far as Sandy is concerned, which is hardly a sure thing. But even granting that: No way. No way! This particular Iron Law of Politics is strong: New York City Mayor is a dead-end job.

Rudy Giuliani tried. Ed Koch tried (for governor). John Lindsay tried. It just doesn't work. The kinds of friends -- and the kinds of enemies -- you have to make to be a successful, or even plausibly successful, Mayor of New York City just don't translate well beyond the city.

And yup, part of that is party. It's impossible to be mayor in NYC as a regular Republican, and pretty difficult to be one as a regular Democrat. But once you leave NYC, you have a nation of regular Republicans and regular Democrats, and they aren't going to tolerate it.

(Yes, I know most of you aren't, but I'm totally ready to get started on Dem WH '16 and, if the polls are correct, GOP WH '16. I'm not the only one -- you can be sure that Democratic candidates have already started, and if Republicans haven't they will just as soon as (and if) the last state puts Barack Obama over the top on Tuesday night. But, yeah, I'm ready for 2012 to be over, but presidential nomination politics? Never gets old).

34 comments:

  1. I don't think you'd need to be HRC to crush Bloomberg in a Democratic primary.

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  2. I don't know who is running for Dem nomination in '16 but I'm looking for a candidate who talks about global warming and scaling back military presence overseas. Sherrie Brown and Tammy Baldwin might be good.

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  3. I'm not convinced that Giuliani never had a chance to win the GOP nomination in 2008. He would have had to do two things: (1) "evolve" to a pro-life position on abortion (Reagan did, too, he would note...) and (2) actuallly contest the early states instead of staking everything on Florida.

    Sure, "It's impossible to be mayor in NYC as a regular Republican." But for some time, John McCain seemed highly irregular to many Republicans. And come to think of it, it's also pretty hard to be elected governor of Massachusetts and a regular Republican--though of course one can move to the right once one decides one is more interested in the presidency than in seeking re-election.

    Of course Giuliani would have lost the general election, but that would be because of the economy and Bush's unpopularity, not because he had been mayor of New York. No governor of Massachusetts has become president since Coolidge, but that doesn't mean that if Romney loses it will be because he served in that office...

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  4. I'm ready! Let's hear the speculation, Jon.

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  5. I'd like to see HRC in '16, and yeah I think Bloomberg wouldn't gain much traction.

    But I'd also like to see a candidate who explicitly made civil liberties/a more modest military posture run a campaign to force the party to confront those issues. Don't know who would be a good standard bearer though (please no Dennis Kucinich).

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  6. My general thought process on the Democratic side:

    Tier 1: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton
    Tier 2: Martin O'Malley, Andrew Cuomo, Mark Warner

    Wild Cards: Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick

    I know that a lot of mid-level DC activists are under the impression that a) Clinton is strongly considering running, although its not guaranteed and b) If she runs, she'll clear the field pretty fast.

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    1. No disagreement that Booker is a smart politician, but he needs to be something closer to the national scene than Mayor. Let him run for the Senate or Governor first, and handle it well.

      Even as a die-hard Democrat, I'd have trouble voting for Mark Warner. It's totally superficial, but I've never liked the looks of that man.

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    2. Booker has all-but-announced that he is running against Chris Christie for Governor in 2013, so he'll at least have a shot at one of those positions. Senate is also available in 2014 if he loses/declines to run.

      I think he's a very intriguing VP nominee, even if he doesn't run.

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  7. HRC turns 69 a week before Election Day 2016. She would be easily the oldest Democrat ever elected president; I believe the current record-holder is Harry Truman, who was 64 when he was elected (although he was of course already the incumbent).

    So it's possible, but for that reason alone, I wouldn't assume she's a shoo-in, or even a candidate.

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    1. That's a reason she might not run. I don't think it's really a reason she would lose a Democratic primary to Mike Bloomberg.

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    2. Oh, she'd destroy Bloomberg, even if she were 100 years old.

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    3. I disagree. You look at the importance of women to the Democratic Party, and the goodwill the Clintons have restored with many of the black voters through the course of the 2012 campaign, and you see two important constituencies that I would argue would welcome a Clinton candidacy. Anecdotally, most of the young Obama supporters I'm still in touch with and that are politically active want to see a female President (additionally, they rmr HRC more as a Senator and the woman beat by Obama than as First Lady). Then you look at HRC's current popularity across the country (yes, I know that will fall during the course of general election campaign), and the fact that she would be a heavyweight on the national stage. It's hard for me to see her not clearing the field if she decides to run. I may eat my words, but there's no Barack Obama (who I supported enthusiastically and continue to) on the horizon. Age may be an issue in the general, but imo wouldn't be a big factor for the Democratic Party.

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    4. Joe Biden would be 74.

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    5. I'd be very surprised if Biden ran.

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    6. That might be a reason why she wouldn't want to run, but I don't think it's a good reason not to support her. All of the presidential age precendents were set by men, who don't live as long as women.

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  8. It's incredibly obvious that Hillary Clinton would crush Bloomberg in a Democratic presidential primary. What's the counterargument, even? What Democratic primary constituencies is Bloomberg popular with? Obama beat Clinton with a coalition of African Americans, young people, and well-educated professionals. I don't think African Americans and young people are high on Mike Bloomberg. And who is Bloomberg going to raid from Clinton's 2008 coalition? White southerners? Blue collar union guys from the Midwest? It's not like an effete, immensely wealthy, New York Jew is going to connect with downscale Democrats.

    And this mostly goes even if Hillary doesn't run, and we get a "Seven Dwarfs" type situation with Cuomo, O'Mally, etc. - what appeal does Bloomberg have to anybody outside New York? Dig up some footage of Bloomberg endorsing George W. Bush in 2004 and he's basically done.

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  9. Cuomo would be strong. Warner on paper is excellent; he is what Obama should be, but the man has a negative charisma. Biden is done, but the article on how Biden got the endorsement is exactly what is wrong with Obama.

    I don't see HRC running. She has made her point, and I am not sure the money people are still into her.


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  10. Cory Booker needs *some* experience outside of local politics, he's an up-and-comer to be sure but he hasn't even broken out of Newark yet.

    I heard that the rumor is he's going for Senate in [14? 16?].

    That would be a start, at least.

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    1. Actually, Booker's considering a run for Gov next year. But yeah, if he lost/decided not to run, Senate in 2014 wouldn't be bad if Sen. Lautenberg decided to retire (he'd be 90 then and he's recently battled cancer).

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    2. Note that while Booker is the mayor of only a medium/smallish sized city, he's got a few things going for him over a few other similar figures. He's got national recognition, a pretty demonstrably good record in Newark, and is very, very close with a lot of the big money New York donors. There's a reason why he didn't want to toe the party line on Bain earlier this year: they're his potential big race funders.

      But yeah, he's also never won a traditional competitive election. Newark primaries are a very different beast from State-level/Federal races.

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    3. Isn't Christie pretty popular? If Lautenberg retires in 2014, that Senate seat looks a lot easier than the gubernatorial race next year.

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  11. Not only would Clinton crush Bloomberg in the primaries, she would crush him in New York State and New York City too. I'd rather somebody else be the nominee in 2016 than Clinton for various reasons, but if she runs, it will take somebody as skilled and attractive to Democratic primary voters as Obama was in '08 to beat her. Bloomberg isn't it.

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    1. A lot of what I wrote above jives with this. Obviously it might be too far ahead to think this, but who would a successful "Stop Clinton" candidate look like? Maybe if Julian Castro or Cory Booker were in positions to run...but other than that I can't think of anyone. Elizabeth Warren maybe?

      To be clear, I'd be perfectly happy with HRC as the nominee. It's just fun to speculate.

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    2. Barack Obama and his close circle going to have a considerable amount of influence on this race, like the Clinton people did in the 2008 race. What made Barack Obama's primary challenge possible was that an external power base existed in the Tom Daschle / Senate establishment lefty wing of the party, in part because the Clinton White House had been out of power for 6 years.

      Does that external power base exist today? I don't think it does. Mind space exists for some activists to rally around a populist/lefty campaign, but pretty much every Democratic activist loves Hillary Clinton at this point. I don't think anyone has a chance, unless Obama's people decide to back someone like Warren, but can we really see that?

      I think you'd see a Democratic version of the 2012 Republican race, where only a few plausible nominees get far past the invisible primary to challenge the guy who was going to win all along, and the primary debates are instead dominated by a bunch of implausible nominees.

      The Democrats are actually a pretty united party under Obama/Biden in terms of power and structure. Clinton or Biden can keep that going if they want the office.

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  12. I don't think HRC runs in 2016.

    So, let's imagine the field absent her. It seems like a field that is pretty weak. I don't think Biden runs; he's 69 NOW. That leaves a pretty open field. Cuomo would seem to be in the strongest position to me; there aren't many medium-to-big state Dem governors out there right now. I think EJF's list is pretty good, and Warner and O'Malley would be his biggest challengers.

    How come nobody is doing the GOP side? I will. Christie, Jindal, Barbour, Thune, Walker, Boehner (yep, I'm crazy like that), Rand Paul, DeMint, Lindsay Graham, Rubio, Santorum is my short list. Honestly, it's not that bad a list for the bad guys. Could be fun. Handicapping it is tough. I'd like Barbour, except for his age. I actually wouldn't put it past the GOP to go DeMint; he's my #2. But I think Thune could win that contest.

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    1. Why do you think HRC doesn't run? Despite what she says now, the race would have to be awfully tempting to her (and Bill), especially if it appears the field will be cleared and Obama will be handing a strong economic legacy to his successor. I don't think HRC's age will be a factor to the public.

      On the GOP side, I think the list starts with Ryan and Jeb Bush.

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    2. On the Republican side, I think its worth looking beyond the traditional three-legged stool of the Republican Party that people over-reference. You'll have a much better field of plausible candidates make past the invisible primary. I think you'll find plausible nominees emerge out of these groups:

      One of Paul Ryan or Rand Paul. (Paul Ryan running isn't a guarantee, especially if he is blamed for the loss by smart insiders, and he may not want to give up a shot at Speaker of the House while the Republicans still have the majority.)

      One of Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie or Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal - the reasonable to the electorate but conservative enough guys with a national profile and decent experience.

      Wild Cards: - Nikki Haley, Kelly Ayote, Susana Martinez, Ted Cruz

      I don't see any real evidence that Jeb Bush wants it, but he could emerge as the establishment safe bet if a 2012 defeat creates real introspection about the decline of the GOP as a serious party. Also, a bad 2014 midterm election or serious policy defeat by Democrats in 2013 could cause this as well.

      You'll get some noise around the crazy candidates, but they won't matter nearly as much next time around.


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    3. Honestly, it's just my personal read of HRC. She'll be 69, and I just don't think she has the same fire anymore. She'd be my choice if she ran, but I just don't think she'll want to.

      I agree with EJF's conjecture that Ryan will go back to the House and try for Speaker. I think McDonnell will find that being an ideologue from the national media's backyard will kill him off. I don't see Haley, Ayotte, or Martinez doing it. Generally speaking, female candidates have usually been risk-averse and sought to build their resumes before running, and all 3 of them are pretty green.

      Of course, the best part about the guessing game this far out is that you really can't feel bad if you get it wrong, because it's just so much guesswork and impressions. Wait until we start seeing reports on PACs giving to IA county chairs, and Jefferson-Jackson dinners to get some real intel...for now, it's just pure bullshit.

      For example, I really like the A's for the pennant in 2017. Close enough that the current farm system should have some impact; far enough out that we really have no idea what's going to happen.

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  13. UGGGGHHHH! You guys are geeks. Leave me out of this for two years. I need a break AND I don't make money at it.

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  14. If neither Clinton nor Biden run, I think any credible female candidate would have a huge leg up. Most of the white guys whose names are floating out there (ie O'Malley, Cuomo, Warner) don't really stand out of the crowd. They're essentially Generic D's. If a Generic D who was also a woman ran, she'd get large majorities of the female vote, and if a female candidate ran who was more than a Generic D there wouldn't be much of a contest.

    Women dominate the Democratic primary electorate. Obama was only able to get them to vote against the first female president by offering a superior alternative. I don't see any man in this field who could convince female Democratic primary voters to wait 4-8 more years for the first female president.

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    1. outgoing WA Gov. Gregoire? Widely rumored to be up for a post in Obama II administration, and effective female gov of a reliably blue state. A state far enough out of the mainstream that she's something of a blank slate that she can invent herself to fit the mood of the moment?

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  15. Hillary really repulsed me during the 2008 primary campaign when saying things such as "I am SO ready to lead!" (during a speech I heard on CSPAN radio). One would never have heard Barack Obama say such a thing. She would not necessarily run a better campaign in 2016 than she did in '08. Nonetheless I hope the eventual nominee is a woman. O'Malley is my governor and I think a good one, but the break from white guys in the Oval Office should be extended.

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