Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Question for Liberals

I was going to wait to ask this one, since we're a couple of years away from learning her answer, but since it's on the front page of the NYT today...Are you hoping that Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016? Or are you hoping she'll pass? Why?

41 comments:

  1. I'm hoping she passes. I haven't forgotten she supported the Iraq war and don't trust her on foreign policy. Also too Mark Penn. Plus I'm not fond of the idea of political dynasties a la the Bushes. Let somebody new win. There should be plenty of acceptable candidates such as Elizabeth Warren who could win in November assuming the economy is decent and Obama doesn't get us bogged down somewhere stupid like Iran or Syria.

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    1. I'm with you on the Mark Penn. I'll be a lot more open to considering Hillary if he's not on that campaign.

      Those who feel as Ron and I do should keep an eye on Mark Penn's wikipedia page and try to clean some of the PR BS out of there.

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  2. Not a Warren Groupie like Ron E, but still hoping for the pass.

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  3. What i'm hoping is 2 let Obama get inaugurated, again, and let's see what the next few years hold. Leave Hillary alone and let her rest and contemplate her decision privately with Bill--in a few years. We don't know what we'll be hoping 4 in 2016; so, let's just wait...I know it's hard 4 some, but, u can do it!!

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    1. Check your privilege, English Language Formalist oppressor scum.

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  4. Hoping she'll run, if only to clinch it for Democrats; but won't be too disappointed if she doesn't. It's a big ask.
    Warren looks like the next choice - may prove better, for progressives.

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  5. Ambivalent. She would probably win, but in 2016 will probably be pretty conservative (as well as old) compared to the other Dem candidates.

    Although reviewing all of the old stories about the Clintons will remind the press and the public that the GOP has always been a bunch of crazy misogynistic nihilists.

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    1. What makes you think she'll be more conservative? She was more liberal than Obama in 2008.

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    2. The only issue on which she was more liberal that I can recall was the universal mandate. On the other side there's the war, and then she did that weird thing about the gas tax holiday that liberals didn't like. Even her health care plan came out weirdly late, and while it was good, I have to take its tardiness as a sign of caution where she wouldn't move left until there was no other option.

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    3. I was actually thinking of Bill's neo-liberal and triangulatory tendencies.

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  6. I think she'd be a fine president, so I wouldn't mind if she does, but I kind of hope she doesn't for a number of reasons:

    1. I love a good primary scrum, and she'll clear the field in a way that will make 2016 kind of boring. She is to 2016 as Al Gore was to 2000. It's true that people said that of 2008, but there is no Obama in sight now, and by now, a serious candidate for the presidency in 2016 has to have already been elected Senator or Governor.

    2. She's been the future of the party since Al Gore conceded 12 years ago (to the date, if I'm not mistaken). It's kind of depressing to think that our nominee in 2016 (and hopefully 2020) is someone who's been around since 1992. I'd like to see more fresh faces.

    3. I don't mind the idea of her being the first female president; God knows she's more than earned it by now. But I don't like the idea of Bill Clinton being the first First Gentleman. I'd like the first First Gentleman to be as much of a nobody as First Ladies are when their husbands are elected. Bill Clinton will always be seen primarily as a former President, and his role as First Gentleman will be incidental. But the nation's ideas of what a female presidency means will be shaped by their perceptions of the First Gentleman, and so I think it's important that we see a man undergo the process of defining the role of presidential spouse in the same way so many women have.

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  7. I admit this is petty and small, but I hope she runs and wins for the wailing and gnashing of teeth it will cause the GOP. Their fever doesn't seem to be breaking one bit, and I think that will only happen through repeated, embarrassing electoral stompings. They will eventually get tired of losing and actually do something about their insane policies, candidates, and media machine. Nothing would make them angrier than losing to Hillary and having to endure another 4/8 years of Bill. It might just knock some sense into them (or, it might not, as JB's column over at Salon shows, they seem ready to double down yet again...)

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  8. I still have the same reservations that led me to prefer Obama in 2008, but she'll make a good president. Still, I want a good primary battle, not a coronation. Not sure who the challenger should be though, I'm skeptical of Warren's appeal in a national race.

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  9. You guys, I absolutely love Elizabeth Warren and all but you're living in a hardcore liberal bubble if you think a progressive idealogue from from Massachusetts who is the number one hated target of the people who donate the most money to campaigns and, incidentally, seems to have no interest in the office, is a shoe-in for the presidency. Unfortunately, candidates like warren exist to pull eventual winners to the left in primaries, not to win the big prize.

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    1. How many demonstrations do we need to realize that no one from Massachusetts (my home state) can win the office, at least not for foreseeable future.

      As for Warren boosters, why jump the gun. You have no idea what kind of senator or leader she'll be. Let's see whether she's good or lame first.

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  10. Somehow Obama won despite saying "you didn't build that" and signing Dodd-Frank into law. I don't see anything Warren supports that would hurt her any worse than those did the President. Certainly being opposed to the corruption of the financial industry isn't going to hurt her with real voters and she could raise plenty of money from progressive activists just like Obama did in 2008.

    If the economy is good, Warren would win the Presidency if nominated. If the economy is bad, no Democrat would win. That being the case, I'd rather have a candidate who can eloquently state moderate liberal ideology than one who triangulates and tries deliberately to pick a message that doesn't alienate corporate power.

    To be sure Warren may not be ready to run in 2016 or might run and lose the nomination. There are a number of other candidates who could be just as good and probably others who we wouldn't even think of this far out.

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  11. Dr. B,

    1) When did this become the sort of comments forum where people use numbers as abbreviations for words. Tsk tsk.

    2) Definitely hope she runs. A 12 year run for democrats (minimum), with the SCOTUS at the ages they are -- it would be fantastic to realign the judiciary branch, both SCOTUS and Fed. District courts. 16 years would be just beautiful.

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    1. Check your privilege, English Language Formalist oppressor scum.

      Delete
  12. Ambivalent. I supported President Obama in the 2008 primaries and am still somewhat skeptical of Clintonian dynasticism. She is not a lock for the general election in 2016; no Democraat is. That said, I'd give her a strong look in 2012 and would prefer HRC to Biden, Cuomo and some other possible contenders.

    I'd also like to serve as the Chief of the Cold Water Brigade for Warren 2016. I think she's very unlikely to seek the presidency, and would have some obvious problems as a general election candidate (easy to paint as extreme, unused to the hurly-burly of many elections, the Native American issue. Warren will be a fine Senator, but I think she's unlikely to appear on the national ticket.

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  13. Candidates who would interest me other than HRC: O'Malley, Schweitzer, Patrick. I hope Hickenlooper might get VP consideration.

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  14. It depends on how she feels; how she ages. I've no problem with Clinton running or winning; but age matters. If she's energetic and sharp? Sure.

    If she's feeling her age, no so much.

    But I'd say the same of anyone, male or female; it depends on how they're doing.

    But one thing that does bear considering is she'd potentially only be able to serve one term.

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  15. I'm uncomfortable with the political dynasty angle, particularly if this is a Clinton v. Bush matchup. Still, I'm cautiously optimistic that in the next 4 years we'll see a steadily lowering unemployment rate, a tax deal with higher rates on the wealthy, and (just maybe) immigration reform. 2014 might see the Senate go to Republicans, and I don't see the Dems getting the House back by then.

    In that context, I want the strongest Dem possible to run in 2016 to protect the gains we've made, and who can push for opportunities to expand on those gains. That's gotta be HRC- there's just no GOP prospect in her weight class, and while her popularity will inevitably fall as she gears up for a run, I think she would give Dems the strongest chance of a progressive holding the WH. Also, I'd like to see a female President.

    But, I would like to see someone run on a civil liberties platform to raise the salience of those issues. The only thing that could make me change my mind about supporting Hillary in the 2016 primaries is if someone ran with a strong plan for tackling climate change. I'd give that person a serious look.

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  16. I'd like to see her run, because of the time she put into learning the details of senate operation when she was a senator. That should give her an advantage in managing them. Add to that her experience as Sec. of State, and I think she would be a very effective president.

    I'd prefer Warren's positions, but I don't think she has the experience to manipulate congress that appears to be becoming a prime consideration in presidential candidates.

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  17. Not a liberal, but wanted to add a POV not shared above: according to a recent WaPo poll, Hillary's "favorable" ratings are at 66%. I can't find the actual numbers, but I have in mind that her approval ratings during the disastrous policy-phase of her first ladyship were as low as any first lady ever. 66% seems like a pretty amazing reinvention, imo.

    Aside from the politics and the party framing and associated essential wonkery, the journey from widespread scorn to 66% approval suggests that HRC would likely be a pretty good President.

    There's a place for ideology and a place for things going well; in the interest of the probability of stuff going well, I say run Hillary run.

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    1. On a personal level, there seems to be a sizable number of people (such as GOP senators) who have scorned her only to come away impressed after having worked with her.

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  18. I have concerns about her age. She's 65 now, will be 69 if she were to win in '16. I have really deep concerns on the dynasty issue. Though J.Q. Adams set the precedent a long time ago.

    I have no qualms at all about her capability.

    On balance, I'm deeply conflicted.

    JzB

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  19. I hope she runs because I think she will be the strongest Democratic candidate--I know that early polls are meaningless in terms of "horse race" but when someone well-known gets high approval ratings from very liberal, somewhat liberal, and moderate Democrats alike (as the PPP poll indicates) that does say something. In particular I think she can win back some relatively conservative white Democrats Obama lost *without* forfeiting the large African American and Hispanic turnout Obama got. (The same poll shows high approval ratings from African Americans, who apparently do not hold her 2008 primary campaign against her.)

    I'm not saying some other Democratic candidates might not win also, but the bigger the margin the more likely there will be "coattails' in terms of control of Congress, state legislatures, etc.

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  20. 69 in 2016, 73 in 2020, leaving office at 77 presuming two terms.

    I like her a lot, but is it wise taking such a health risk in a president?

    Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's only a few (3?) years after he left office. Too close for comfort.

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  21. To me, the most important question for Hillary Clinton is whether or not she gives the Democrats a general election edge. Who the President is matters less than what party they are from, and possibly what faction of a party they are from.

    It's not clear how much a candidate matters for the general election, but if that kind of thing does matter, Clinton's got everything you can hope for. She's perfect for the short term demographics, currently exceptionally popular, has more national political experience than any candidate ever, has the fundraising edge, and has a Bill Clinton in her back pocket. Sounds like a win to me.

    All else being equal, I prefer to elect people in that 46-54 age range. Once you start getting older, you get more disconnected, less able to understand a lot of the recent changes in society, etc. Also, studies of professions like surgeons show that peak performance comes around that age. But I'll compromise on age for a candidate as strong as Clinton.

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  22. I think Hillary would be great for continuing the post-9/11 Security State Consensus (pass).

    Being a MA voter, I don't understand how Elizabeth Warren became a liberal icon. She is about as liberal as Obama on national security (which is to say, not very) and she was the only Democratic candidate who seemed unwilling to support drug policy reform. Liberals: Please know what you're getting us into for 2016.

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  23. Four years is a long way away. Sheesh. Why not say wait until 2014 to ask this question? I am not a big fan of political dynasty families in general, see e.g. Bush, and would prefer to wait to see what the rest of the field looks like. If the only options are Biden, Cuomo, Jerry Brown and Mayor Castro then please yes, Hillary should run. But there could be another great candidate out there as well that I am not familiar with yet or perhaps one that I have not yet perceived as a great candidate, see e.g. O'Malley.

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  24. Right now, Hillary is the Democrats’ strongest political asset: phenomenal résumé; more domestic and foreign policy experience than any Dem since Mondale; pretty good political IQ with tons of wins and losses, and the maturity and perhaps wisdom that can come with them; strong DC and Hill network, through which she can “work her will” and make Booby Woodward happy; a narrative as good as Obama’s, with a historic nomination loss setting the stage for a historic nomination win; great favorables.

    How can the party leave that on the sidelines, in its last chance to use it to its maximum benefit? No other Democrat brings half of what Hillary brings to the table.

    Fortysomething politicians are great for the party, and for the constituents they represent. But I think they’re overrated as Presidential material.

    In addition, I think the party could benefit enormously from someone with Hillary’s DC experience taking firm control, via the WH and the DNC, of all aspects of the organization, to strengthen and expand its prospects for more and better Democrats, and much much better governance. Every President is expected to do this, but it needs much better planning and execution. It is imperative that this happen now, given the relative poor health of the GOP, and the precarious position of much of the progressive legacy of the 20th century. There’s no other Dem on the horizon who has the ability to envision how to do that, much less the authority to get it done.

    Electorally? Two words: Gender Gap. Obama took 56% of women in ’08; Bill Clinton 54% of women in ’96 (against two opponents). Hillary will have a good chance to reach 60% of women, and could exceed that. It’s no slam dunk, but it would be an unprecedented advantage.

    What’s more, the Senate cycle comes around to a very good landscape again for Dems in 2016 (notwithstanding a tough 2014 and many likely retirements). If Hillary’s team and the party and outside orgs do a LOT of advance work in identifying candidates for both chambers, they could turn 2016 into a watershed Year of the Woman. The likelihood of a Justice Kennedy retirement at some point in his 80s (which he turns in ’16) would add a LOT of fuel to Hillary’s candidacy and the overall movement.

    One downside is that many younger VP candidates will look pretty green next to her. But that didn’t hurt Quayle much, did it?

    This decade is going to be a major inflection point. We can’t afford to give the party over to the next fresh face, whose ability to envision the best course for the party and the nation will be, at best, untested. We had that luxury in 2008, and it’s worked out OK. But now we need The Seasoned Veteran.

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    1. As far as I've seen, résumé doesn't help in presidential elections. Clinton and Bush both defeated candidates with longer careers in public service both times around, and Obama-McCain was sort of the ultimate battle of green vs. gray. Green wins.

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    2. The Green vs Gray issue is real, but the winner only wins in context. McCain was a terrible candidate, specifically because he was so out of touch. Hillary is not. In 1988, Dukakis was the Green candidate, but also a particularly bad one. Gray won. The Green Clinton won specifically because the Gray résumé had been tested and found wanting. And the Green Bush actually did not beat the Gray(ish) Gore.

      In any case, my focus is not that her stats are all-important, rather that we simply not bench our only All-Star. It's her last game, and she's more capable than ANY of our other players to win it.

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  25. If Hillary decides to run, she'll probably have Obama's support, and the Clinton loyalists are getting into place (like in VA) so it's unlikely she will have much primary opposition. And at this point it does seem likely she'd win. She'd be the first woman President, and the first First Lady to be elected President. Which of course paves the way for Michelle in 2024.

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    1. Great! Let's have a democracy led by few enough families that I only need to use one hand on which to count them! Progress!!

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  26. I mostly agree with andrew long. Hillary would bring huge advantages to the Dem ticket that no other Dem comes close to having - the excitement of electing the first woman president, and tremendous governmental and electoral experience. Both will attract many voters who would not otherwise vote for a Democrat. She has the potential to blow the race open, with coattails pulling in large Democratic majorities in both houses. Sure, it might shape up as the kind of year where any Dem could win. But it will be critical to rack up a big win if a big win is possible. And she might be the only Dem with the potential to pull it over the line if the national environment in 2016 does not favor the Dems.

    Have the next generation Dem presidential candidate be her running mate.

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    1. "Have the next generation Dem presidential candidate be her running mate."

      That appeals to me. Clinton/Booker or Clinton/Castro 2016?

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  27. I'm largely ambivalent about the idea. I think she would make a fine candidate and a fine President, but I also think many other Democrats would do the same. She won't be beloved at an Eisenhower level when she is the nominee, so there will be very little difference in national support between Hillary/Gillibrand/Cuomo/O'Malley/etc and the Republican 2016 nominee.

    I think the more the merrier -- The Democratic party is only stronger with more strong candidates in the primary field.

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