Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Question for Liberals

I've asked this one before, but it's been a while, and why should the conservatives have all the fun right now: who is your candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016?


  1. 1. Kathleen Sebelius
    1a. Brian Schweitzer

    Robert H.

  2. My dream contenders: Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin O'Malley, Andrew Cuomo, and Mark Warner.

    However, if either Biden or Hillary runs, I'll support one of them because experience matters.

  3. I used to be a big Sebelius booster, but this Plan B thing has gotten me down. As for Schweitzer, my hope for him is that we get to swap him in for Max Baucus in MT-SEN. Lots of people can be a Democratic presidential nominee; not many can be a Democratic Senator from Montana.

  4. I've been assuming it was Cuomo's race to lose-- of course, that's a mistake that has been made before. ;-) I'd happily support him.

    I really like Biden, actually, and would support Hillary Clinton as well.

    And who (that is liberal) doesn't like Elizabeth Warren? Although I'd prefer she start out as VP to avoid the perception/attack line that we've nominated another candidate with minimal experience.

    Looking back on that post, I might have saved time by just saying "what Anonymous @3:40 said."

  5. Hil. I've been impressed with her (for lack of a better word) professionalism at State.

    I'd also gladly support a Warren candidacy.

  6. Cuomo. Unless Hillary throws her hat in early, he'll run away with it.

  7. Assuming she wins next November (looks increasingly likely), I like Warren as well.

  8. Cuomo is clearly positioned well. Because of that, I think NYS senator Gillibrand has little chance of edging her way in (and she'd actually have to make a name for herself somehow over the course of her senate term).

    I'm in general struck by the fact that no non-northeastern politicians come to mind, but this may be an artifact of the readership of the blog.

    Schweitzer has connections and is riding high, but does Montana have even 1 million people in it? He's a small market guy who'd have zero connection with multiple key Democratic interest groups.

    Assuming Warren wins her seat and becomes an effective Senator, aren't her strengths best used as a key inner-circle cabinet member or leader in the Senate? Not sure what makes her a great party figurehead.

  9. I think O'Malley. All the strengths of Cuomo, not quite as squishy on 99% issues. I like Klobuchar a lot, too.

  10. I'm interested to hear who political junkies have read about as likely ambitious politicians who would throw their hat in in 2016? That is, what are the names in likely contention here who aren't simply people we'd all *want* to be running?

  11. Andrew Cuomo's a Democrat? Pull the other leg, it's got bells on it.

  12. Good names so far -- plenty I'd support. I'd add an image I've had in my head, or David Patreus entering the race in 2016 (for either party), maybe even with the rare promise of serving one-term.

  13. PF- That's a good, more interesting question. I'd say Cuomo and Warner from VA for sure. I think my pick above, O'Malley, is more likely than not. I dunno, who else...Gillibrand?

    I think some names, like Schweitzer, might be to the point where they wouldn't do it on their own, but they get mentioned so much, it might convince them. A few more, like Brown, are probably just wish-fulfillment.

  14. "I'm in general struck by the fact that no non-northeastern politicians come to mind, but this may be an artifact of the readership of the blog. "

    Probably also an artifact of 2010. There was a sizeable number of people who, had they won a second term, would've been invited to sit at all the cool kids' tables (Strickland in OH, Chet Culver). Patrick would've been on the tip of everyone's tongue, too, had he not been so unpopular.

  15. Strickland is anti-choice. He would have been a nogo, regardless of what happened in Ohio.

    I think the real dark horse is the winner of the recall against Scott Walker. If he or she is young enough, and gets reelected in 2014, they'd be in a good position to run for president in 2016. So I'm going to say Kathleen Falk.

  16. O'Malley, Apparently Gillibrand is interested. Keep your eye on people in the O Admin for term 2. There could be a successor in there.

  17. I think Mike Gravel is due.

  18. Here's the primary field (some may not make it past the exploratory stage):
    1. Andrew Cuomo. Popular Governor 1.,
    2. Tim Kaine. Popular Governor 2.
    3. Mark Warner. Technocrat. Do you remember his keynote speech? Not a gifted speaker.
    4. Joe Biden. Elder statesman. Gets Secretary of State.
    5. Big Wildcard: Hillary Clinton. Guerilla in the room, but only if she runs.
    6. Russ Feingold/Sherrod Brown replace Kucinich as token lefty. Nothing here.
    Possibly Schweitzer.

    I think Warner/Biden fizzle and get cabinet posts. I see Hillary winning if she runs, Cuomo or Kaine if she doesn't. Cuomo,like Rubio for the GOP, is the automatic VP choice if he doesn't get the nom.

    Final ticket will be Clinton/Cuomo, Kaine/Cuomo, or Cuomo/[Mysterious Dem w./foreign polic cred.]

    All in all the field looks strong in popular domestic types, but not a lot of foreign policy credentials if Clinton stays out.

  19. I'll go out on a limb. John Hickenlooper. He's a pragmatic Western governor who made national news by campaigning very positively in a really negative election cycle and winning.

  20. What's really more shocking is the dearth of Democratic pols coming out of California - as far as I can tell Jerry Brown in 1992 was the last one and there's absolutely nobody I can see rectifying that situation come 2016. This is what happens when you have two dinosaurs in the Senate seat, Republican control of the Governor's mansion and his replacement being, honestly, an also-ran. Oh, and the stuffing of Congressional seats with no-hopers without ambition thanks to shitty district lines doesn't help. Villaraigosa and Edwin Lee don't inspire too much hope mayoralty-wise either. Depressing.

    - Patrick

  21. Joshua: If Sherrod Brown can hold his seat this year, I'd put him in a very different category from a Kucinich. A sitting Senator in a very purple state is very different from some measly congressman from Cleveland. Which isn't to say he's my candidate necessarily, but he could certainly be quite a few people's candidate.

  22. If we could have President Sherrod Brown, I'd be very very happy.

  23. I like Sherrod Brown a lot too, but from what I've seen of him on Maddow etc. he doesn't strike me as that good a Presidential candidate. But perhaps he could be Warren's VP.

  24. I'm kind of surprised to see Kirsten Gillibrand mentioned so many times. Has she really done anything to draw that much attention? Or is it the appeal of a Democrat who won in a GOP House district?

  25. Martin O'Malley. He plays a mean guitar in an Irish band. Musical talent should not be short-changed (see Clinton, Bill -- saxophone).

  26. Elizabeth Warren, if she wins in MA. Or, what the hell, Barney Frank!

  27. This Elizabeth Warren boosting is ridiculous. She hasn't even won one election yet, and all of her very formidable skills have so far concerned watchdog, administrative, and analytical/scholarly matters. Very important stuff, and I definitely want her to win her seat and find an important role in the senate. But what's the indication that she'd thrive in the role of president? I mean, she's found herself running for senate in no small part simply because national political circumstances prevented her from heading the CFPB.

  28. Here's a dark horse -- the most effective Senator you've never heard of -- Maria Cantwell. If Warren gets in you'll be hearing a lot more about Cantwell, because they are dedicated to (and will be working together on) many of the same issues. Warren's high media profile should double the media attention Maria's work will get.

  29. PF, Warren is able to articulate progressive policy positions in a clear, forceful manner that almost nobody else in politics can do. If she proves she can win an election while being true to her beliefs by beating Scott Brown, she would be an excellent Presidential candidate in 2016. It's pretty much the same route Obama took from his 2004 convention speech to the Senate to the White House.

  30. From where I sit, people who might contend for the 2016 nomination: Clinton, Biden, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Brian Schweitzer, John Hickenlooper, Martin O'Malley, and finally Andrew Cuomo.

    I like Gillibrand and I hope Warren wins her Senate seat, but I don't see them being big contenders. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, especially with Warren.

    The party will decide, but who it comes down on will depend in a big way on how the next 5 years go.

    Successful Obama 2nd Term: I think a good case could be made here for a big-name Administration official, like Biden or Clinton. There are some doubts if either would run though; Biden would be 72 and Clinton would be 68. Would Clinton be willing to risk defeat by a popular insurgent? Would Biden be willing to trade in his current status as a respected party elder for a play for the Presidency where he could lose respect if he didn't end up winning support for the nomination? Not sure how this would play out, but if Clinton ran I think she'd win. There's a lot of goodwill towards her right now. Without her in the race, I'd say the nomination probably goes to Cuomo or O'Malley (I have to confess I don't know much about him, but he seems like a successful mainstream Democrat; Cuomo may be slightly more towards the right, but I think the party would be more willing to vote for a northeasterner following a successful Obama presidency.)

    Mediocre/Unsuccessful Obama 2nd Term: The more unsuccessful Obama is perceived to have been, the more likely the nominee will be an "unorthodox" Democratic politician. To me, this points to Hickenlooper, Schweitzer, and possibly Cuomo. Kaine or Warner might be able to make a case that they'd shore up Virginia. Again, Clinton might run away with the nomination here too. As mentioned, there's a lot of goodwill towards her still, and as a Secretary of State who will probably not be serving out the full second term there's time for her to distance herself from the President. If she's not in the race, I'd say Hickenlooper, Schweitzer, and Cuomo have a good shot.

    Successful Republican First Term: If there's a Republican in office in what's perceived to be a strong position, that would probably deter some of the governors from running, as well as Clinton. This might be Biden's best shot at the nomination. I could also see a strong progressive (Warren?) or strong partisan (Kaine?) getting the nomination in this scenario. Some of the older governors like Hickenlooper or Schweitzer might sense an opportunity and jump in too, so I'm not really sure how this plays out. I think it would either be Biden or Kaine. But Clinton if she wants it.

    Mediocre/Unsuccessful Republican: Again, I think Clinton would have the strongest case to make for the nomination, and I think the party would want her to go for it. Without Clinton in the race, I'd see a lot of the stronger contenders like Cuomo jumping in. With the chance to pick off a weak Republican, I don't see Biden winning.

    Basically, from how I see it, the nomination is Clinton's. If she wants it. In 2008, the party was captivated and intrigued by Obama (I say this as an Obama organizer in 2008, so maybe you Clinton supporters have a different view). In 2016, I think the party would really want her to take it in almost any scenario. She may be hesitant to jump in the race because she was burned before, but I think 2016 there's a very good chance of a Clinton presidency.

  31. Wow, did not know that comment would be so long. Apologies, I should have been more concise.

  32. It was a good comment, Bryan, don't worry.

    I think the most likely result of the 2012 election is an unsuccessful Republican presidency, but for that reason I don't think Clinton is going to be a 2016 candidate. She will have been four years out of office by that time, and given that the likely situation in 2015/2016 is a deep and continued depression, I think someone far more economically leftist will be the likely nominee.

    Problem is, I have no idea who that would be. But given what I see as the extreme likelihood of a very, very bad and dangerous economic situation by 2015, I think President Romney (or possibly President Gingrich or Perry, I guess) will be facing challenges from the far right and from the fairly far left.

  33. Thanks Tybalt!

    I see what you're saying. But in that scenario, don't you think someone who has been out of office and yet maintains credibility with the party (and arguably after her stint as Secretary of State, the country) would best be able to make a more leftist case? I certainly think she's ideologically malleable enough to adopt a more lefty position if she thinks it would win her votes (not a bad thing).

    But then again, it may depend on how bad the depression and how far left you're talking.

  34. What I like thinking about (and this is slightly off-topic) is a dream Democratic administration. Like:

    Prez: Hillary Clinton
    VP: Mark Warner/Tim Kaine
    SecState: Joe Biden/John Kerry
    SecDef: John Kerry/Michele Flourney?
    SecTreasury: Andrew Cuomo/Elizabeth Warren
    AG: Janet Napolitano? Granholm? gotta confess i'm not sure

  35. I would agree with the people who say that if Clinton runs she is by far the frontrunner but I'd say she only has a 10% chance of running. Right now she is regarded so highly, possibly the most respected person in government, and jumping back into politics could tarnish that.

    There's a bit of NY dominoes in that Cuomo won't run against Clinton and Gillibrand won't run against either. I strongly suspect one of those three will run but I'm not sure which.

    Oddly enough, I think the same scenario plays out in Colorado of all places. John Hinkenlooper, Mark Udall and Michael Bennett are all rising stars of the Democratic Party and come from an important targeted geographic area. I can't imagine two Colorodans running but expect to see one.

    I also link Evan Bayh, Mark Warner and Brian Schweitzer not because of geography but instead ideology. All three are popular moderates with executive experience. I suspect we'll see either Bayh or Warner run in 2016 but not both. Schweitzer might run regardless of Bayh/Warner's presence in the race but he'd be fighting for the same base.

    The only two who I think will definitely run are Martin O'Malley and Sherrod Brown (assuming he's reelected in 2012). I could also imagine a Howard Dean, Russ Feingold or maybe even Elizabeth Warren type coming in from the left.

    In response to Patrick's question re: California. There are quite a few rising stars that seem to be waiting for an opening and whoever emerges will be a figure on the national stage. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones are all looking at the Governor's mansion in 2014 (assuming Brown is a one term governor which he probably will be) and Congressmember Xavier Becerra, State Senator Kevin de Leon and Assemblymember Fiona Ma are all likely Senate candidates whenever Boxer or Feinstein retire (71 and 78 years old respectively). I suspect one of these six will in the Presidential conservation in 2020 or 2024 depending on Democratic incumbency.

    tl;dr Clinton or Cuomo or Gillibrand, Hinkenlooper or Bennett or Udall, Warner or Bayh, Schweitzer, O'Malley, Brown, and possibly Dean or Feingold or Warren.


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