After reading various news items and articles of interest – and after scouring through my own thoughts on the topic here – I’m of two distinctly different minds when it comes to the potential road that former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton has in front of her in regards to the 2016 presidential election (and the Democratic nomination).
On the one hand, we still don’t know whether she intends to run…and this is vital; if – for whatever reason (or reasons) – HRC decides not to run, then you’ve likely got one of the most wide-open and scrambolic Democratic primary campaigns in recent memory. The reason: at the moment, HRC is the presumptive nominee for the Dems’, which has not only tamped down potential insurgencies but also – to some extent – tamped down any latent enthusiasm Democratic base voters might have for 2016. I mean, just look at the fact that, for the all of talk of potential challengers to HRC, no one – and i mean, no one – has dared throw their name in the ring (and given the potential challengers – Elizabeth Warren, Martin O’Malley, Brian Schweitzer, Andrew Cuomo, etc. – and the reason is that no one, at least in my humble opinion, wants to get in and risk alienating Democratic voters by challenging someone who – like the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania – would make history by being elected President.
On the other hand…should Hillary run for president, she’s going to have to address two concerns vital to those of us on the Left: (1)her 2002 vote to authorize the use of military force in Iraq and (2)her seeming closeness to Wall Street. On the first point, there is the potential for trouble fir HRC in that she voted for the AUMF (a/k/a the Iraq War Resolution) when a sizeable chunk of the Democratic base opposed it and continues to oppose military action in Iraq. In this case, she runs the risk IMO of sounding too much like the neocons who’ve been thoroughly discredited over the past decade, thus opening herself up to attacks from both liberal and conservative critics of hers’. On the second point, I’ve made my views clear on this: if Hillary wants to energize the populist wing of the Democratic party, she honestly needs to throw – and throw in a public way – Wall Street under the bus. Would it cost her support from Wall St.? To some degree, yes..but it would also help begin to make a clear distinction between the two parties in regards to economic & business policy, which in recent years has shrunk to almost nothing. It would also help energize labor unions, who despite their shrinking numbers still make up a sizeable chunk of the Democratic base.
So, to the answer above…does Hillary have a rock road to the 2016 Democratic nomination? Right now, I don’t think that answer can be given…but as with anything in American politics, nothing is certain.