Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hillary(?) for President!(?)

It's become increasingly clear that Hillary Clinton is going to be THE Democratic candidate for 2016, and increasingly clear how much she wasn't the first choice for a lot of people.

I can't decide how I should feel. I mean, sure, she's uniquely qualified for the job. Former first lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, it's almost as though the White House is the only logical next step for her.

But somehow... I can't get but so excited about her candidacy, which was officially announced on Sunday. And I suspect I'm not alone there. Maybe she's just, I don't know, old news?

A lot of people wanted Elizabeth Warren to run, and are still deluding themselves that she will. She won't. Honestly, I'm okay with this. We need more Elizabeth Warrens in the Senate, not less. She can do much more good as a progressive warrior in the legislative branch. Warren's voice provides an inspiring counter-narrative in the Senate where, quite frankly, progressive leaders can almost never match the soaring, firebrand rhetoric of Tea Party Republicans. To win a presidential bid, Warren would have to move much further to the center, and that would be dangerous in a country where conservatives are being pushed further and further to the right.

In fact, I imagine if you took an Elizabeth Warren, ran her through the machinery of a presidential campaign and years of Washington executive-branch insider politics, she'd come out looking and sounding a lot like...well...Hillary Clinton. We've already got one of her.

Incidentally, that's probably going to be Hillary's biggest weakness in 2016- the perception that she's just another Washington insider out of touch with everyday America. Clearly, she's already got a strategy in place to blunt this edge, I mean just take a look at her campaign video:

She's going heavy on that personal touch, and plans to emphasize that the Hillary you think you know, the political juggernaut, household name, and all-around HBIC is only one side of her- the other is a lifelong, compassionate advocate for regular ol' folks trying to make a better life for themselves and the people who depend on them.

Maybe that will help, maybe it won't.

But what's almost certain to make skeptical progressives line up behind Hillary* is stuff like this article casting Marco Rubio as the Republican Barack Obama, young, "diverse," so to speak, savvy, an inspiring speaker, not a complete wingnut, similar to Hillary in that he's the "next best thing" for Tea Party hardliners.

And as much as I'd like to say that Rubio's sawdust-mouth moment will probably tank his campaign before it ever truly starts, the reality is that continuing to refer to that little gaffe will just make his opponents look mean-spirited and shallow.

Whatever the state of his TV skills, Rubio's stance on most issues: nix the ACA, keep our heads in the sand on climate change, give corporations free reign over...everything, etc. should, at least, be enough to frighten otherwise unenthusiastic progressives into turning out for Hillary come next Fall.

Say it with me now: Hillary... for President...!


*Other than thinking it would be kind of cool to elect our first woman president right after our first black president. Cause you know, there's that.

...or maybe you were the ocean...

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