Why Hillary Rodham Clinton is probably unstoppable

SOURCE:  US STATE DEPARTMENT

SOURCE: US STATE DEPARTMENT

A lot of journalists have been spilling a lot of ink and pixels about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, coming Sunday to everywhere near you. I want to offer some thoughts as someone who can write a bit more bluntly than most pundits, simply because almost no one cares what I think about national politics. Peel away the false balance, the muddled equivalency, and the desire for drama, the only question at this point is this: “Can anybody stop her?” And the simple truth is that it’s very, very unlikely that anyone can beat Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady, former U.S. Senator ,and Secretary of State. If you were putting honest money down right now in April of 2015, and you were a smart gambler, you’d bet Hillary. Here’s why.

The Democratic (non) primary

First, she’s running essentially unopposed in the Democratic primary, which means she’ll arrive at the general election relatively unscathed, with a full bank account and plenty of rest. It’s important to remember that this de facto coronation for someone who isn’t a sitting president is very nearly unprecedented in the history of our two-party system. She has a lot to prove to voters in the general election, sure.  But with the Democratic party faithful, she starts this ride on day one with a full-blown, golden-ticket sort of mandate. It boils down to four simple words: It’s her turn. I don’t doubt that someone on the Democratic side will challenge her. But it won’t be someone like Barack Obama. It won’t be the kind of candidate who has a serious national network, a healthy war-chest, and a very real shot at the nomination. It will be a protest candidate, a message candidate, someone most likely from the progressive wing of the party who will use the campaign to raise their profile and push their ideas into the national dialogue. And then Hillary will win, if you can even call it that, and she’ll emerge as her party’s standard bearer.

On day one of the general election, she’s one state away from winning it all
Is Senator Ted Cruz capable of slowing the Hillary train?  Photo:  "Ted Cruz by Gage Skidmore 4" by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ted_Cruz_by_Gage_Skidmore_4.jpg#/media/File:Ted_Cruz_by_Gage_Skidmore_4.jpg

Is Senator Ted Cruz capable of slowing the Hillary train? Photo: “Ted Cruz by Gage Skidmore 4” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ted_Cruz_by_Gage_Skidmore_4.jpg#/media/File:Ted_Cruz_by_Gage_Skidmore_4.jpg

Which brings us to the general election. Here again, Hillary has a remarkable advantage. The simple weird fact in an America where conservatism often seems on the ascendant is that ever since 1992, Democrats have easily, handily, almost casually won 18 states and the District of Columbia which total 248 electoral college votes. What that means is that any Democratic candidate only needs to find 22 additional votes, somewhere, anywhere, to win the White House. Winning Florida would do it. It’s really that simple.

So before we even bother to dissect the GOP’s awkward, fractured, feuding, and ginormous slate of candidates, let’s just pause and remember that Democrats almost always begin presidential races a nose away from the finish line. If it weren’t for the U.S. Supreme Court’s intervention in 2000, it’s very likely that our last Republican president would have been the elder Mr. Bush, not the younger. Let me say this again for emphasis: If not for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to tip Florida to the Republican candidate in 2000, the electoral college system would have produced a Democratic hegemony in the White House over the last quarter century. And the demographic trends that support that systemic tilt have only grown.

To overcome that reality — to beat Hillary Rodham Clinton — the Republicans have to be almost perfect.  They have to pick up more than 170 electoral college votes. They have to somehow cobble together all the fractious, angry, isolated wings of their party. They have to take the current crock of candidates and distill them down to someone with the cheerful conservatism of a Ronald Reagan. But that’s really, really unlikely. The GOP is currently extremely good at generating powerhouse candidates who are deeply known and respected regionally or within narrow ideological niches. Think of them as Snapple or Arnold Palmer Ice Tea. Hillary, by contrast is not just like Coca Cola. She’s like Coca Cola Classic. She’s a broad, national political brand, a fixture in the national imagination since suffrage. Okay, I made that last bit up, but you know what I mean.

Hillary’s weaknesses that aren’t really weaknesses

So what could bring her down? What could trip her up? First, let’s dispense with what derailed her in 2008. It wasn’t that she was too conservative. It wasn’t her husband Bill. It wasn’t that she was arrogant or secretive or that she had irritated Maureen Dowd one too many times. What tripped her up was that Barack Obama’s team found a brilliant way to manipulate the math in the Democratic primary system. Hillary’s team basically campaigned in the traditional way, working to win all the big Democratic states that make up the party’s foundation. Obama, meanwhile, brilliantly crafted a stealth campaign to hoover up all the essentially uncontested primary votes in places like Alabama, Alaska, and South Carolina. Hillary went for home runs in big stadiums, while Obama racked up singles out in cow towns. And he won.

This time that won’t happen. Hillary’s brain trust will make sure that no Democratic challenger has an “end run” path to victory. Anyone wanting to topple her and claim the role of standard bearer will have to do it directly. They’ll have to attack her head-on. They’ll have to challenge the family that remains — even after eight years of the Obamas — the First Family of the Democratic movement. So far, there’s simply no one in her party willing to do that.

So what weaknesses remain? Again, let me dispense with some things that won’t matter. Her emails won’t matter. Her addiction to secrecy won’t matter. Her family’s sometimes controversial and icky personal history won’t matter. Benghazi won’t matter. The fact that she and her husband have too much money in their war chests won’t matter. The fact that a lot of deep-blue liberals don’t like her won’t matter. Again, this is Coca Cola Classic were talking about here. We all know that there are things about Coca Cola that are kind of unsavory. But the brand is solid and safe and it still outsells everything else on the market, which means a lot of us keep guzzling it down.

But does she stand for anything?
Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention (Source:  DNC)

Bill Clinton will be a powerful force pushing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy.  But does she have a message of her own?  (Source: DNC)

Which brings us to the one thing that actually matters, the thing that could be Hillary’s Achilles heel:  Her message. I know this seems quaint and almost 19th century, but even in the age of Super-duper PACs and Koch Brother gilded age shenanigans, it actually means something for a candidate to mean something. And there’s a real danger that Hillary could confuse inevitability with relevance. This isn’t the 1990s. And the fact that she’s linked closely with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, two of the most dominant politicians of the modern era, doesn’t mean she is anything like their equal as a candidate voters can embrace.

If Hillary runs as a kind of organic extension of the Clinton-Obama administrations, that will be plenty to capture the Democratic nomination. But matched against a reasonably passionate, articulate, and well-funded Republican? One with a compelling and hopeful vision for America? All the systemic advantages in the world might not be enough if Clinton can’t offer a fresh, compelling road map for where she wants to take the country.
Frankly, I don’t expect Hillary to make that blunder. The truth is, she is actually a very capable campaigner with good instincts. I watched her at close quarters in the run-up to the New York Senate race. I saw her work rooms and give speeches and slog through the back roads of upstate New York. Is she Bill Clinton? Hell, no. But she’s certainly better than, say, Mitt Romney or John Kerry. Add on top of her basic competence the rock star “first woman president” cachet and you’ve got a seriously tough messenger — if she actually has a message to deliver. So that’s the test on Sunday. Does she tell a great, believable story about where she hopes to take us as a society? If Hillary pulls that off, and especially if she offers up a stem-winder, 2016 may emerge as one of the most boring election cycles in U.S. history. Remember the year Hillary won the White House? Ho-hum. First woman president? What a shocker.” But if she falters, or sounds entitled, or too old and tired, or like she doesn’t have anything new to offer, then I’ll start to buy the idea that this campaign is for real.

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70 Comments on “Why Hillary Rodham Clinton is probably unstoppable”

  1. Mitch Edelstein says:

    Brian,

    Dwight Eisenhower was probably the last sure candidate. Both Democrats and Republicans tried to get him to run on their ticket.

    Mitch

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  2. Brian Mann says:

    Mitch –

    I don’t think so. Eisenhower is remembered now as being the shoo-in candidate, but in fact he faced an incredibly powerful run by fellow Republican Robert Taft in 1952. They were neck to neck in the Republican primaries and entered the GOP convention essentially dead-locked.

    Taft was a towering figure in the Republican Party, the dominant figure in the conservative wing, and he fought hard to prevent Eisenhower from moving the party in a more moderate direction. (Eisenhower had, of course, served under two Democratic presidents and was a staunch supporter of many parts of the New Deal…)

    The closest possible figure to Taft that I can see challenging Hillary Clinton would be Joe Biden, though his stature is nothing like what Taft’s was, and I’m also kind of betting that he won’t run. But I think your question is a good one: When exactly was the last ‘coronation’ for a party’s national presidential ticket? When I ran this by my mom, a capable amateur historian, she paused and said, “George Washington.”

    That’s probably too far back, but I’ll admit to being stumped. I’ve certainly never seen anything like this in my years covering politics.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  3. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Grover Cleveland’s second election?

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  4. Brian Mann says:

    Just to be clear, I’m talking about candidates who aren’t sitting presidents – in other words, not incumbents seeking an additional term. That’s almost the treatment Hillary Clinton is receiving from her party – the status afforded typically to a sitting president. I mean, really: Her stature is so unique that an ambitious, sitting vice president (Joe Biden) seems poised to bow out in deference to her moment. That’s just…very close to unprecedented.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  5. mike says:

    No matter who is President, the major policies remain the same and enslavement of American people by the banksters remain as is.

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  6. Mo Murray says:

    “Again, this is Coca Cola Classic were talking about here. We all know that there are things about Coca Cola that are kind of unsavory. But the brand is solid and safe and it still outsells everything else on the market, which means a lot of us keep guzzling it down.”

    Great analogy! Love Classic Coke. Go Hillary!

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  7. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    BM, I think there are some interesting analogies to be made to the Cleveland era. It was a time of powerful political machines, the beginnings of the big Trusts and the Gilded Age along with a concurrent rise of Populism. Cleveland had, of course, already been President but he had lost his last election. Hillary lost the primary bid to Obama…not an exact analogy to be sure, but lots of similar background and lots of rhymes and echoes. Cleveland a Democrat from NY with running mat Adlai Stevenson 1 who was a congressman from Illinois and grandfather of the future (losing) presidential candidate from Illinois Adlai 2…

    Heck, we still have people who want to go back to the Gold Standard, any bimetalists out there among the Tea Party or the Greens?

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  8. Two Cents says:

    who will emerge as her vp?
    any speculations?

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  9. Conservative Ted says:

    I said this to as many people as would listen 5 years ago, Hillary can’t lose. Unless some extremely graphic, illegal, and outright absurd skeleton comes up, she simply can’t lose. I say this as a conservative, concerned for the debt my Children are taking on and a world where we bow to our enemies and apologize for treating them harshly as they behead Christians.

    Remember the day when if you said anything against Obama you were instantly labeled a racist? You will be labeled a chauvinist in the same way if you are against Hillary. Democrats love the race card, the poor card, the apologetic card and the card with the joker on it where we ignore the constitution and spend like we can print it all day and it will all hold value. Those days should be behind us but there is BIG money in keeping them alive.

    I’m not a racist, in fact my very best friend is a different color than me. I say that because of this observation. When we went to vote in 2008, the lines were out the door and around the building for the first time in my voting lifetime. 7-8 in 10 were black. People didn’t vote for Obama because he was qualified or because he was pure, they voted for him because he was black. He had no where near the qualifications to be president and I believe he has proved that. He was from IL. Any quick internet search will tell you the amount of corruption it takes to succeed in IL politics. The other day, a very good friend of mine said “it’s about time we had a woman president” and then 3 minutes later asked if it was an election year. Unfortunately, people of that level of intelligence will win this election for Hillary. The Dems bow down to the lowest denominator and unfortunately, there are naive kids that will eat it up. How about changing that rhetoric to “It’s about time we had a qualified president?” I think Hilary is but I’m afraid her entire campaign will be “We need a woman in the Whitehouse” not “Here is what I bring to the table.” All of the things you mentioned are correct, but lets face it, this will be a gender based election.

    Anyone with an ounce of IT intelligence knows the email scandal is BS. A data forensics team could recover those hard drives in a month, of course not so much if they are at the bottom of a river. Bill never inhaled (my parents actually believed that). People are gullible and uninformed and it’s unfortunate that they will be the ones to decide this next election.

    I think your article is dead on. I’m undecided at this point but I don’t think there is anyone out there that can beat her. I said it 5 years ago and I say it today. MAYBE Ben Carson, MAYBE Condoleezza Rice but I don’t think either of them will run. Ben could garner a lot of votes, but his sole platform is healthcare and that won’t carry over Hillary.

    Thanks for the article, it was articulate and accurate. A nice change of pace.

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  10. dbw says:

    This analysis sounds good and reasonable. I just think of the number of times the presumed candidate did not win for reasons unforeseen in advance. Even in 2008, Hillary was the presumed to win. Message, or lack of message could sink her. While I agree that Obama’s delegate strategy was important, he also laid out a vision. Just go back and listen to the speech he made the night of NH primary, the Yes we can speech. More importantly, he laid out a vision of the journey of America and Americans as a nation moving toward greater freedom despite hardship and struggle. If anything could sink Hillary it would be a populist economic message from someone from either party.

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  11. Walter F. Wouk says:

    In 2008 the Democratic Party’s mantra was “Hope and Change.” In 2012 it was “Obama’s our best hope.”If Hillary Clinton becomes the party’s candidate in 2016 the mantra will be “abandon all hope,” because it’s just another round of “same old same old.”

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  12. The Original Larry says:

    Before you begin planning Hillary’s inauguration, let’s put one bit of misinformation to rest: the Supreme Court did not “tip” the election of 2000 to Bush. What they did was put an end to a politically motivated recount process that would have counted invalid ballots (overvotes) to Gore’s advantage. However much people are disappointed by it, the facts are that Bush won the election, he won the legally required recount and afterwards, when the media examined the Florida results, it was generally acknowledged that under most reasonable scenarios he was, in fact, the winner.
    Now, a few comments on Hillary’s candidacy. She’s had a long run in public life but an examination of her record yields exactly nothing in the way of positive accomplishment. Instead, we find Whitewater, Vincent Foster, the health care reform debacle, Benghazi and electronic security breaches. Certainly, no smoking guns that anyone is aware of yet, but those are just the highlights. She’s a candidate with a history of questionable dealings, unanswered questions, lost opportunities, incipient scandals and shady conduct. Obama was at least an unknown quantity. Are we going to double down and elect another disasterous president simply because she represents an idea whose time has come?

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  13. Peter says:

    It’s a sad commentary on our existing system. Voters are disenfranchised. I think less than 25% of eligible voters will turn out and it will be business as usual. Ralph Nadar said that if we refuse to vote for the “least worse” that would improve the candidate pool rapidly. I think HRC will trigger a nuclear war with China, but that’s just my crystal ball chiming in.

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  14. Brian Mann says:

    Peter – First, I think it’s important to note that for a lot of people, HRC is not the least worst option. She’s a public figure of enormous stature, though deeply disliked and distrusted by another big slice of the American people. As to the nuclear war with China stuff…geez, I don’t know. Really? That’s quite a peculiar crystal ball you’ve got going there…

    Original Larry – I think it’s reasonable for ethical, honest people to disagree on what happened in the 2000 election. I’ve done my best as a citizen, a journalist, and a big fan of American politics to try to understand objectively what happened there. I’ve come away absolutely convinced that Al Gore won Florida and won the election. But I am also absolutely comfortable with the idea that we will never reach consensus on that point.

    But even if you set aside the 2000 results, and that whole morass, the pattern I’m pointing to remains. George W. Bush prevailed by squeaker margins in 2000 and 2004, in the electoral college system. Democrats, meanwhile, tend to win by landslide margins, not in the popular vote but in the electoral college tally. That systemic tilt is only growing more perilous for the GOP.

    -Brian, NCPR

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  15. Two Cents says:

    OL – wake up you’re dreaming again….(re: supreme court)

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  16. Mr. Kent says:

    Conservative Ted-

    Your post is a perfect example of why Democrats/Progressive Presidential candidates have received the most votes in five of the last Presidential elections. You can only find reasons not to vote for Hillary Clinton, but gave not one reason to vote for her ultimate opponent, Jeb Bush ( He has already been anointed with the big money and named the same advisers that worked for his brother). And that is the republicans albatross.
    The GOP and it’s acclaimed conservative ” base” is on the wrong side of where the majority of the American people want to go.

    The “People” want immigration reform-The GOP cannot even bring itself to vote on anything in that regard.
    The “People” want ” Obamacare” fixed, improved, made better, not repealed and the country returned to the disaster and bankrupting practices that it replaced. – The GOP has no replacement in sight, only talk talk talk.
    The “People” want to move forward regarding Cuba and end the useless and silly cold war approach that has gained nothing for the last fifty years. The Republican party is caught in the fifties on this one too.
    And now we have Iran. The last independent polling I saw showed over 60% of The “People” want a negotiated deal and the one seemingly out there now covers most of it. This last week the Republicans in the Senate met to discuss ” bombing Iran” options with troglodytes like McCain and sedition minded neophytes like Sen. Cotten leading the charge.
    The “People” do not want banking regulations put back to the GWB years. Wall Street damage from having free reign was disastrous for millions and millions. that is what the GOP is pushing for now. Why? They are making money land the banks have not collapsed and retirement funds and 401Ks are steady.

    You talk of the deficit like only conservatives care about it. Phooey! Total nonsense! Everyone cares about it, it is a difference of how you deal with it. The conservative says ” cut taxes and domestic spending and it will go away.” Absolute absurdity that failed under GWB and started and failed with the Reagan presidency.
    Think about it! Republicans are either the slowest student in the class and are LD or else they just live in a bubble. Try that approach in your own household. Tell your wife tonight ” Hey Honey, I have a great idea on how we can save money and build our nest egg. We will take in 20% less income ( go tell your boss you want a pay cut tomorrow ) and we will eliminate those non essentials that middle income families have, those things you absolutely do not need to live day to day, you know, lights, butter the tv, electricity, the list is endless honey, and we will be rich in 20 years.”

    The strategy for the GOP vs. Hillary is to beat on Benghazi in congress and the senate using public money for another year and to beat on emails for another year in the hopes of bringing her approval rating down. Problem is, it does not raise the approval of any GOP opponent. The hope is to subdue voters in 2016. that along with making it harder for a certain ” group” of people to vote at all-college students, inner city non drivers, old people. You know-them.
    That is the strategy. Jeb says ” I am not my brother.” Benghazi! Emails! Monika-Ooops!

    The hate the other guy approach ( he is a Muslim, he is a socialist, he is not like us, obamacare has death panels ) failed miserably in 2012.

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  17. Two Cents says:

    dead on mr kent

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  18. Pete Klein says:

    Hillary has three things working against her and they are all politically incorrect observations.
    In no particular order they are – She is married to Bill Clinton; she is a woman and she is old.
    Jeb has the disadvantage of being a Bush.
    I wouldn’t make any bets as to who will run against whom until after the conventions.

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  19. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Can we get the “dynasty” issue out of the way as long as we’re talking about Vince Foster and Benghazi and stuff?
    Bill and Hillary, married and of the same generation. Neither has any powerful political ancestors or other family members. Probably too soon to talk about grandchildren and Chelsea doesn’t look like she is interested in a political life.
    Jeb Bush though, man! where do you start? 2 presidents, governors, senator, I think a Supreme Court justice in there somewhere, and all the ties to big oil and big business.

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  20. Conservative Ted says:

    Mr Kent, I don’t disagree on your points to a large degree and for the record, I’m not some far leaning right edge republican puppet as you may think. I’m undecided. This discussion was about the election but thanks for trying to make it into an unrelated argument.

    To keep this back on track and to honor the intent of the writer…

    One other thing that I’m surprised no has pointed out yet. The Republicans, in their glorious stupidity have made themselves into a 2 party system within itself. Since they are not conservative enough, they lose votes to the independents every election. So you basically start out with knowing (as a republican candidate) that a certain percentage that won’t vote for Hillary won’t vote for them either. They’ve screwed themselves.

    Like I said earlier, she can’t lose. I cannot see a single way, without some huge external force being applied (and I mean BIG) that she can lose. Everything that has been mentioned earlier is true, but for some reason, it all gets swept under the rug.

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  21. Conservative Ted says:

    I want to clarify an inaccuracy on my part, Brian Mann did mention the GOP is “fractured” and I take that to mean he has included the loss to Independents in that summation.

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  22. Mr. Kent says:

    Conservative Ted-

    No, I was on topic the whole comment. I specified why Hillary Clinton would win if she does and it will not be because she is a WOMAN, it will be because of the centrist/progressive platform she represents vs. the platform offered by the GOP candidate every year.

    Did you read what you wrote in your original comment? It is nothing but unrelated arguments on why Democrats are the Evil Empire. It repeated the Limbaugh manifesto. Quite frankly, it was insulting to the millions of voters who voted for Obama and any woman who decides to vote for Hillary Clinton. It was filled with dismissive racism and sexism, and that was the nicest parts.

    You said-
    ‘Blacks only voted for Obama because he is black.’ Well tell me just when that demographic was on the GOP bandwagon? What? too many of them voted when he ran? So, that is a bad thing in your world.

    ‘Women will vote for Hillary because she is a woman’. – My best advice to you is do not let your wife or mother or sister read your analogy on why women vote.

    You claim conservative victim hood over the ” race card.” whoa,, it is the right wing that always throws that red herring out there, and the whole baloney about Democrats do not understand the ” Constitution,” only a conservative is smart enough and patriotic enough and learned enough to interpret it. Such hubris.
    You say ” People are gullible and uninformed ” and unfortunately they will decide the next election. Well EXCUUUSE ME! What elitist group in your world is worthy of voting? No, you are saying any one who votes or thinks differently than you is ” uninformed.” As rush likes to call ” them'” ” Low information voters.”

    Demographics say it is predominantly white men and white women who vote for conservatives. do they do that only because of the ” white” factor? or does your black/black/ woman/woman voting factor only apply to democrats? Well, explain that one. Please do.

    No C.T. It is about ideology and nothing more. We are a progressive nation founded by men with very progressive ideas for their time and progressive ideas always win out in the end- Always. From women getting to vote, to FDR and the new deal and S.S. to civil Rights Act and Medicare and now it is written in stone: We will have national health care. That debate is over.

    In the end, if Hillary should win it will be because she is closer to where the American people are and where they want to go than Cruz, or Paul or who opponent to be Jeb Bush.
    And guess what? IF she loses, then the president in 2020 will be Elizabeth Warren, because four years of a GOP controlled House, Senate and WH will be the end of the modern day GOP on the national level. It nearly was after that scenario played out from 2000-2008.

    And that is the topic the whole article was based on. Is she stoppable? Not the stuff you wrote in your original comment.

    Have a great day.

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  23. dbw says:

    The Republican Party has a number of subgroups; evangelicals, social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, country club Republicans, and hard right, and some of these have very little in common or have much to do with one another. How often does a country club Republican cross paths with an rural evangelical even if they live in the same state? Or, how much does a fiscal conservative who could care less about social issues have to do with social conservatives? There could be place in national politics for a traditional moderate Republican Party. The ironies of ironies is that both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama governed as Rockefeller Republicans, and really driven the hard right nuts in the process. Many moderate Republicans have left the party and registered as Independents.

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  24. Conservative Ted says:

    Mr Kent, I didn’t really pay for an argument. I pointed to facts I experienced. I lost my healthcare (you can keep your provider…), I saw the long lines of black voters for the first time. I’m glad more people are voting but you just saw Hillary say “Isn’t it time you saw a woman in the WH?” Did I dream that or is that her platform? It is not me who is insulting the public, it’s the politicians. Do you honestly think in 2016 you won’t see a huge surge in the Spanish turnout? Obama is buying votes with YOUR MONEY (and mine).

    I pointed those things out to let you know I’m not a devoted democrat and I still agree with the article. I guess it was my way of saying “I’m not on “their” side but the author is right.”

    I’m note sure where you get your “facts” from because my research shows quite the opposite:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html

    Pick a poll, show me again how the country has spoken in favor of the democratic party. Show me how the populace is in favor of Obama-Care… Foreign policy and Iran deal? You must be smoking that Cali Tea because everything I see says people don’t trust them, to the tune of like 75% polled. There was a poll this morning that said 60% was in favor of the deal (MSNBC I think) and they haven’t even seen it yet! That’s my point!!! Ignorant of the deal, 60% for it. Thank you for enforcing it. You cite 2012? How about 2014? You state the GOP hasn’t done anything… how can they? Obama has made it very clear he would veto or “executive order” anything he didn’t want or wanted, respectively.

    What I said, I clarified with I am not a racist, and you have proven my point. If I disagree with you and if I point out real things and they aren’t PC, you label me a racist and chauvinist; neither of which is true. I’m a realist and am well aware of my surroundings. It’s a shame that the dialogue in this country has been one where the obvious can’t be discussed without being labeled racist or feminist or chauvinist or even anti Semitic.

    Take a look at Hillary’s announcement, it’s on youtube if you missed it. Count the people, then count the number white men that’s not gay or in a mixed race relationship. I’ll help you on this one since you seem challenged. It’s 3. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how insulting it must be to point out what I see with my own eyes, how terribly incorrect I must be. That was condescending (that means talking down to you). I apologize and digress…

    Oh BTW, she talks an awful lot about how she understands the people. She has a net worth of 21M and Bill has a net worth of 81M. Now I know a few people worth some money in those neighborhoods and I can assure you, they have no concept of how the middle class live. This is true of every politician, on both sides of the aisle and in all parties. You don’t get up on the 1st and hope your car repair didn’t hit yet and make you bounce your rent payment at that level.

    I’ll finish with this. I will 100% tell you I am not happy with the current POTUS and I think he is damaging this country in a profound way. For me being undecided, and I really am at this point, if you want to help your liberal party you really need to work on your sales skills.

    PS, I really enjoyed your article Brian, well written and it sparked some discussion. You can’t ask for more than that.

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  25. Conservative Ted says:

    dbw – You nailed it sir.

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  26. KBnyc says:

    “..Democrats have easily, handily, almost casually won 18 states and the District of Columbia which total 248 electoral college votes. What that means is that any Democratic candidate only needs to find 22 additional votes (somewhere, anywhere) to win the White House. Winning Florida would do it. It’s really that simple…”

    Really it’s NOT that simple. The latest poll shows Hillary losing Colo, Iowa, and Wis to a variety of candidates in head-to-head matches. And if Bush or Rubio is on the GOP ticket she cannot win Florida at all. Her approval rating among Democrats is a skinny 42%, down from 53% a year ago. The worst part will be the debates: imagine a 70ish Hillary standing next to a 40ish Rubiio, Walker, or Cruz…. a 50ish Paul, Jindal, or Christy, or even a young looking Ben Carson or Mike Huckabee? People will no longer ask who Grandma Moses is. Most Democrats don’t believe she was truthful about the emails. Instead of unstoppable label her The Inevitable Loser.

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  27. Mr. Kent says:

    Sorry TC, but Real clear Politics is an agenda driven propaganda site and everybody knows it. You look only under rocks that tell you what you want to believe. Expand your research and you will find more reliable resources.

    The AFCA
    http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-november-2014/
    17 percent say they support scaling back what the law does, 20 percent support moving ahead with the law as is, and 22 percent feel that the law should be expanded. That is 59% who do not want it repealed. Just fixed or expanded.

    “two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans also said that if the subsidies are stripped out, they want Congress to fix the problem, per a Kaiser poll.

    Iran-
    The ABC News/Washington Post poll says that, by 59%-31%, Americans support an agreement in which the U.S. and allies reduce sanctions on Iran if it gives up the means to make nuclear weapons.

    The problem for the GOP is that they are viewed historically unfavorably as a party. See congress, a GOP affair. That is why more than half of all republicans now do not want to call themselves a republican even though that is how they always vote. They prefer the term ” conservative.” Who wouldn’t?

    The republican party has offered no solutions or ideas. None. Zip and zero. That is why they refuse to discuss and vote on a plan for immigration reform or come up with a health care replacement even though they control congress and now the senate. they want responsibility or ownership of nothing.
    Tell me what solutions the GOP has put forth . Ya can’t. And that is why if Hillary Clinton wins it will be because she at least believes in something regardless if you like it or not. You can give me NO reason to believe in any republican person or platform or idea they have proffered. and that is the nub of it really, their only strategy is to create fear . the sky is falling. You do not see one republican run on their history as a governing body. GWB and his father are never mentioned. Or the economic and foreign ends to the conservative philosophy. While GWB did his best John Wayne impersonation North Korea went “nucular.”

    I am sad for you, you can find nothing to be for out there, only against. Who are you for? Why?

    I

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  28. Brian Mann says:

    KBNYC –

    The Democrats’ systemic advantage is so great that Colorado and Iowa aren’t even on the list of states that they consistently win. Those will be the battlegrounds. And to prevail, the GOP will have to capture almost all of the in-play states. Meanwhile, HRC just needs one or two wins. Not Florida? Fine, then maybe Colorado or New Mexico or Ohio or Missouri. Obviously, it’s possible that Republicans will find one candidate strong enough to run the table. But that doesn’t happen very often.

    Also, I’ll note that HRC is a strong debater. At various times, I’ve watched Jindal, Rubio, Carson, and Christie all turn in performances that she would dismantle. Obviously, some people might be turned off by her age. But for many voters, including the women voters who make up the majority of the electorate, that may actually play as a strength.

    –Brian, nCPR

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  29. Mr. Kent says:

    Brian Mann

    And what if Jeb Bush, the one candidate with the old guard money and power behind him, is her opponent? How do you see that competition and debates and likability factor in a Presidential race?
    Cruz and company are really just warm up acts to get the crowd loud in my view. Excite the base and then comes Jeb. And despite all the rhetoric by conservatives that he is not conservative enough for them, they will vote for him regardless. The Anti-Hillary vote.

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  30. Conservative Ted says:

    RealClear shows a combination of polls but in all honesty, I think Rasmussen is probably the most accurate but it’s hard to tell these days because you are right, they all lean where they want to.

    Who am I for? I don’t know yet. I honestly don’t. I feel an independent vote is a wasted vote so it will most likely be Hillary or her opponent, depending on who that opponent is and what I believe they can really offer.

    Why? And this is 100% opinion…

    Because I give a damn about my kids and their kids should they be here long enough to have them. I care that my father fought in WWII and my friends have lost limbs and lives for this country and our leader bows before our enimies. I care because I have a son fighting for this country right now and our POTUS doesn’t have the balls to stand up to our enemy. I care because the once great place I grew up in has become this PC charged, crock of crap where you can’t speak your mind without being labeled. I care about the simple fact that even my 9 yo gets… you can’t keep spending what you don’t have. I care because China owns us and Obama could care less because he’ll die a multimillionaire. I care because my rights are being taken every single day, little by little.

    I’ll stand and fight for those rights, the same rights my father and my son wrote a check for that equaled the amount of “up to and including my life.”

    So as you judge me for my views and opinions, consider this… I am for any candidate that stops the blatant BS, has the nuts to say “we have to cut spending and raise taxes or we will be bankrupt in 10-15 years (Your call on Elizabeth Warren is a good one, she specialized in bankruptcy if I recall). Any candidate that stops buying votes. And I mean all of them. A candidate who says if you want welfare, you have to pass a drug test. A candidate that says “instead of $25 a day for steak, how about a program that home delivers nutritional meals that have sustenance. (the last two would save BILLIONS). How about instead of unemployment we have “retrain for better career” instead of a check box that says you looked for a job?

    How about REAL healthcare for the poor, not some BS that straps the low income family and only helps in a catastrophic event. You see, I’m not some conservative that thinks the rich shouldn’t give back but the reality is, you tax a privately owned business an extra $50k a year do you really think the owner takes a pay cut? He tells his manager to cut $50k in salary and push the work downward. I’ve been there, I know this to be fact.

    I think we disagree on a lot of things but as I said in my very first post. I think Hilary is qualified. Much more so than the current POTUS. I think you are dead wrong about who I am or what I stand for. On the same note, I think you are dead right, the GOP has offered little to nothing. However, I also feel that is more than the negative effects of Obama. Being at zero is better than being in the negative in so many ways…

    At the end of the Day Mr Kent, I agree with you more than I think you know.

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  31. Brian Mann says:

    Mr. K –

    I think Jeb Bush is an interesting candidate. Lots of complex textures. The bottom line, though, in my early estimation is that he’s a politician’s politician, a truly establishment guy. He’s had political opinions all over the map, some of them really moderate, some of them pretty conservative. Which means that I find him kind of complex and interesting, but I think a lot of voters might find him muddled. I think he’d come very close to HRC in the popular vote. Whether he has the mojo to overcome the electoral college tilt, I’m skeptical.

    One other thing: I think Democrats are, for the most part, comfortable with another Clinton running. In their book – with the exception of the true liberal wing – she’s earned her shot. She’s not just part of a dynasty. Her resume looks like this: First lady, then US Senator, then top-tier presidential candidate, then Secretary of State. She’s kind of carved out her own niche.

    Jeb Bush? Governor Florida. And he hasn’t held any form of public office since 2007. That’s kind of a long time on the sidelines. Let me put the question this way: If his last name weren’t Bush, would anyone be thinking about him?

    -Brian, NCPR

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  32. Conservative Ted says:

    I have to say here, based on today (a lot can change in 18 months), if it were between Jeb and Hillary today, Hillary would get my vote. Although Jeb has the power to tap into two ex-presidents for knowledge and experience, Hillary has experience in today’s world.

    I think you are right Brian, if he wasn’t a Bush, would he even be a consideration? Probably not.

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  33. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Most Americans who care enough about politics to get their blood pressure up identify the same problems and worries; among them the debt, wars in the Middle East, the economy, etc.

    The problem is that people on the right and people on the left see the resolutions to those problems nearly exactly opposite. Ted is worried about his son fighting for our country — me too! but I’m on the side of we shouldn’t commit to military solutions to problems that can’t be solved militarily. The cost of our military interventions are staggering in dollars, in lives of those lost, and in the loss to those injured many of whom will never full recover.

    While Republicans have their beliefs on how to resolve all of these issues , I believe a careful and fair look at history shows that the positions taken by progressives tend to be the ones that work best. The sooner conservatives recognize that the better off we all would be. But I’m not holding my breath.

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  34. Conservative Ted says:

    Thanks, you knucklehead!

    I really didn’t mean to start a fiery debate here. But if there’s one thing I will remain, it’s honest in my views. It’s really a shame that the parties can’t combine and compliment each others talents. That won’t happen in our lifetime.

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  35. Mr. Kent says:

    I do think this. Hillary Clinton is the most qualified of any of the possible candidates I have heard of. I personally think she is tougher than all of the rest of them put together. Men talk tough, women are tough. she is no shrinking violet.
    This next election, if all stays relatively the same, cannot be won by a republican on jobs jobs jobs or raising the middle class. Their voice rings hollow on that one. It will not be about the deficit or any cerebral conjectures about the philosophical direction of America. The republican party will focus on military spending and might and gun boat diplomacy and claim foreign policy is making us weak and we have lost our respect. It will be about fear and mushroom clouds and how only they can make us ” strong” and keep us safe. I say ” baloney.” but that is the only playing card they have so that is the one they will play. It will be a playground for the neo cons to reassert themselves. And that should scare the bejeezus out of anyone.

    TC- Our personal life stories are very similar. Very. I just do not see one reasonable thing congress has offered that obama could possibly agree too. the fact he threatened to veto the 50+ congressional votes to repeal obamacare nonsense does not mean he has not tried to find a middle ground. Problem is with the present hard right wing controlled GOP there is no middle ground. compromise is a dirty word. It was never the goal of the GOP. Bad for elections back home.

    It will be interesting and billlions will be spent by the rich and powerful to tell everyone what to think. It will get ugly.

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  36. Conservative Ted says:

    I liked that last post Mr Kent. Like I said earlier, we agree on more than we think we do.

    Thanks for an interesting debate and some conversation. I appreciate you sticking to your guns and I hope you appreciate me sticking to mine.

    Lets both hope for a better tomorrow. (Think Disney).

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  37. The Original Larry says:

    If HRC is so well qualified to be President, can someone please tell me what her accomplishments have been? Not what positions she has occupied, but what she accomplished while she occupied them.

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  38. Mr. Kent says:

    Conservative Ted-

    Actually, I enjoyed your posts, they were thoughtful and heartfelt. The part that disappoints me in our present day government is the lack of statesmanship. It is a lost art. Nobody is right all the time and nobody gets everything they want. The whole constitution to begin with was a work of compromises. People seem to have forgotten that little fact. Fortunately for our country the founding fathers were by and large true statesmen and just as unfortunate for us all is today it is an all or nothing government. DOA is stated by leaders of all parties as a precursor to any proposal. that is not a starting point, that is the end of a conversation.

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  39. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    They have this thing called Google, Larry, and it provides lots of reading opportunity for whatever point of view you want to take, but try these.
    George Will full of bull on Hillary:
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/03/29/george-will-pretends-hillary-clinton-has-no-ach/203078

    USNews, Hillary did lots of stuff:
    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/leslie-marshall/2014/02/19/hillary-clintons-accomplishments-speak-for-themselves

    You’ll also find lots and lots of stories from right wing media about how Hillary hasn’t done a thing. I guess they don’t have access to Google like I do. Or maybe they have an agenda to paint Hillary as a person with no accomplishments for purely political reasons? But who would do that?

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  40. The Original Larry says:

    What I learned about HRC using Google (and Wikipedia):

    Her attempt at health care reform was an abject failure. So much for that “co-presidency” thing.

    She was the only First Lady to be subpoenaed. She had to testify about Whitewater and other scandals. Despite that testimony, we still don’t know the truth about Whitewater or Vincent Foster.

    Unlike a real feminist, she let her husband make a fool of her with Monica Lewinsky and again during the ensuing a scandal. What a start for the presumptive “First Woman President.”

    She initially supported military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, only to change her mind later (like someone else we know).

    She took responsibility for “Benghazi” but I’m not sure if that includes the deaths of several Americans, including our Ambassador.

    She was the first Secretary of State to visit Myanmar since 1955. Enough said.

    I could go on, but my coffee is getting cold.

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  41. Pete Klein says:

    As things now stand, I can’t say I would be thrilled or even somewhat happy if any of the current candidates were to become the next president.
    Maybe my problem is that I believe anyone who wants to be President is nuts. They all suffer from delusions of grandeur.

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  42. Scott Owen says:

    Why would anyone vote for someone who walked out on her last position amid controversy and cant even keep her email accounts straight?

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  43. Tatiana Romanova says:

    This is so so silly- no- the democrats don’t start off with 18 states and the district of columbia. Many of those states were not “won easily” actually just barely so and is the result of winning the general election.

    Bush and Obama ran four very close elections. Has no bearing on what will happen in the next general election where a Republican blowout is just as likely as a close election or a Democrat blowout

    Mrs. Clinton is a very polarizing figure and rarely tops fifty percent in the polls- and that’s among register voters. The electorate is always more Republican than that. Once the Repubs unite behind Walker, Rubio or Cruz, Mrs. Clinton will be trailing rather badly

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  44. Brian Mann says:

    Tatiana –

    The 18 states that I listed have voted Democratic in presidential elections every single time since 1992.

    Some of those contests have been close and it’s not inconceivable that the GOP will find a way to peel one or two away from the Democrats in 2016. (Wisconsin, in particular, might be vulnerable if Scott Walker runs.)

    But patterns like these are very difficult to shift in American politics. And the demographic trends that have created this systemic tilt in the electoral college have only grown in recent years.

    You are simply wrong about Obama having ‘close’ elections. The votes were reasonably close. But in the electoral college system that decides our elections, he won by landslide margins. (Bush did win narrowly)

    Finally in the most recent head-to-head poll against every top-tier Republican, Clinton has polled in the mid-50% range against the GOP’s low-to-mid 40% range, giving her between a 10- and 15point advantage. Here’s a link.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/18/politics/2016-election-poll-clinton-bush/index.html

    That fact combined with the tilt I’ve described in the electoral college system gives her a huge head-start.

    She may be beatable. But I don’t yet see how. And I still say that we begin the 2016 cycle with Clinton standing as the most dominant non-sitting-president candidate that I can recall.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  45. The Original Larry says:

    Sorry to keep bringing up such a sore point, Brian, but surely you remember (or at least have heard of) the election of 1980. Now, there was a dominant candidate!

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  46. Anita says:

    Brian M.,

    This is a solid post reminding us all that, in the end, the process determining who is elected President in 2016 is driven by that creaky institution known as the Electoral College. You can bet the ranch that the final two candidates and the people managing their campaigns aren’t going to forget about this fact for a second.

    The one factor that could mess up this tidy scenario would be a third party candidate like Ross Perot or Ralph Nader. I’m not sensing any appetite for that this time around, but campaign season is just starting.

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  47. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Larry, the funny thing is that I am not a huge Hillary supporter on policy issues because on many issues Hillary is too far Right for my taste, but the fact is that she is a highly accomplished person. I get that you don’t like her but it is pretty hard to imagine a resume better than hers.

    While I would love to have an Elizabeth Warren as Queen, the fact is that it is really hard to move the football very fast on the gridiron of the American legislative process and I’m happy to see regular small gains rather than a Hail Mary pass. So in the end I will happily vote for Hillary because once again the election is all about the Supreme Court and it would be a disaster, IMO, for a Republican to get a shot at a replacement for a liberal or even a centrist Justice.

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  48. bill shaver says:

    The methods used to Discredit Mrs Clinton will only backfire on those at the GOP 500 NASCAR RACE & the ones in the dem party who try to think they can smear her…It’ll only put egg on the face of those that attack her…Bravo…She’ll attain the seat on the prez ticket & win…bar none. As to her running mate….Mrs warren should be the one…but we”ll see.

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  49. Mr. Kent says:

    Until the GOP can find a candidate and a platform that people can vote for then winning a presidential election is a tough climb. The whole ” What has she ever done” debate is irrelevant because there is no opponent that can claim they have done more, and in most cases they have done nothing at all. Jeb Bush might try to make the experience claim, but he is the same guy who as Governor of Florida could not even run a State election without it ending up a mess and in the Supreme Court.
    Rubio speaks well and will be in the primaries a long time. His problem is he has said things so far to the right that the back splash will make it hard for him to sell himself as a moderate to the general public.
    As I stated a few days ago, the GOP will make this a foreign policy election. Apparently that is the case. That is a risky card to play. If they over play it they will appear to be a bunch of wild eyed gunslingers.
    Honestly, is there really any one who will have their opinion changed about Hillary Clinton after all these years? I just do not believe that one bit.

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  50. The Original Larry says:

    “The whole ” What has she ever done” debate is irrelevant ”

    No, it is not. The same question should be asked of all candidates, especially those who have occupied important positions and who are trying to leverage their experience. We are suffering the consequences of electing someone just because their candidacy was a “good idea.”

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