QOD — Challenging Hillary for the Democratic Nomination

Filed in National by on August 18, 2014

Who could do it? Andrew Sabl at Samefacts asks this question, and sets up what any challenger to Hillary Clinton (presuming again that she is running) would need to look like:

Any Democratic candidate jumping in at this point will have to have already demonstrated party loyalty, actual or likely executive skills, and the ability to win a majority of votes in both a party primary and a general election. Moreover, it would help if that candidate had a record of early and loud opposition to doing “stupid [stuff]” in the Middle East—the same issue that sank Hillary in 2008, and that deserves to sink her now—and a history of running, long before Elizabeth Warren, as a candidate of “the people” against “powerful forces.” It would help if the candidate had vast personal wealth, maybe not enough to self-finance a whole campaign, but enough to buy a campaign infrastructure and the advertising to compete immediately in early primary states, as well as strong and deep connections to Silicon Valley, the only serious rival to Wall Street (Clinton’s base) as a source of campaign cash. It would help, morally if not politically, if the candidate were universally regarded as caring fervently and persistently—as Clinton palpably does not—about the biggest issue of our time, global warming. Finally, it would be great if the candidate had a demonstrated willingness to tick off both Clintons, and were old and accomplished enough not to care about the future consequences of doing so if the challenge failed—though let’s say not too much older than Hillary Clinton, or a tiny bit younger.

The candidate he is describing here is Al Gore — who Sabl notes doesn’t look like he is coming out of retirement any time soon. Al Gore is interesting to consider — his campaign in 2000 wasn’t particularly good and the CW was that his campaign really squandered their opportunity. In his tour to promote An Inconvenient Truth, I think that he demonstrated to a bunch of people that he wasn’t the stiff automoton that he came off as on the campaign trail. Still, you’d have to craft quite the story of an Al Gore who has learned the lessons of that campaign to think this would be possible. Intriguing, I definitely admit.

But who else could credibly challenge her? I know lots of people want Elizabeth Warren to run, but I think money would be an issue for her. Sherrod Brown’s name comes up too, as does Matrin O’Malley’s. Tell us what you think about a potential challenger to Hillary for the Democratic nomination.

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (8)

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  1. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    The Democrats need, almost as much as the Republicans, a primary if for no other reason that to fire up their base.

    It appears Hillary Clinton will win that exercise, however, I do not see that as a foregone conclusion. Hillary is not Bill. Bill was a very skilled politician. Very few 20th politicians, including Hillary, have Bill’s political savvy. She is likewise far more prone to crippling missteps.

    Don’t really know enough about Elizabeth Warren to speak about here. I suspect, however, that corporate American will spend recklessly trying to upend her if she runs.

    I think Hillary’s most serious challengers are likely to be Martin O’Malley or Jerry Brown. O’Malley is described as a top notch fundraiser and a charismatic speaker. The last quality, if true, will cause uncomfortable contrasts to Hillary. Jerry Brown has the recent success of turning California away from the brink of financial collapse. He is charismatic and accomplished. He’s run for the office before and understands the process. Likewise, my bad recollection is that he made it to the convention when Bill was nominated.

    Biden will be a non-factor because he is too closely tied to O”Bama – a negative both inside and out of the Democratic electorate. Bernie Saunders is too much of an unknown outside the beltway and his puny home state of Vermont. Plus he’ll never make it past the south. Andrew Coumo could make significant headway against Hilary but he hasn’t done a thing, as best I know, to position himself for a run. At this point, its other people talking about him running – not him talking about it. Coming from New York, as Hillary does, will split that state and he likely loses the split.

  2. hmmm says:

    Jerry Brown is not running.

    O’Malley may run but doubtful against Hillary. That said his PAC has been very active for years.

    Warren is the one to watch. Maybe Deval Patrick.

  3. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    Stand to be corrected but I though Duval Patrick flat out said he will not run in 2016 – maybe later – but not 2016.

    If Jerry Brown already said no, that’s news to me.

    I understand that Elizabeth Warren (is she related to the late Supreme Court Chief Justice of the same name?) was not interested but has not blocked or renounced a 2016 PAC supporting her candidacy.

  4. Calvin Sparks says:

    I am a member of the Sherrod Brown wing of the Democratic Party. I hope Senator Brown runs!

  5. cassandra_m says:

    Jerry Brown seems to have endorsed Hillary already for the nomination. I supported Brown in 92 (right?), and he would be an interesting choice. Making California run again is a great place to campaign from, although I don’t think that the obstructionists could be so easily dealt with at the Federal level.

  6. Jim C. says:

    Don’t count Bernie Sanders out. His common sense message appeals to even registered Republicons in Vermont. He would grab a lot of tea party votes because of his reform minded ideas. BTW, I’ve contributed to him but not a dime to any Delaware candidate!

  7. MikeM2784 says:

    Brown is 76 and Sanders 72. I like both of them for various reasons, but I think age would be a factor.

  8. AAuen says:

    I am so sick of hearing about Senator Warren. She will not run for President, she is still very wet behind the ears.

    I would like to see Brown run, he won’t, but he’d be a great choice. I also think we should consider Sen. Mccaskill. She is a force in the Southern Democratic party… she could win the south for the democrats