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The Hill’s Poison Pen: Democrats Already Moving On

Waiting for Hillary, who's still in TBD mode.

Waiting for Hillary, who’s still in TBD mode.

UPON President Obama’s return to Washington, what greeted the Obama White House was the most devastating of all developments that will very likely make the Obama guard dogs nervous, if not rabid. The Hill announced the Beltway is moving on. Elite Democrats already making way for Hillary, starting to knock on her door to help them get elected in 2014.

It comes just after Senator Claire McCaskill suddenly and surprisingly endorsed her 2016 candidacy, then admitted that Hillary Clinton had called her after she did.

“She did call me after this all happened the other day; we had a great conversation. I’m not going to talk about what we said but I think she’s got a big decision to make and I think she’s in the process of making it, and I think the more people that are out there urging her to run, I think it will help grow the grass-roots effort.” – Senator Claire McCaskill [on "Morning Joe"]

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand began this “grass-roots effort” over a year ago when she stated, “I’m going to be one of the first to ask Hillary to run in 2016.”

The object is to give Hillary Clinton no choice but to take on the presidency again, which I wrote also over a year ago in “Hillary’s No.”

The Hill’s mischief reveals elite Democrats are looking forward too, which should trouble the Obama administration, because it threatens to throw the trip wire on Obama’s lame duck status before immigration reform and other important second term agenda items can be concluded. Talking about President Obama’s “star power could fade,” sounds like typical Beltway curse material in a short attention span media environment that’s always waiting for the next big story.

It’s important to note that Hillary Clinton has kept herself under the radar since leaving the State Department, being nothing but a loyal soldier for President Obama and the Administration, with these types of stories unhelpful and nothing a new start on a brand new presidential run needs. What’s in Hillary’s interest, as well as the country’s, is that President Obama stay effective as long as possible, so you can bet Hillary isn’t interested in jeopardizing that and neither is anyone who wants to see her Twitter TBD turned into a 2016 announcement.

The opening line of The Hill article is intentionally meant to burn, as well as churn up old grudges, the surest way Clinton’s potential White House bid could become unnecessarily contentious by dredging up ’08 wounds, something on which I’m an expert. Nothing would make the Beltway bunch happier than to see big battle headlines of old. It brings eyes to the page and sells advertising, even if it doesn’t help Obama or Clinton or Democrats, let alone the future of the country, which is the only thing that matters to Hillary Clinton. An excerpt from the article:

Democrats in Washington are starting to shift from the Obamas to the Clintons. …

“The political focus of the Democratic Party will shift to Hillary, and in some ways it has already,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), who, as a staunch Clinton supporter, has an interest in seeing his forecast come true.

… “There is a cautious presumption that the nomination is hers for the taking,” said Phil Singer, deputy communications manager for Clinton’s 2008 campaign.

That caution is in place for a reason: There is a danger that Clinton could peak too early. She was the heavy favorite in the 2008 Democratic race before narrowly losing to Obama.

The nonsense that Hillary Clinton “could peak to early” is conventional Washington wisdom that misses by a mile something far larger. It’s not the peak that matters, but the initial trajectory of the campaign that does. The WHY IS SHE RUNNING? thing, the purpose behind her candidacy thing, but also who is standing behind her when she announces, if that’s what she chooses to do.

What Clinton needs behind her is a deep bench of women from all generations, including sitting senators. If Clinton announces, the change has to be in the first image that blasts across the media. When she announced in 2007, she was sitting in her home on a couch covered in beautiful floral fabric, taking boring questions from the masses, something I criticized out of the gate. By the time she ended the 2008 campaign she’d turned into Fighting Hillary, with masses of middle class and working women and men behind her as she fought for the American dream. There won’t be a chance for this evolution in 2016. Hillary and her team will have to make the statement behind her campaign from the start and it must begin with a change means electing the first female president of the United States, because the best, most qualified candidate happens to be a woman.

No one is going to elect a woman for the sake of it, not in America.

Whatever men have to work for, women have to work even harder, while accepting less for it, wait longer and come with more money, more backing and more of a surge into the field than any man needs.

The bar for Hillary’s potential announcement is already sky high, so don’t think for a second this will be a walk. It won’t be on any scale. One glitch or bad move and you’ll have the Game Change boys and the chattering cliterati, led by Maureen Dowd, Peggy Noonan as back up, prematurely announcing Hillary’s blown it.

Gillibrand, McCaskill, Emily’s List, eventually, this will be a start, but to make it work Hillary Clinton will have to have millennial women behind her, even those who don’t agree fully with her on everything, standing up to say that men have tried for over 200 years and it’s our turn now. Not because it’s owed to us, though it is after all the men we’ve put in office, including the White House, but because the best candidate qualified to take on the job of the presidency is Hillary Clinton.

I’ve been voting for decades and I can’t remember a man I voted for that I agreed with on all things. So, here’s a news flash, Hillary Clinton will be no different. We will also have to hold her accountable, because this is no fan club. It’s about the future of this country and the reality that every single politician must be moved in directions that put America on a more progressive trajectory when it’s easier to do it the old fashion way that hasn’t worked before.

Given the entrenched nature of getting elected in the American political system this won’t be easy. It never is.

For now, however, we wait, hoping President Obama recovers from his air balls.

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13 Responses to The Hill’s Poison Pen: Democrats Already Moving On

  1. guyski June 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Reading the The Hill piece titled ‘Dems start Obama-to-Clinton transition’ a more apt title would be ‘Dems poiticians think about themselves when it comes to Clinton’

    I’m sure Clinton is well aware of that (hopefully).

  2. Cujo359 June 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    “standing up to say that men have tried for over 200 years and it’s our turn now.”

    Economic conservatives have been running the country for 35 years now. Turns out we’ve confirmed that the Chicago School’s Spontaneous Combustion Theory of macro economics doesn’t work. I’d say it’s time we tried something else. Whoever, and whatever, that candidate is I’ll gladly support him or her.

    Meanwhile, I’m already bored with the possibilities for 2016, but thanks for the warning.

  3. fangio June 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Everyone runs from a loser , it’s a no brainer. Aside from Nixon when was the last time a second term president was a lame duck six months in. Most amazing are the constant assurances that things are different this time. But nothing is different this time. He continues his slow walk through history while having absolutely no effect on it.

    • Solo June 21, 2013 at 1:20 am #

      “Everyone runs from a loser”! I am just amazed at the things you write!

  4. T-Steel June 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    I dread a “Hillary for 2016″ campaign. And it has nothing to do with her aptitude, skill set, etc. It has to do with her being around too long and too deep. Hillary is not the wrong person for the job. She’s not the wrong woman for the job. She’s just wrong for the time. Obama is going weird and Twilight Zone-ish. And it’s going to get more weirder. Hillary is straight old-guard and old-school. And raising up after Obama is just going bring too much nonsense into the fray.

    All that being said, I MAY come out of my 3rd Party constant vote and throw one Hillary’s way if she’s in the Top 2. I care less about Kirsten Gillibrand or Claire McCaskill and their endorsements. They just seem so fake to me. Hillary has never seemed fake to me which is why she almost kneecapped Obama in ’08.

    • newdealdem1 June 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      ” And it has nothing to do with her aptitude, skill set, etc. It has to do with her being around too long and too deep. Hillary is not the wrong person for the job. She’s not the wrong woman for the job. She’s just wrong for the time.”

      What? You are usually very measured and rational in your comments, T-Steel. Not so in those sentences.

      Clinton has everything need to do the job of POTUS but she’s just wrong for the time? Really? When in these times, the GOP has continued to treat and think of women as chattel and the new enslaved population and by all indications will not stop trying to entrap women as chattel for years to come (especially if they win back the Senate), there is NO ONE who can fight off these men (and the entrapped women who might as well be men) as Hillary Clinton can fight them as she has fought the right wing hate machine for two decades now. As Obama has not or will not do as he has a focused mania to do a grand bargain with the GOP which imho Clinton will not do not when it comes to those who are disadvantaged in our country. She was against NAFTA. She was for a program similar to that enacted by the FDR administration, HOLC http://tinyurl.com/lfam85f which would have helped those homeowners who were in danger of losing their homes because of the egregious crimes of the banks. Her plan was to deal with Main Street first before she tackled the Health Care plan (which was much more progressive than Obama’s which was modeled after the Dole plan which was proposed as an alternative to “Hillarycare”) in her first year as POTUS.

      She was also against FISA and voted against it.

      Also, how about voting rights which have been under attack for years now by the GOP? And, now we will have a Supreme Court decision (maybe by tomorrow) to do away with those rights which have been in effect and part of our rights as Americans or half a century now? Hillary has been fighting for voting rights since the 1960′s when she (and Bill) went to Texas and other southern states to register non-whites to vote.

      She is also in favor of soft power (as many of her enemies on the far left and far right continue to paint her as a HAWK who has no time for diplomacy who like McCain wants to bomb everything in site which is a falsehood). She’s very much like the late Richard Holbrook who believed in soft power first and foremost to effect change and tried to intercede when she was SOS but she was never part of Obama’s circle of trusted “friends” and “cohorts” who trusted neither Clinton nor Holbrook.

      Name me one person who is a 3rd party person who has the “right stuff” to be POTUS. No one that I can see who can win anyway. And, there is no one except for VP Biden who has a chance to win in 2016. The rest of the Dem field is as weak as a watered down and over-priced drink in a long ago gay bar (as the history goes). :)

      “I care less about Kirsten Gillibrand or Claire McCaskill and their endorsements. They just seem so fake to me.”

      T-Steel, please don’t compare Gillibrand with McCaskill. While I totally agree with you about McCaskill (her endorsement has more to do with her own survival as a member of the Senate in her next run: she wouldn’t have won in ’12 if her opponent was anyone other than the crazy, hot mess of a so-called human, Todd Akin and McCaskill played him brilliantly and even called for people to support him to win the GOP primary. Most politicians want to survive to legislate another 2 to 6 years, but McCaskill’s recent move to support Hillary Clinton was nothing more than an insurance policy for her next run.

      Gillibrand is not McCaskill. She’s not a phony. And, I will not explain why that is not the case because it’s as obvious to most people as can be.

      • Solo June 21, 2013 at 2:02 am #

        I plan to vote for Hillary Clinton mainly because she will probably be a much better option than anything the GOP will likely be offering in 2016. Another reason I plan to vote for her is to witness how people like you react when the reality of a Hillary Clinton Presidency doesn’t live up to the fantasy you’ve manufactured. When I read posts like yours I wonder if I am the only one who remembers that HRC made a slew of managerial missteps during her 2008 campaign. Packing her campaign staff with overpaid loyalist and hired guns, Mark Penn being the most notable. Concentration on big states and ignoring the small ones giving Obama the opening he needed. As for the FISA thing, a future President Hillary Clinton will use that court just like all the others have since it’s inception 35 years ago. Finally, pointing out that the Clinton health plan from 20 years was more progressive than Obamacare would make sense if it for one critical point. President Obama got his healthcare plan past into law, the Clinton’s couldn’t even get a vote in the Senate on their bill.

      • T-Steel June 21, 2013 at 7:30 am #

        “What? You are usually very measured and rational in your comments, T-Steel. Not so in those sentences.”

        You are 100% right newdealdem1. I was not measured nor fully rational in that comment. And I don’t apologize for it. See, maybe you, our wonderful host Taylor, and others are looking forward or can stomach “Hillary for 2016″. I can’t. And it’s nothing about her skillset. It has to do with the gleeful sideshow of rehashing EVERYTHING she’s ever done and turning it into “stupid”. And it will be OVER-INFLATED because this country’s mood and tolerance of the spectacle. Hillary’s deep and rich political history will be used as a sledgehammer against her. And the popcorn crunching crowd will beg for more more and more. Yes there are other politicians with deep and rich political history. But Hillary is just too known and too much of a household name to not get WAY TOO MUCH sideshow nonsense thrown up. And it will be a TREMENDOUS distraction. I wish it was different for her. But that’s the way I see it,

        “Gillibrand is not McCaskill. She’s not a phony.”

        Yes I was completely off-base with Kirsten Gillibrand. I unfairly lumped her into the McCaskill Bucket. Part of my “unmeasured-ness”. Actually I think Kirsten Gillibrand running in 2016 instead of Hillary Clinton would generate less distracting “noise” (I would hate to see her and Hillary slug it out in the Democratic primary). But see looks to be an ardent Hillary supporter so that’s a done deal. I think. Never know when it comes to politics.

        “Name me one person who is a 3rd party person who has the “right stuff” to be POTUS. No one that I can see who can win anyway.”

        Sorry newdealdem1. Have heard that plenty of times to say that my 3rd party vote was wasted and it has never dissuaded me in the slightest. First and foremost, it would be a HUGE step for me just to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton since she’s part of the Democratic Party. Because I would have to toss out my intense dislike of both parties (if she was an independent, I would be trying to become part of the campaign….LOL). But as of right now, I will still continue my 3rd party protest vote for the 2016 presidential election UNLESS “something” changes.

  5. Joyce Arnold June 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I think this kind of thing is part of the ever popular “Is it (in this case) 2016 yet?” That thoroughly predictable and bipartisan little question is one of the best snapshots of our two party, “it’s our System and we won’t let anyone else play” game.

    That’s not to say, of course, Hillary doesn’t have a very important decision to make, or take anything away from the fact she has, does and will make very clear how gendered our political and so governance systems are. She’s already made a huge statement about that, whatever else she does.

  6. Ga6thDem June 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Obama never has been a down ticket kind of guy. He’s good at winning elections for himself but not so much for other people. I think this is because he really has no core beliefs and if you don’t have those and issues to rally around, then you pretty much just make it about the person.

  7. fairmindedindependent June 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Yes, I totally agree. There has never been a female President. I think its about time to at least give a woman a chance at the Presidency. I also think its too early for 2016 myself.

  8. lynnette June 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    I agree that should Hillary announce her candidacy, she should have a deep, diverse group of women supporting her… as well as men. I also think her campaign team/strategists/spokespeople should consist of quite a few women – younger ones as well as older from different ethnic groups. And she must express what her vision for the country will be – capturing the imagination of the people for their future. Above all, she just needs to be herself. P.S. Bill should be a supporting cast member where he can do the most good, but not a major player, imo.

  9. lynnette June 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Hillary does have to be careful and mindful of President Obama’s administration. He’s only begun his second term and much still needs to be done without 2016 distractions. On the other hand, it would be good if she helped support the 2014 candidates. There’s probably a happy medium somewhere.

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