IT’S NOT difficult to answer the question asked by the National Journal today about 2016. No one is thinking about the top three female senators, because all the buzz if for Hillary. Hillary’s lunch with President Obama is the occasion for more chatter.
If you’re thinking, why Amy Klobuchar, the real question should be, why not? The same goes for New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. All three have suddenly become staples of Democratic buzz and short lists, right along with Hillary Clinton. And while they may not be making as many headlines as Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz, they have the records and resumes to be taken just as seriously. What Took So Long For Three Women Senators to Get Presidential Buzz? [National Journal]
Actually, Elizabeth Warren is talked about every time Hillary Clinton is brought up in conversation or emails when 2016 is discussed. Progressives would love nothing more than Elizabeth Warren mounting a primary challenge to Clinton. It would be great, even if it’s wholly unlikely.
As for Amy Klobuchar, as the National Journal writes, she’s seen as a prospect for vice president if Clinton doesn’t run and a man once again gets the nod, because she hails from Minnesota, not a normal presidential state. But her leadership says she’s ready.
And while Klobuchar’s visit with Iowans at the Democratic convention last year could be interpreted as a neighborly gesture, that doesn’t explain her meeting with delegates from the early primary state of South Carolina.
As for substance, Klobuchar won national awards for fighting crime, making drunk driving a felony, and improving school safety during two terms as Hennepin County attorney (which includes Minneapolis). In the Senate she has championed consumer protection and promoted bipartisanship; she says she has introduced two-thirds of her bills with Republicans. “Her leadership style is different from Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. I don’t think that’s a liability, I think that’s an asset,” says Liszt.
Then there is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who came out early to announce she’d be personally asking Hillary Clinton to run in 2016 once the decision got closer. Gillibrand has led a campaign to get sexual assaults out of the chain of command of the military and has raised a lot of cash for Democrats, quietly building her own resume. She’s another serious contender if Hillary Clinton opts out. Gillibrand is out of a long line of New York pols who have already cemented her “strong on terror” image that includes staunch support of Israel on all things Middle East.
The talk remains that Hillary hasn’t decided, doesn’t know, but the odds still tilt that she eventually makes the decision to run. Odds aren’t knowing, but as you see from the two posters below, that hasn’t kept graphics artists from putting together 2016 and Hillary.
The first graphic below is from a 2008 poster and it hangs in my office, minus the 2016 addition, which has been seen around the web. The second graphic is from Hillary Clinton’s official site, with the 2016 added when a wild rumor spread in early 2013 that Clinton was definitely running in 2016, because a Greek supporter of former Pres. Bill Clinton confirmed he had knowledge of something wildly speculated upon.
All the talk in the last few days got ginned up not only because we’re heading to the lazy political summer hiatus, but because later today Hillary will have lunch with her former boss, President Barack Obama. It’s as good as any excuse to take the subject out again for a spin.