For a while, now, there have been speculations and prognostications about whether Hillary Clinton will run for the presidency in 2016. The PAC “Ready For Hillary” was founded for the express purpose of persuading her to run. Its first public appearance? Less than a week after the 2012 re-election of Obama. (Facebook page- joined November 10, 2012)
If we look back to 2008, there was also a sense of inevitability – probably carefully cultivated – about HC being the Democratic nominee. Then that other guy showed up.
At the time, I had mixed feelings. I figured Obama was inexperienced as a first-term senator, and that he could benefit from waiting a cycle or two. But I didn’t like Clinton’s employing the personal negatives that she had so decried when they were used against her husband. And I wasn’t willing to accept the “inevitability” narrative. And I worried that the Clinton name, and her femaleness, would cause the right wing to oppose her with venomous bitterness without regard for policy ideas.
Okay, so that last worry happened anyway…
But here’s why I’m still not ready for Hillary.
First of all, I think speculation that started more than three years before the Iowa caucuses is a little early. Can we wait and see how the 2014 midterm elections play out?
Second, I want to see real competition. Having the 800-pound gorilla of politics in the race could crowd out other candidates. And I don’t even know who they are yet!
Third, I’d like to see at least one of those candidates be a truly progressive candidate, one who will work hard for the poor and stand up to Wall Street. I’m pretty sure that “standing up to Wall Street” isn’t a top priority for an HRC presidency. And she isn’t really a progressive.
I started this draft in November 2013. Never got much past the Elizabeth Warren commentary from the New Republic, above. But then I saw this morning that she is still playing coy.
Come on. “I am considering it, but I’m not committed one way or another, yet.” Is that too much to say? How about, “I’d like to see a vigorous and robust primary campaign, in which many Democratic candidates put forth their visions for the future of this country.” Or “Ask me after the November midterms, and I’ll be ready to answer you then.”
Or even, “Yeah, I’m going to run. Bring it!” At least that way we’d have a couple years for potential primary opponents to consider if they wanted to support her or mount their own challenge. And the barrage of negativity from Fox News would be, at the very least, old news by the time voters really start paying attention. If she’s worried that that the inevitable attacks might drop popularity ratings, then why not give herself time to claw back?
So, I’m ready to see who else is out there. Not that I don’t support her. I hope she’d be tougher in working with a republican-controlled House than Obama was. Senator, Secretary of State, and of course one of the more experienced White House hands. I think Hillary is ready, but I’m not, quite, yet. Let’s watch some debates, see some retail politics, and have a competition instead of a coronation.