Way Too Fishing Early, 2016 Democratic Primary Edition

by Russell M.

So I got bored at work and decided to turn my mind towards the next, next election because… well because I have no soul at this point, I think. Seriously, writing about 2016 right now is really really stupid because no-one (not even gay math wizard Nate Silver) knows how 2014 is going to turn out. As this is just my thoughts and play-by-play of the future, I welcome any and all comments, quibbles, arguments, and your thoughts on my thoughts fellow league members.

First off I will sort out the contenders into 4 tiers.

Tier 1: Hers if she wants it.

Hillary Clinton: Pros: Four years as Secretary of State with mainly positive press has made Hillz the presumptive favorite in my mind.  If she declares then the field will more or less clear as all of the money goes to her. Has the Big Dog in her back pocket. Cons: Still a Clinton, her announcement will quintuple Drudge’s daily hits, because if anyone is willing to misrepresent, fabricate, and out and out lie about the Clinton’s it is Matty Drudge. Has the Big Dogs baggage. If you loved the 90’s Clinton hate fest prepare to feast once she announces.

Tier 2: Praying Hillary does not run caucus

VP Joe Biden: With 8 years as VPOTUS and his own long career of public service (plus his hulk smash of Paul Ryan in the VP debate) makes Old-Handsome Joe the favorite should Hillary decide she does not wish to join the cluster-frack again.  Add in the support from the “Obama Machine” (OFA and the president himself) I believe Joe will roll the non Hillz field.  He has always been better at playing “just folks” then any other eligible democrat I can think of.

Governor Andrew Cuomo: Runs a large state and has a track record of stabbing his more liberal coalition members in the back (see NY state senate elections of 2012, where he mostly sat out.) Pros: Loved by Wall St. money, has good hair and able to speak in complete sentences. Has a mostly NY liberal record. Cons: Some members of the party hate backstabbing and deal-making with republicans. Has not been a BFF to labor.  Loved by Wall St.

Tier 3: Outside looking in gang

Senator Liz Warren: Pros: Has name recognition, liberal record, foe of big banks and other titans of finance. Generates My Little Pony levels of fandom from most of the base. Cons: The big money largely hates her with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Will be called a socialist about 10 million times because she is more Liberal than the President. Is a Woman (still think that’s going to be an issue).

Martin O’Malley & Deval Patrick: Pros: Both run what appear to be competent state governments, have liberal records, and both had speaking spots at the 2012 convention (where Patrick killed O’Malley, by the way).  Cons: Little name recognition, both are NE liberals who may not play in the rest of the country.  I give Patrick a slight edge over O’Malley due to the convention speeches – which is the only time I can recall them sharing the same space and audience.

Tier 4: Dark-horses

Brian Schweitzer: Pros: Moderate to conservative Governor of Montana, former and Current business man, has a lot of appeal to moderate voters of both parties, has won two elections in the reddest of red states.  Cons: Has shown little intrest in running for higher office, hates D.C with fiery passion.  Not a lot of name recognition outside of MT. Pisses of the liberal base something fierce from time to time.

Governor John Hickenlooper: Pros: Former businessman, has signed legislation that liberals like (civil unions, gun control) and is seemingly okay with pot legalization. Cons: John who?

Governor Jerry Brown: Pros: Runs the largest state in the union.  Has shown an ability to work within and without the system to pass his agenda.  If California is still showing job-growth and a balanced budget in 2015, Gov. Moonbeam’s light may shine bright enough to consider running.  Cons: Older then dirt.  Is nicknamed moonbeam. Is very liberal.  Should have ran in 92.

Both of the Brothers Castro: Because they are photogenic, come from Texas, and are hispanic/latino/whatever, which does factor in.  From their TV appearances and speeches that I have seen, both are smooth on the stump.  Cons: The name Castro, lack of big money, doubtful they could carry their own state in the general.

With that I end the first installment of Way Too Fishing Early, 2016 edition. When this was in my head it was a much shorter article, but expanded due to dark matter. Next up we will run through some possibilities for how the race might shape up.

And if you think I missed anybody feel free to hit me up in the comments.

 

(image: CBSNews.com)

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57 thoughts on “Way Too Fishing Early, 2016 Democratic Primary Edition

  1. Cory Booker, assuming he wins the NJ Senate seat, will probably be pushed to run. I personally don’t see it happening until 2020 (if a Republican wins in 2016) or 2024 (if a Democrat wins), but he definitely should be on the list.

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  2. First off, when did Maryland join the northeast? Tsk, tsk.

    To echo Adam, keep an eye on Cory Booker. I agree that 2016 will likely be too soon, but he’s worth watching.

    I had originally hoped to see him challenge Christie for governor, as that would have been quite the battle and Booker is probably the one guy who can take Christie down right now. We may end up seeing them face off in a Presidential battle one day.

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    • i left booker off because he could lose the senate election. i would bet money he will win but never say never. he could have even worse twitter problems than carlos danger.

      but if he wins I am sure his name will be floated.

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    • The presidential slate draws from prepresidential career politicians Burt. The South has been growing increasingly barren of successful Dem politicians for quite a long time now. I’d expect this trend to continue until a generation of hispanic Dem politicians begin to arise (assuming, as I am, that the GOP continues to insanely drive that entire demographic group screaming into the arms of the Democratic Party).

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      • that was largely the way I see it. The southern Democratic Governers are to conservative to win the dem’s nod. and I can’t really think of a party powerhouse from the south who has any q-value.

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  3. I thought Brown did run in 1992? The fact that he ran in ’92 is sort of the entire pro-/con- of the man.

    1992 Moonbeam to Clinton’s New Democrats; 2013 Governor of California (and still Moonbeam?). Impressive.

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    • Yep, he did run in 1992. But given his political rebirth, he could be a contender in 2016. He’s apparently helped California make a pretty big turnaround. Of course, he had to raise taxes to do so. The whole Gov. Moonbeam thing works against him, as does his age. I think he’ll be 74 in 2016. I also doubt he’ll run. My impression is that he sees fixing California, if he can, as the crowning achievement of his political career.

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      • Jerry was apparently quite sick about a year ago; he looked horrible on TV. Maybe it was just stress from dealing with so much pressure of the recession-impelled austerity budgets. He seems to be doing better these days, but it also seems to me that he’s still a bit weary.

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      • Jerry is my most likeable liberal candidate. and 74 is the new fifty, what with medical advances and the healing power of the moon focused on him.

        Plus he is seeming to turn Cali around. adding jobs, raising taxes and cutting the state’s debt! that’s just unpossible not to like

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    • The Moonbeam stuff is even sillier now, after his stint as the best hands-on mayor Oakland had in (at least) decades. But of course it would be dredged up, along with the fact that he didn’t marry until he was 67 and was presumably not celibate before that.

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  4. It’s too fishing early Doc.
    I would think it’s between Hillary and Joe too, then again the Dems have a racaus nomination process and O tipped over H’s applecart in 2008. I won’t lie, I love Hilldog but I feel mildly unhappy about our two leading contenders being so elderly.
    I think who the GOP looks to be set to nominate may influence things as well. If they nominate another Romney or other standard GOP drone 2012 and the Dems nominate Hillary (and the Obama machine aligns with her as the Pres has strongly implied he would) then we’re looking at carnage for the GOP.

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  5. I assume that the headline is a typo (to/too). There are also a few in the OP body (of/off, than/then, apostrophe, comma and hyphen issues, etc.) but I would recommend at minimum fixing the headline.

    Sorry to be that guy. :-(

    RE: the actual content. I like Booker; Hillary I like (but wish she wasn’t a Clinton, as I dislike the idea of presidential dynasties); if we ever have a President Biden, I will threaten rhetorically to move to Canada but will be far too lazy to actually do so, especially when there will be so much brilliant comic entertainment so readily-available here.

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    • Glyph, does 2 really count as a dynasty? I always have found that entire line odd. It’s not like America hasn’t ever had Presidents who were related to each other before. Long before the Bush’s too*.

      *Though I’ll conceed that Junior’s administration is as towering an indictment against dynasties there can be, if two people count as a dynasty.

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      • It may well be that GWB is the one that soured me on the entire concept. Like that time in college when you got sick on Goldschlager, and now the scent of cinnamon turns your stomach. ;-)

        But I dunno. I just think in a democracy of THIS many people, it shouldn’t be hard, and would usually be preferable, to switch it up as often as possible. It’s kind of like “the appearance of corruption/favoritism” – the appearance of dynasty or royalty should be similarly avoided, where possible, in a democracy. If Hillary was the best of the bunch (and in most rooms, she undoubtedly is) it wouldn’t stop me from voting for her; but I do consider it a mark in the debit column.

        And of course it’s a paradox; if Hillary weren’t Bill’s wife, I might never have heard of her; yet I have (generally) positive opinions of her, but wish she weren’t a Clinton (even though I have generally-favorable opinions of Bill too).

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      • I tend not to want Hillary as president for the same reason, as well as because I’d like the first woman president not to get there because she was somebody’s wife. (Also because I can never remember if it’s one or two ‘l’s.) And the fact that there’s now another generation of Bushes going into politics is distressing.

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  6. I disagree with your assessment of Biden. He’s a great party guy, but he’s too old and has a history of gaffes that will come back to haunt him. Uncle Joe’s stuck his foot in it a few too many times to make a viable candidate, no matter how intelligent he is (or how much fun he is at parties).

    I’d love to see Elizabeth Warren run, but she’s like the new Paul Wellstone. Great representative for her state, but far too liberal to ever get much traction in a national race. She makes Obama look like a Reagan Republican. Oh wait. . .

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    • I wonder. Sometimes I think the political class thinks too hard about Joe Biden. They have all these high-informationy reasons why Joe Biden can never really be a serious political commodity, while he’s quietly going around drinking people’s milkshakes at the retail level and generally just being a pretty serious political commodity despite… whatever.

      That said, obviously he’s just another also-ran if Clinton runs, and if she doesn’t he’s no shoo-in at all on account of his age. She’ll run, so it’s an academic discussion, but if she didn’t, I think he’d be a serious player if not the favorite, barring a major health issue either arising or coming to light. He’s quote old though, and I think he ultimately probably couldn’t get past that. But if he were the same guy just ten years younger, the incumbent VP for eight years, running with no party star on the order of HRC in the field? The stuff you’re referring to would hardly register; he’d pretty much be the presumptive. It’s just his age and Hillary that will keep him from being the nominee.

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      • that’s been my read on Joe for the past 6 years. seen as a joke by the media and the Village but on ground level talks good game and seems mostly human on the stump. always can relate to joe.

        Plus he is aware of Onion Joe Biden, And willing to joke around with the public. as for his age, well he looks great for his age. guess having a WH doc makes you immortal.

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  7. Dude, don’t you know that Barak Hussein Obama is going to cancel the election and announce himself President for life! There is not going to be a Democratic primary in ’16, or EVER AGAIN.

    (I know people who think like this, but to be fair to them, I knew people on the other end of the spectrum who feared Bush would do something like this. Crazy knows no political boundaries.)

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  8. I think the most interesting thing about the 2016 election is the absence of clear front runners. Both Biden and Clinton, as Russel notes, appear to be, but they may both be too old. Biden would be older than Reagan was, and Reagan was the oldest in history upon inauguration, and it did excite much comment: I think Biden’s a no-go, and may not even put forth a serious run (although his ego could dominate his wisdom). Clinton would be just a year younger than Reagan. Will her excellent performances as a Senator and SecState be able to overcome her age and gender?

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  9. Alas, only too true… Traditionalists thwarted again by the Neo-Con/Neo-Liberal majority on our 200 year secret agenda of re-unification with the Crown. Before Canada (politely) cancels that too.

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  10. The Democrats do fairly well when their candidates get out feelers early. Unlike the Republicans, who field far too many candidates, the winning Democrats have evolved a strategy of turning their Democratic opponents’ positions into planks of their own. Makes for an untidy porch floor but it worked for Obama. The stakes got sky high, the table was piled full of chips and Hillary Clinton eventually lost the hand. Hurt a lot of people’s feelings, back in 2008, she had a strong backing and Obama had said some awfully mean things about her.

    But notice how Hillary personally united with Obama after her defeat. That was classy — or so I thought at the time.

    Cuomo is a prick, I don’t see him going anywhere, stinking up the joint as he has before. I don’t see Elizabeth Warren running for president but I do see her in the winning Democrat’s cabinet. She will be a huge endorsement for anyone running. O’Malley and Deval Patrick, it’s as you say, they serve the cause better as governors than candidates, though I suspect Deval Patrick may throw his hat in the ring, just so he can get a few of his planks on the platform.

    Speaking of people who might run, knowing they’re unlikely to win, but still wanting to add their planks to the platform — I think Mark Warner will put his name on the sign-up sheet. Amy Klobuchar looks interesting.

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    • Hillary throwing in with Obama was certainly vital. The GOP were alsolutely trembling in hopes of a schism but it all came to naught for em when H rejected that whole PUMA (party unity my ass) meme. It was classy, yeah, the two candidates were so close together on policy that all they could do was scratch at each other with names. That useless sack of garbage Penn doomed Hillary with his excreable planning (Protip Mark, Dem primaries are not winner take all. Aren’t they paying you millions to pay attention to small details like that~ YOU IDIOT??!) but in fairness she mismanaged her campaign leadership as well, so much infighting and unforced errors.

      Still I agree laying aside the bitterness and working with Obama was classy, it was also really good for the party and also really good for Hillary. Sec of State has worked out pretty well for her and she has a lot of gravitas and good will from a lot of former foes because she set aside the ego and was a team player. I’d say a lot of the reason the nomination is pretty much hers for the asking is because of that. Well also because the Big Dawg utterly devastated the GOP during the reelection campaign with his convention speech and reminded everyone of how good it is to have Clintons on your side.

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  11. So much can happen — no, will happen — between now and the 2016 primary, it might be easier (and potentially way more fun) to make a list of folks who surely will not make a good candidate in 2016. (Food for [evil] thought. heh.)

    To my mind, HRC should top even that particular list. Don’t get me wrong, I think the world of Hillary for so many reasons, but I absolutely would not support her assuming she decided to run for POTUS in 2016.*

    First.
    Since she left State, has she actually indicated in any definitive way that she might consider such a run? Last time I checked, she had already stated numerous times, plainly and with no equivocation, that she was officially done with politics in terms of elected seats. The whole Hillary 2016 thing (and really, it’s been an embarrassing thing for too many years now) is, afaik, simply wishful thinking on the part of small-minded and/or bitter Dems.

    Second.
    She’s too old. Surely anyone who can do the math and doesn’t believe in magical blue fairy dust can see that. No septuagenarians in the White House! Crikey, if Reagan taught us nothing I hope he at least taught us that.

    Third.
    She’s a Clinton. C’mon. Is regurgitation really the best the Dems can do for 2016? Gawd I hope not.

    *I was an active supporter of Hillary early in the ’08 primary. Even though I was a Chicagoan and totally knew who Obama was, and liked him, I was all for Hillary and had already long been a Hillary supporter. But at some point in the primary, her campaign got very dirty and I became disillusioned. By the time Super Tuesday rolled around, I could no longer vote for her. And I didn’t.

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    • for the “But at some point in the primary, her campaign got very dirty and I became disillusioned” bit the only thing I have to say is if you lose a close race because you are unwilling to sling mud you don’t deserve to win. and knowing she has the rectitude and the inclination to throw fire is somewhat comforting. spineless wimp-ass democrats cost my party to many races as it is.

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  12. I saw an analysis showing how it is in Clinton’s interest to keep everyone guessing just about as long as she can. I forget all the reasons, but that was the gist. It seems to me like she’s costing a lot of people a lot of time, energy, and money if she does stay noncommittal much longer than whatever seems necessary to make the decision and prepare the announcement or make it known privately what her plans are. There isn’t any other person whose entry or non-entry more completely changes the nature of the field everyone else runs in like hers does. And everyone’s got better things to do than think about or raise money for campaigns that won’t exist if she runs, and it won’t make any difference to her that she’s helped certain campaigns that might only exist if she doesn’t run if she decides not to run and says so – because she won’t be running. So the only competitive advantage she gives anyone over herself if she’s running by committing early is just confirming for any campaigns that will go ahead either way that the eventuality they’re probably preparing for as the 95% likely one is in fact certain. Big whoop. I guess you can’t be too careful, though, regardless of whose time and money you waste thereby.

    I mean, can anyone think of someone who might be drawn in to the Democratic race by Clinton’s entry? I’m having trouble thinking of who that is.

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