Tags: | Trump Administration | Hillary Clinton | democrats | presidential race | 2016 | warren

Dems, Pundits Looking to 2016 With and Without Hillary

By    |   Thursday, 06 Nov 2014 12:45 PM

When Democratic campaign adviser Paul Begala surveys the field of potential Democratic presidential prospects, he sees only one name — Hillary Clinton.

"No. It's not fair. There are impressive people who I think could be good presidents, but they don't have, I think, the electoral prospects that Hillary does," Begala said in response to a question from CNN's Jake Tapper about whether anyone else was sitting on the Democrats presidential bench.

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Begala, who was an adviser to former President Bill Clinton, is not alone in believing the former secretary of state appears to be the inevitable nominee.

Appearing on Fox News on the night of the election, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a potential GOP presidential candidate, said the midterms were a "referendum not only on the president, but on Hillary Clinton."

"It turns out Hillary Clinton does not have many coattails here in Kentucky," he told Fox News anchor Bret Baier, referring to Clinton's inability to prevent the defeat of Democratic senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

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In Kentucky and elsewhere, Clinton embraced the role as surrogate on the campaign trail during the midterms. According to USA Today, Clinton made 45 campaign-related trips, including to the key early presidential primary states of New Hampshire and Iowa.

Exit polls also show Hillary Clinton as being viewed as the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination. She would, however, lose to an unnamed Republican, according to NBC News exit polls.

In a hypothetical matchup, an unnamed Republican receives the support of 40 percent of voters, compared to 34 percent for Clinton, NBC reported.

The dismal Democratic performance in the midterms may be to Clinton's benefit, as they significantly diminished the standing of one of her potential rivals.

Before the election, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley had been a name mentioned as a possible alternative, but after his hand-picked successor, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, suffered a stunning defeat to Republican Larry Hogan, his star has faded.

For members of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, the election results actually make the case for a more progressive agenda and presidential candidate.

“Democrats lost the Senate tonight because they ran too little and too late on Elizabeth Warren-inspired populist progressive priorities like expanding Social Security benefits, breaking up the big banks, and student loan reform that polls show are overwhelmingly popular with Americans,” Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the liberal Democracy for America, told Bloomberg Politics.

“The bright spots in this election come from Warren Wing Senate candidates," he added.

Scott Conroy, a columnist for RealClearPolitics, also sees Tuesday's results as a sign Democrats should look away from, not to, Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Noting Warren's denials, so far, that she is considering a run, Conroy says "the first-term senator wouldn’t be the first ambitious politician to change her mind about running for the nation’s highest office (see: Obama, Barack), and the results of Tuesday’s elections crystalized the underappreciated reasons why it makes sense for her to do just that."

Conroy says that Warren's populist message fits the current mood of the nation and she has nothing to lose by running for president.

And, he writes, "Clinton’s current poll position could change dramatically once Democrats are presented with a real choice" in 2016, and that if Warren were to announce her candidacy, she "would still trail Clinton in the polls, of course, but the current gap she faces would almost certainly narrow amid the media attention she’d receive."

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When Democratic strategist Paul Begala surveys the field of potential Democratic presidential prospects, he sees only one name - Hillary Clinton, but some others are looking further afield.
democrats, presidential race, 2016, warren
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2014-45-06
Thursday, 06 Nov 2014 12:45 PM
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