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Tags: Trump Administration | Hillary Clinton | hillary clinton | 2016 | democrats | primary | challenger

NY Times: Hillary Could Face Credible Challenge in 3 Areas

NY Times: Hillary Could Face Credible Challenge in 3 Areas
(Joshua Roberts/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 31 March 2015 02:05 PM

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is seen by many as the inevitable Democratic nominee for the 2016 presidential election, but a number of strategists have outlined key areas of vulnerability that could enable a credible challenge to her candidacy.

According to The New York Times, three top Democratic strategists — talking with the Times anonymously — said Clinton could be challenged from the left by a populist, and her foreign policy positions might also make her vulnerable. A third area of weakness is centered around questions about her authenticity.

"She has been called inevitable. The can't-be-stopped candidate. Hillary Rodham Clinton is such an overwhelming favorite in presidential primary polls that most prominent Democrats are taking a pass on challenging her," the Times wrote.

"But politics can be an unpredictable business, and those of us covering the campaign have been wondering: is there any way a Democratic challenger could beat Hillary Rodham Clinton?"

With $50 million to spend, the three strategists said a successful candidate would be a "truth-telling populist," tapping into the energy and aspirations of the Democratic base.

A focus on policing and immigration would be two key policy areas that could resonate with voters. A transaction tax on Wall Street that would fund renewable energy and a crackdown on utilities are two other ideas the strategists gave.

Clinton's hawkish views on foreign policy could also be challenged by a left-of-center Democrat, the strategists told the Times.

"She's to the right of where the party is on a lot of these issues," one strategist told the Times.

Specifically, she could be vulnerable for her interventionist policy in the Middle East.

While not expected to run himself, Connecticut Sen. Christopher Murphy has suggested that there is space for someone to pursue a "progressive foreign policy."

A final area of vulnerability is on the subject of authenticity.

"For more than a decade, Mrs. Clinton has tried to swat away a persistent concern about her ability to connect with voters," the Times said. "Years of security-infused Bubble Wrap around her travels and a wealthy lifestyle have done little to pull Mrs. Clinton closer to voters."

All three strategists told the Times that the best hope for someone running against Clinton was to "be real," adding that Iowa would be the best place to demonstrate their genuineness.

"Mrs. Clinton has always had trouble in Iowa, and she never totally connected with voters there. One of the strategists advocated saving as much money as possible to spend in Iowa for a late media push," the Times said.

"Of course, much of the advice offered by the strategists comes before Mrs. Clinton has started her own campaign and has begun to articulate her vision. Often a cautious campaigner, she could surprise her detractors and be bold. She could also try to seize the populist momentum herself, complicating any challenger's plans," the Times said.

The Times said that despite the potential weaknesses, any primary challenge to Clinton would be a long shot. The strategists repeatedly emphasized how difficult it would be for a candidate to prevail over Clinton.

"Elections can appear unpredictable and ever-shifting, but they are driven by fundamentals that are not easily upended. And this time, the fundamentals in the primary — from money to organization to base of support — strongly favor Mrs. Clinton," the Times concluded.

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Three Democratic Party strategists answer The New York Times' question — "Is there any way a Democratic challenger could beat Hillary Rodham Clinton?" — by highlighting three vulnerable areas for the former secretary of state.
hillary clinton, 2016, democrats, primary, challenger
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 02:05 PM
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