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For Dems in 2016, it’s Hillary or bust

For Dems in 2016, it’s Hillary or bust

Larry Sabato came out with his rankings of presidential contenders today.

I was going to write about the downgrade of Marco Rubio, but that’s old news.

More interesting is the rankings of Democrats. There is no “First Tier” other than Hillary. The drop from Hillary to Joe Biden is dramatic, and then comes the Third Tier of (don’t say I didn’t warn you) Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Cuomo.

By comparison, the Republican bench is deeeeeeep.

For Democrats to have a strong shot of winning in 2016, Hillary must run. It’s that simple.

And it’s why we’ve never underestimated the likelihood of Elizabeth Warren getting in the race if Hillary doesn’t.

Sabato Crystal Ball Democratic Presidential Rankings 8-15-2013


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The Tiers of Some Clowns.

What? Only Cracker Democrats?

There goes the race card… oh wait… the gender card is ready to go at a moment’s notice.

I am holding out for the Weiner/Holder presidential card.

I noticed Sabato did not list Hillary’s record as Senator or Secretary of State as being an advantage/disadvantage. I get the feeling that he and others are trying to make her a “blank slate” candidate like Obama.

Henry Hawkins | August 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I would only point out that at a similar time before the 2008 cycle (circa 2005), Barack Obama would not have made such a list even as a wild card.

This guy Sabato has found a real gig for himself. A total mediocrity who’s never had an original insight in his career but has parlayed his self-invented “expertise” into perpetual demand. Almost like the Hillary Clinton of “experts.”

Wow…sorry, but I beg to differ with the Professor on this one. I don’t find the Republican bench “deep” at all. I cannot imagine the electorate electing pretty much any of the candidates on the list with the possible exception of Christie, as much as I like almost all of them. Does anyone really think Cruz or Paul can be elected? I’m not criticizing them as conservatives or Republicans – just as national candidates. Hard to see how they win back states like Ohio or Virginia versus even our Vice Clown Biden. Please tell me I’m wrong.

Maybe Walker could win – if, and it’s a big if – he can motivate conservatives as much as he will motivate the union crowd. Even so, there goes Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania from even the “close, but not really that close” column into the “forget it” column.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to leeatmg. | August 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Don’t let media write our draw list.

    The GOP has viable candidates in Governors Pence, Sandoval, Martinez, etc., and I believe Rick Perry is second look-worthy, likely to perform far better with proper planning (instead of the opportunistic jump-in of 2012) and with his health (back) issues resolved.





    Makes me feel a bit better.

      leeatmg in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      I agree with people like Martinez, Sandoval, Pence, and so on. I just doubt that we, as a nation, would elect someone like Cruz (whom I admire a great deal) over a Clinton/Biden/Cuomo, etc. who from a MSM perspective are “moderates.”

      And the trouble is, we will do exactly what we did last time – a long, bloody primary where the conservative side declares that any variance from pure conservatism is blasphemy and the solid conservatives all run to the right in an effort to win the Republican “base.” The winner will come out fatally damaged.

      We have a segment of the right – and a powerful one at that – which is blindly intolerant of any candidate not 100% pure ideologically. That’s bad for us, and bad for the country. Give me bland (Walker, Pawlenty) or impure (Martinez, Christie, Rubio) over ideologues (Cruz, Paul) any day. We need to win, notwithstanding a few positions we don’t like and absent someone who can articulate the conservative message effectively to the masses and not just friendly ears. I may like Cruz and Paul’s positions better, but they aren’t well articulated or effective from the bench instead of the field.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to leeatmg. | August 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

        Your prescription is precisely what led the GOP to nominate McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012. How did that work out for ya?

          I’m thinking Paul has a very good chance, he resonates with young people on civil liberties, he’s a doctor, and he’s very bright.
          Here he is on the Daily Show, using logic he wins the crowd over.—rand-paul-extended-interview
          Remember the praise he received after his filibuster? Just my thoughts.

          leeatmg in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm

          2012 was a disaster, but that does not mean Romney could not have won, and it also does not mean he did not win because he was not conservative enough. Romney was a deeply flawed candidate to all sides – to the right because of way too many positions that “evolved” over time and his defense of Romneycare/Obamacare to name a few. He also ran a very poor campaign against a very inspirational (to his base voters) speaker in Obama. In my opinion, he had a nearly impossible challenge.

          Against even Clinton, we won’t have such a steep hill to climb. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Clinton vs. Romney in 2012, with a better campaign operation on Romney’s side, would have resulted in a Romney victory. Remember, it was pretty close in enough states that without strong minority turnout, and a better ground campaign, things would likely have been different.

          I am a VERY conservative voter – maybe even more libertarian than Republican. I love Paul, Cruz, and others like them. And Rand Paul may appeal to some young people, but he’d lose the elderly demographic – one usually solid GOP bloc – due to his more radical views. Same for Cruz. Too inflammatory, too inexperienced. Their strengths, though, are in their ability to articulate conservatism to the average person.

          We need someone with solid conservative credentials who APPEARS more moderate AND can articulate conservative positions in ways that don’t scare people off. I trust someone like Martinez, for example (not that I’m advocating for her – just as an example) because she seems to be able to talk conservative without scaring people. She relates well. Cruz comes across to some as arrogant and loony. Paul seems reasonable until he gets going – then he gets wonky and boring. They suffer from the same problem Sarah Palin has – a very enthusiastic and even large fan base but almost no real ability to expand that base in a general election. It’s just hard to see the moderate soccer mom or the young college grad voting for either of them, no matter how much we love their positions. Those are groups we need.

          The others usually mentioned all have fatal flaws too. Pawlenty did poorly mostly for his inability to back positions he believed in – as if he had to apologize for them rather than explain why he was right. Jindal is just a poor communicator, despite his strong credentials. Perry is solid on credentials too, but comes across as too brash and stubborn. Walker might be able to pull it off if he can mitigate his union issues – firing up the unions is not the best idea when you need states like Ohio to win. Jeb Bush? Used to be a conservative darling, but darn it – he had to go and support immigration reform and Common Cause education reform. I guess he’s out too due to our new 100% tolerance requirements. :’)

          Some intriguing options are people like Mike Pence and Nikki Haley. They both seem both to be able to communicate well and have the credentials behind them. Don’t know enough about them, but the current crop, in my opinion, cannot win unless we get lucky and Clinton does not run. Then it’s anyone’s game.

          Bruno Lesky in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 16, 2013 at 8:02 am

          He’s not running, has no national organization, but skip that over to President Ron Johnson. Seems like a thoroughly decent sort. Brave, wants to de-regulate, spend less. And hold govt wrongdoers accountable.

          We wouldn’t see him shooting hoops, at Beyonce concerts, exofficio commenting on legal cases … Instead winding down the madness so we the people can make a go of it without Washington.h

      Unfortunately, the alleged bench is not relevant.

      The Republican party nominates whoever’s turn they think it is next. That’s how McCain, Romney and Dole all got it, just to name a few. Therefore, in 2016 it will be Rick Santorum.

      This is NOT a statement of preference. Just pointing out the obvious.

        leeatmg in reply to irv. | August 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm

        Yeah, I forgot about Santorum. He has his own set of issues – solid conservative, but can’t communicate outside of his base, which is to put it broadly “Christians” and narrowly “Evangelicals.” Republicans who are less socially conservative seem to see him as a little over the deep end. Same boat with Huckabee (not that he’d run, but he came awfully close in ’08 courting the same bloc that Santorum did in ’12.)

        Carol Herman in reply to irv. | August 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm

        Santorum doesn’t have friends! Great quote about him in Mark Leibovich’s book THIS TOWN.

        Seems Leibovich was looking for a quote he could use about Santorum. Page 84:

        [Predictably limp] from the democrat, Bob Kerry, [who hated Santorum’s guts] said the name “santorum” translated to the “Latin for @sshole.”

        Finally, Leibovich encounters the democrat from Louisiana,Mary Landrieu, as she’s coming off the senate floor. She answers by grimacing, and said “You couldn’t quote what I’d lave to say about him.”

        So, basically, like Hillary, Santorum isn’t presidential timber.

        Key ingredient is being liked by your colleagues on both sides of the aisle. It’s a 100 member club. The master is Harry Reid.

        Reid’s the fella that got Kerry to back off from a re-run in 2008.

        Reid doesn’t work in the limelight. You just gotta learn to read between the lines, here. Your favorite candidate is not on the check off list. The check off list belongs to elite insiders. Who use “specialists” to craft the messages you hear. Nothing amounts to pillow talk.

    bannor in reply to leeatmg. | August 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    If Christie is the nominee then the Dems could get a sock puppet (or joe biden) elected. Conservatives won’t show up for Christie. Mitt won indies by big margins and got crushed in the general due to turn out.

      leeatmg in reply to bannor. | August 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Maybe – but no Dem nominee will get the minority turnout that Obama did, which might offset the Romney/Christie problems with the far right of the base.

Conventional wisdom. Feh!

Elizabeth Warren will run whether Hillary does or not. Her ego requires it.

Because Warren is younger, a more skillful demagogue and marginally more photogenic (this matters to low info voters) she will easily beat Hillary for the nomination.

Warren is the one to beat this time around, though Andy Cuomo has some skill at damaging opponents and could pull an upset.

Biden is an imbecile who has no more chance than he ever did. He is a 15th tier candidate really.

    raven in reply to irv. | August 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    100% correct. I’ve said for months it will be Warren.

    In any case, Clinton has always been a bitter and sorrowful figure. Denied the first time, she’ll be mercilessly rejected this time.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to irv. | August 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I would only point out that a dead possum is marginally more photogenic than a canker sore.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to irv. | August 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Great – a two-er, first woman and first fake Indian.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to irv. | August 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Warren is only two years younger than Hillary, hardly a significant age difference. She is, however, much fresher in political terms. Because Warren is so old 2016 may be her only chance. One big factor in Warren’s favor is a significant number of progressives have never wanted the Clintons to become the face of the Democrat party. These people were nominally behind Hillary in 2005 but had abandoned her for Obama by early 2008. The same people might jump on a Warren 2016 bandwagon.

Republicans will have, at best, one ro two actual credible candidates. But they will throw a dozen ‘WTF?’ candidates into the primary, spend a billion dollars between them, make a complete mockery of themselves doing it, while the D’s and HC sit and pee themsevles laughing.

Face it folks – the R’s are incapable of getting their shit together, and HC will be the next POTUS.


The only bright side si that she won’t be any worse than what we have now. Because it’s impossible.

What, no Wendy Davis? She’ll be the front runner if the National Popular Vote slides into place, and Sabato would be pleased.

I R A Darth Aggie | August 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm

What? no Spitzer or Wiener???

SoCA Conservative Mom | August 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm

What about Nikki Haley? She should be on the list.

Nope. While it’s true the media does hype Hillary, she’s a cover because Harry Reid is not letting the cat out of the bag.

Kerry’s gonna get nominated. (Oddly enough he has both more clout than Hillary. And, more supportive friends. And, “picking a woman” will more likely fall to the republicans. Who’d be wise to pick Mitch Daniels. With Liz Cheney as his veep.)

The way the democrats play (since at least Adlai Stevenson. Is they give the guy who lost another chance. The republicans did this in ’48 with Dewey.

Trump’s a wile card. Because he may look like he’s spending his own money. And, neither party seems able to run to a “majority.” Well? Clinton knocked the elder Bush out of his second term, by gathering up only 37% of the vote. (I don’t think Perot got any electoral college votes.)

…none of whom are worth a spit. Gawd he’p us!

Dunno – I watched a lot of Dems who HATE Hillary. The machine isn’t what it used to be.

Benghazi aint going away and with that her enemies in places you don’t want them grew too.

If Cory Booker, mayor of Newark NJ, the primary winner of Tuesday’s primary for the late Frank Lautenberg’s Senate seat runs a great campaign this year, wins and then follows it up again in 2014, I suspect he will be tracked just like Obama was when Obama gained his Senate seat.

    Milhouse in reply to bvw. | August 15, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Maybe, but isn’t he too moderate for the D establishment? I mean, I could actually see myself voting for him against a RINO, which ought to mean that the Marxists will go all out against him.

A list of truly unaccomplished political groupies any of whom would probably finish off what remains of the country by the time Obama’s done.

The stuff of nightmares.

PersonFromPorlock | August 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I still think all this speculation about the presidential candidate is a ‘squirrel’ to distract us from the fact that the *real* power in Washington is the House – if only we can get our reps to use it. And electing small-government congresscritters is very do-able.

Don’t forget Bobby Jindal!

And Mike Pence doesn’t get enough attention.

A lot can still happen, too. Obama wasn’t a senator for two years before he was running for president, right?

The right candidate, at the right time, trumps everything else. Maybe someone will emerge on our side that we’re not thinking of. I just don’t think that the list Sabato has contains any Republican Presidents before 2024 at the earliest.

Hillary is a lazy journalist’s story. Cause any editor that gets handed this topic “Hillary in a landslide in 2016” … can pay his mortgage. And, doesn’t have to worry too much about accuracy.

I mean, how can you “accurately” predict anything?

Maybe, we will have a storm named Hillary? So far, the Atlantic is up to using the letter “e.”

Kerry has the nomination in his pocket. Doesn’t want this information forecast, though. That’s not how you get things done in DC.

Not only is Hillary unelectable … she really has no money friends. And, she’s not particularly liked among democrats. Bill, however, always makes good copy.

Hence, the connection of Hillary to being a potential candidate.

Meanwhile, the republicans don’t pay any attention to the corrosive nature of their own party. Mitch McConnell doesn’t have the powers that Harry Reid has, with one hand tied behind his back.

Henry Hawkins | August 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm

In 2008 and 2012, the GOP elites went with the recipe that only a moderate could win and that GOP conservatives would just have to suck it up. Unstated was their obvious belief that GOP conservatives had no where else to go. This recipe cost them both elections. Conservatives looked at Obama and Romney and stayed home, a choice the GOP elites considered unthinkable and now for 2016, unbelievably, they somehow still consider it unthinkable.

The current GOP leadership worries about losing their House majority, about not winning a Senate majority, not winning the White House in 2016, and are designing yet another milquetoast, offend no one, hope for the best campaign ‘strategy’. All the while, what is truly at risk is the very party itself. The GOP leadership is crawling and groveling towards extinction.

The current GOP leadership simply will not fight. Their selfishness renders them gutless. They represent no one but themselves and seek only to maintain office and insider status. They are well described by Michael Walsh as “the lesser half of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government, content to munch its cud and occasionally low in the direction of constitutional propriety, and then resume its own modest but lucrative role in fertilizing the ‘two-party’ system.”

In 2016, we need to flip the equation – nominate a conservative and it’s the GOP moderates who can suck it up. We may go down, but at least we’ll go down fighting. McCain and Romney both infamously refused to fight the necessary dirty fight. In effect, it’s the same as taking a dive.

I am a conservative, not a Republican, and never has there been greater distance and distinction between the two.

Tom Coburn, a republican from Oklahoma. Was in the House. And, has since moved into the senate. He’s talking to Mark Leibovich, who recorded this comment in his excellent book, THIS TOWN:

PAGE 92:

“Coburn never made it to Russert’s funeral. He doesn’t go to those kinds of things. “Sounded like a scene,” he said. Coburn compares Washington to a “parasitism.”

“It is one parasite feeding off another parasite feeding off another parasite,” he says. The reason you attach yourself to someone else is so you can gain something yourself. Parasites don’t attack our intestines because they like the environment. That’s just the milieu in which they advance their livelihood. That might sound a little harsh. But in Washington if you can’t be connected, you can’t gain anything.”

Leibovich, in his excellent story telling shows you why politicians are more alike (with each other), than you’d think they’d be if you were sorting stuff by party labels.

To repeat this, again: Hillary didn’t make friends during her sojourn in the senate. She’s a parasite attached to her husband, Bill. She’s unelectable on her own.

Oh, yeah. Thin Huma will carry Hillary around the room on her shoulders! (Would beat Tuffy’s clown act, fer sher.)

What?! How are you leaving Michelle out of the picture? Isn’t it obvious that she intends to run? Of course things may change between now and then, but right now I can’t see anything that would stop her.

MSM will choose the Republican nominee.

You know, that “moderate”…the ONLY one with “electability”.

The “smart money”, cameras, pundits, and delegates follow.

Republicans always dust off their white washed checker board when they get invited to an international chess tournament.

Drudge is giving headline space to Chris Christie. Says he coasts to re-election victory in NJ this year. And, he’s mapping out the republican party’s NEED TO WIN. You can spout out all the dogma you want. You can’t lead unless you win.

So, betting early, I think it will be Kerry against Christie.

Hillary is such a long shot, she has sex with Bill, first.

Maybe, Hillary will just blame Huma?

And, no matter how low Obama’s numbers go and drop. (They’re at 35% today, per Drudge) … Congress is so far below this, they haven’t even made it up to the curb, from the gutter.

Did you notice no one ever leaves DC?

Lobbying is a big business in DC. Then, you get the party professionals who make entertaining easy. Gotta have parties! Gotta feed people.

So many of DC dwellers are getting old, though. You wonder if when parties are thrown there’s a place to stash all the canes. And, the walkers.

Most of the population does not have well defined opinions and are easily led into believing the person who is full of it. Democrats never apologize, they demonize. It makes them much more authoritive.

Whoever the candidate is, I hope he defines who he is and defends it without apology. That is why Christie ranks so high and so many conservatives compare him to a Dem, he personally behaves like one, and also his politics are pretty much center or left center.

One thing that was said about Sandra Day O’Connor is that she had the best ear on the court to know what the American people were thinking.

Decisions really ride on “acceptance.” You can be brilliant, but if you cannot connect to what a majority of your audience is thinking … you’re writing “lost causes.”

I know the surpeme’s have an odd way of using previous cases when they’re building a current argument. (So, sometimes they go back and pick up an old “dissent” … dust it off … And, it emerges, again, as part of a majority opinion.)

Today it’s an “ideological court.” (Something FDR got to complaining about during his first term as president.) Then he ends up seating one new member after another … over his four terms.

Maybe, it’s whom you know and not what you know?

Up ahead? I sure hope john roberts pays a price for organzing, aiding and abetting the creation of secret courts … where this is so anti-American it makes most people just want to spit.

Still if you know john roberts maybe he can nominate you to a secret bench … where you can rule away common sense?