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GOPís í16 consolation vanishes: Suddenly, Democrats have the deep bench!
Salon ^ | July 21, 2014 | Joan Walsh, editor at large

Posted on 07/21/2014 11:23:08 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

In the wake of President Obama’s reelection in 2012, reporters found one source of solace for the GOP. “One race the Republicans appear to be winning is the one for the deepest bench of rising stars,” wrote the Washington Post, and plenty of folks followed up. Democrats, meanwhile, had nobody on the bench but Hillary Clinton – a formidable candidate if she were to run, but that wasn’t even certain.

Beyond Clinton, there seemed to be a wasteland populated by ambitious governors no one had ever heard of (Martin O’Malley), and some who were well known but not widely liked (Andrew Cuomo). Oh, and Brian Schweitzer.

The Republican list, meanwhile, seemed almost infinite: blue and purple state governors like New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Ohio’s John Kasich and Virginia’s Bob McConnell, and Tea Party senators like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Romney’s ambitious, “wonky” running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, had his fans, as did former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Even Texas Gov. Rick Perry, recovered from back surgery and sporting hot new glasses, could have another life in 2016.

But in two years, the situation has almost reversed itself. Promising GOP governors – McDonnell, Christie, Walker – find themselves dogged by scandal. The Tea Party trio of Paul, Cruz and Rubio still vies for media attention and right wing adoration, but Rubio’s immigration reform work doomed him on the right. Unbelievably, Paul is widely labeled the frontrunner (but don’t tell that to Cruz), while the party establishment and neocon hawks search for an alternative. Despite all that impressive talent, Mitt Romney leads the pack in New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, in what’s widely being reported as trouble for Hillary Clinton, because that’s the narrative the media know best, it turns out there are a bunch of popular and maybe even formidable Democrats. Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren wowed the crowd at Netroots Nation. (Check out this great New Yorker Biden profile if you want to know how the VP is keeping his options open). The Netroots buzz inspired the Washington Post’s Phillip Rucker and Robert Costa to survey the landscape of Democrats who’ve put a toe or more in the water for 2016.

We learned that Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is visiting Iowa (it is only one state away), while New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has a book coming out. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is said to be huddling with donors, believing the party could use a dose of red state common sense.

This is all framed as mildly ominous news for Hillary Clinton – the headline is “With liberals pining for a Clinton challenger, ambitious Democrats get in position” — but Klobuchar, Gillibrand and Nixon have all endorsed Clinton, and Warren has encouraged Clinton to run while insisting she won’t do so herself. The only Democrats listed who may still run even if Clinton does too are O’Malley and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.

Regardless of the intent of the framing, the Rucker-Costa story actually pointed out the vitality in the Democratic Party, where lively debates over income inequality and foreign policy have fallen short of creating bitter divisions and factions, at least so far. Again, contrast that with the GOP, where Ted Cruz seems to be staking his 2016 hopes on his ability to humiliate every party leader and make sure Republicans will never make inroads with the Latino population. He’s blocking bipartisan emergency legislation to deal with the border crisis, and pushing to reverse President Obama’s deferred action on deportation for young people brought here by their parents.

Meanwhile Warren, the progressive elected the same time as Cruz, is touring the country campaigning for Democratic Senate candidates, even some who are more centrist than she is, like Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes and West Virginia’s Natalie Tennant. She’s focused on growing the Democratic Party, not cutting down colleagues who are less progressive.

So: The GOP’s right wing firebrand is a loose cannon who is completely out for himself, while the Democrats’ left wing firebrand is working amiably with party leaders and deflecting talk of a primary challenge to Clinton. In the end, the rising number of possible alternatives to Hillary Clinton is a sign of Democratic strength, even if the media tends to bill it as weakness.


TOPICS: Campaign News; Issues; Parties; U.S. Senate
KEYWORDS: cruz; elizabethwarren; hillary; tedcruz
That's one way to spin it, Joan, if you're getting regular little mail shipments from Boulder, Colorado, I suppose.

Joan Walsh is Salon's editor at large and the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

1 posted on 07/21/2014 11:23:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Only member of the Bohemian Grove have the chance to become POTUS.


2 posted on 07/21/2014 11:24:20 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

delusions know no bounds


3 posted on 07/21/2014 11:27:25 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Good grief. That’s not just whistling past the graveyard, that’s outright singing (with fingers jammed solidly into ears) “LALALALA ALLISWELL ALLISWELL LALALALA” while running blindly past shambling hordes of zombies.


4 posted on 07/21/2014 11:30:28 PM PDT by Little Pig
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hillary was never going to get it anyway. They’ve strung her along nicely though.


5 posted on 07/21/2014 11:34:09 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (HELL, NO! BE UNGOVERNABLE! --- ISLAM DELENDA EST)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide; All

It ain’t over til the fat lady sings.


6 posted on 07/21/2014 11:38:03 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Joan Walsh?!?!?

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

I'll ask Joe Walsh.
7 posted on 07/21/2014 11:39:57 PM PDT by 98ZJ USMC
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Biden and Warren are touted as great hopes for the Democrat party? If the voters are stupid enough to vote in Bite Me or Fauxcahontas for President, we are truly beyond the point of no return. With Warren, especially, we are getting pure communism 2.0. The conservatives and Republicans better be polishing their Cold War arguments for a minimally regulated free market and against statism, because the Low Info Voters apparently have forgotten the horrors of the Communist utopias of the Soviet Bloc.


8 posted on 07/21/2014 11:45:16 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

roflmao. First thought was ... of course, salon. Second thought was ... oh. that broad. go figure.


9 posted on 07/21/2014 11:51:17 PM PDT by HeartlandOfAmerica (An army of deer led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions, led by a deer.)
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To: Unam Sanctam

It’s our education system, scrubs the bad, applies rose colored glasses.


10 posted on 07/22/2014 1:10:45 AM PDT by exnavy (Fish or cut bait ...Got ammo, Godspeed!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Where is the Barf Alert?


11 posted on 07/22/2014 1:58:06 AM PDT by Hoodat (Article 4, Section 4)
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To: Hoodat
Right here: "Joan Walsh"
12 posted on 07/22/2014 2:00:14 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The bench becomes a lot shallower once you eliminate the straight white males from the roster.

The Rats will not nominate a straight white male in the foreseeable future.


13 posted on 07/22/2014 2:07:39 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

-——Promising GOP governors – McDonnell, Christie, Walker – find themselves dogged by scandal——

What Walker scandal ?

Oh’ the manufactured one two judges said had no merit....

Liberals do live in a delusional world....


14 posted on 07/22/2014 2:09:52 AM PDT by Popman ("Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God" - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

That Martin O’Malley is a dumb as a box of rocks. Hillary should pray that he challengers her, he’ll make her look like a super genius in comparison.


15 posted on 07/22/2014 2:55:11 AM PDT by jocon307
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I think Warren's biggest electoral vulnerability is her own damning words, in which she publicly claims to have created the looney, juvenile, business destroying, socially disruptive, disease-laded, out of control, intellectually bankrupt, philosophically incoherent, America-hating, unsanitary, disgusting, left-wing extremist temper-tantrum movement Occupy Wall Street:

“I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do,” she says. “I support what they do.”

Conservatives need to endlessly tie her to Occupy Wall Street, recapping the horrific images of its appalling behavior:

VIDEO: Occupy Wall Street - Students occupied TD Bank 11.17.

VIDEO: Everyday Rebellion presents: Occupy Wall Street/Shut down Citibank, #S17

Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal: Occupy Wall Street protesters close Wells Fargo HQ in S.F.

New York Times: For Some, Wall Street Is Main Street


16 posted on 07/22/2014 3:07:45 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What scandal is walker involved with?


17 posted on 07/22/2014 3:59:50 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Promising GOP governors – McDonnell, Christie, Walker – find themselves dogged by scandal.

Not a smidgen of scandal on the left, though.

18 posted on 07/22/2014 4:30:00 AM PDT by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Suddenly, Democrats have the deep bench!

It's not "deep" -- it's thick.

19 posted on 07/22/2014 4:31:41 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Democrat candidates mentioned more closely resemble something you kick under the bench when you are done with it.


20 posted on 07/22/2014 4:33:10 AM PDT by dforest
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh, Salon. How I despise thee


21 posted on 07/22/2014 4:56:18 AM PDT by Viennacon (Rebuke the Repuke!)
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