Skip to comments.GOPís í16 consolation vanishes: Suddenly, Democrats have the deep bench!
Posted on 07/21/2014 11:23:08 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In the wake of President Obamas 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 wasnt even certain.
Beyond Clinton, there seemed to be a wasteland populated by ambitious governors no one had ever heard of (Martin OMalley), 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 Jerseys Chris Christie, Wisconsins Scott Walker, Ohios John Kasich and Virginias Bob McConnell, and Tea Party senators like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Romneys 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 Rubios immigration reform work doomed him on the right. Unbelievably, Paul is widely labeled the frontrunner (but dont 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 whats widely being reported as trouble for Hillary Clinton, because thats 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 Posts Phillip Rucker and Robert Costa to survey the landscape of Democrats whove 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 wont do so herself. The only Democrats listed who may still run even if Clinton does too are OMalley and Vermonts 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. Hes blocking bipartisan emergency legislation to deal with the border crisis, and pushing to reverse President Obamas 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 Kentuckys Alison Lundergan Grimes and West Virginias Natalie Tennant. Shes focused on growing the Democratic Party, not cutting down colleagues who are less progressive.
So: The GOPs 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.
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."
Only member of the Bohemian Grove have the chance to become POTUS.
delusions know no bounds
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.
Hillary was never going to get it anyway. They’ve strung her along nicely though.
It ain’t over til the fat lady sings.
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.
roflmao. First thought was ... of course, salon. Second thought was ... oh. that broad. go figure.
It’s our education system, scrubs the bad, applies rose colored glasses.
Where is the Barf Alert?
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.
-——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....
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.
Conservatives need to endlessly tie her to Occupy Wall Street, recapping the horrific images of its appalling behavior:
What scandal is walker involved with?
Not a smidgen of scandal on the left, though.
It's not "deep" -- it's thick.
Democrat candidates mentioned more closely resemble something you kick under the bench when you are done with it.
Oh, Salon. How I despise thee
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