I keep wondering: Is anyone under the age of 40 ‘Ready for Hillary’?
Yves Smith linked this morning on her Naked Capital blog to my post from yesterday called “The Secretive Democracy Alliance’s Secret Is Out: Some of its members are elitist, racist and self-serving,” and added a comment about it:
Helpful, but does not follow the logic to the obvious conclusion. Why is the Dem apparatus harping on the Kochs and not issues that would motivate voters, like more jobs, better access to housing and education? Because they’ve done nothing on those fronts and don’t intend to. […]
The link and Yves’ comment “pinged back” as a comment to my post. In response to Yves and to a comment by Daniel Becker, I wrote:
My intended point, Yves, was that harping on the IS harping on the issues that would motivate voters, like more jobs, better access to housing and education. Steve Phillips, et al., think that only white men and married white women are smart enough to understand the connection between politicians’ financial benefactors and those politicians’ proposed legislation and attempts to block legislation. I think Phillips is wrong.
The failure of the Obama administration–courtesy largely of Tim Geithner and of Obama’s weird infatuation with him throughout Obama’s first term, but also to Obama’s laconic, detached, I’m-a-centrist! persona–to propose and then fight for substantial Keynesian fiscal policies and for other progressive policies–is not, say, Nancy Pelosi’s, or Dick Durbin’s, or Sherrod Brown’s, or Tom Harkin’s fault.
And, yes, the very last thing that the Dems need is yet another presidential nominee who’s never had an original policy idea in her life; who almost never takes a policy position that actually leads rather than follows (and in the one instance in which she did–drivers’ licenses for unauthorized immigrants–scrambles and backtracks at first sign of political harm to her; who spends her time posting to a silly Twitter account and trying to enhance her personal persona rather than ever, ever, ever actually thinking about and offering specific domestic policy proposals; and who apparently can’t function without the constant presence of an entourage of her “people,” i.e., her devotees.
How many other Secretaries of State had a constant go-fer? How many other FORMER Secretaries of State brought along that same constant go-fer after leaving office? How many couldn’t manage without one?
I keep wondering: Is anyone under the age of 40 “ready for Hillary”? Best as I can tell, the answer is, no. What people ARE ready for is a politician–like Durbin, Harkin, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, the former two who are too old to run for president, the latter two who don’t appear interpeted in doing so–who doesn’t have a Twitter account, or a personal entourage, or a daughter whose parents thought it was a good idea for her to sell her celebrity name (and nothing more) to a network news program for a huge amount of money, and talked their daughter into doing that. Someone, in other words, who’s not famous for just being an ‘icon’, but who has built a mostly-quiet career as an economics populist in Congress or academia.
And, Daniel, I, like you, still cringe, as I did in 2008, at a campaign run almost entirely on a promise of Hope and Change, the substance of which the candidate never specified because he himself had no particular person convictions or policy ideas. We don’t need another such standard bearer–not even one who replaces Hope and Change with WOMEN! WOMEN! WOMEN! One Dem presidential candidate, and Dem president, of that ilk is more than enough, thank you very much.
Daniel, I think you and Yves have it backwards. The Dems can’t show progress in policy BECAUSE of the billionaire-controlled campaign-finance system.
So now I’ve gotten it off my chest. It, being my dismay and utter frustration at the silly Hillary-or-bust obsession of the seemingly hypnotized Establishment Democrats and pundits.
This woman has written a narcissistic book for which she was paid handsomely-being paid handsomely appears to be her primary concern–and is in the process of blowing her book-tour interviews. Which is nice, because now maybe–just maybe; it’s by no means certain–some actual longtime progressive policy person of some political stature, who doesn’t have a Twitter account or a personal entourage, and is not entirely self-obsessed–will step forward and run for the Dem presidential nomination, on a platform that details policy rather than relies upon personal celebrity and gender.
Hope springs eternal. Although the Kochs, the Chamber of Commerce, and some hedge fund folks have noticed, few political journalists–and apparently no Dem pols and political consultants–have. This country is suddenly moving rapidly toward a progressive economic-populist era. Instead, the over-40 professional political crowd thinks that the political sun rises and sets each morning with Hillary Clinton’s personal appearances and Twitter comments. It doesn’t.
Post edited slightly for clarity after posting. 6/25 at 3:58 p.m.
I’m not sure it matters. How old is the median voter?
The lowered median age of voters in 2008 in the Dem primary and then in the general election are what put Obama in the White House. But this time around, neither gender nor race identity nor generic platitudes will matter one whit. What will matter is actual specific policy–policy proposals, and detailed refutations of Republican policy positions.
Elizabeth Warren, were she to run (she won’t), would significantly lower the median voter age, not because she’s a woman, or a this or a that, but because she’s been steeped in important economic policy issues and proposals for a long time–for most of her academic career and, in recent years, in government. Durbin, Harkin, and Sherrod Brown have, too, and all of them, certainly including Warren, have no trouble explaining economic-policy issues; it’s just that, with the exception of Warren, no one knows who they even are.
I’d love to see Brown run; as I said, Durbin (who is my favorite senator) and of course Harkin are too old. Jeff Merkel I think would be good, too, although II don’t know as much about him. Tom Udall also would be good.
Btw, in 2008 I thought that the wrong senator from Illinois was running for president. I think so now, in spades. I supported Edwards until it because clear that the race was between Obama and Clinton, and the supported Obama unenthusiastically because I didn’t want another triangulation presidency. Which is what we got.
The ACA is the one Obama policy success, but it could have been better had he deigned to try to make it that, and it would not have been the horrific political drag that it was for so long had he bothered to ever explain it and to refute the right’s false messaging. At least I think so, although t this point I’m not sure he has the intellect, the wit, the depth of understanding, and mental agility, the articulateness to do any of that. And he certaimly didn’t have the mental energy to.
I would vote for Elizabeth Warren (again), but I probably would not vote in an election where Hillary Clinton was the alternative to a Republican nominee.
I certainly will vote for Clinton if she’s the nominee. I wouldn’t be caught dead not voting against the Republican for president. (I’m originally from Cook County, IL, so I can say that and mean it.) Think: 2000 election, and Ralph Nader. I’m not a cutting-off-my-nose-to-spite-my-face kind of gal.
If Clinton runs–it won’t shock me if she doesn’t–she’ll have the best-and-the-brightest policy people handing her proposals. At least I assume she will; she might be too unobservant to recognize that this time around, what will matter most is actual, specific policy proposals and genuine, specific refutations of the Paul Ryan crowd’s proposals, but her husband, I think, does get that, and he’ll tell her.
She’s just a weathervane, and as long as the weather is blowing progressive, she’ll be a progressive president. A Republican would be awful.
I as well do not understand the Women! Women! Women! aspect of Clinton’s popularity. I have met a number of women democrats that enthusiastically supported her in 2008, and I can only guess that it is due to gender identification. I of course recognize the importance of a female president, as females are grossly under represented at all levels of government, but Hilary Clinton is the worst kind of poll watching political animal that has ever existed. Her vote for the Iraq war is all that is needed to understand her as a ‘leader’; There are only two explanations: She either believed it to be a prudent policy decision, which shows she has terrible judgment, as anyone with even a passing familiarity with the facts could clearly see it was an unjustifiable course, or she knew it was a foolish and damaging idea, but voted for it because she lacks the political courage to do what is right when it could possibly have repercussions on her political aspirations.
I think the other aspect of her popularity is her affiliation with her husband, whom through an egregious example of historical revisionism has become some kind sainted hero of liberal democrats. He gets the credit that Al Gore deserves for the economic progress we experienced in the 90’s, due to passage of the Gore Bill which created the first widely used web browser among other things. He also gets a pass for such right wing ‘successes’ as gutting welfare and the passage of Gramm Leach, all the while his sexual crapulence was a major obstacle and distraction to the actual business of governance. By many measures he was a truly terrible president.
I for one hope she does not run; People say the democratic bench is thin and you need a Clintonian cult of personality in order to win, but Obama won as a nobody from nowhere with a silly name – he of course is a bit of a dud, but it does show with a strong campaign apparatus, a decent stump speech and the right bumper-sticker sloganeering any asshole can get elected – of course it helps when your opponents are vapid, out-of-touch simpletons, but they will be running against republicans so no problem there.
Colby Longhorn (cheese?):
The economic success of Clinton was mostly due to his pact with the devil, namely Greenspan. High taxes garnered low Fed interest rates from Greenspan. High taxes certainly did not stop the growth of the economy and lower taxes in the decade following certainly did not stimulate the economy. The same with the repeal of Glass-Steagall which the demise of started in the eighties with the appointment of Greenspan who initiated the subsequent degeneration of Section 20 of Glass-Steagall allowing commercial banks to invest gross profits on Wall Street. None of this had anything to do with either president. Clinton just held the pen with Greenspan, Rubin, Sandy Weil, Levitt, Summers, and Geithner cheering him onward. It is a shame we could not have had the likes of Brooksley Born.
Obama has not been a dud in the sense of doing nothing. He has had some marvelous achievements such as the PPACA, something we have waited for since the failure of Hillarycare ~twenty years earlier. Even with that shot across their bow in the nineties, the healthcare industry did nothing to slow the growth of cost the vampires that they are. Warren is not going to run. With Clinton it is not a matter of personality or cult, it is a matter can she show a stature Obama has not shown mostly in standing up to the Republicans. He could have broke their backs after this last election. It is only now he has taken on a persona of not giving a damn what they think.
corrected link to your original post: The Secretive Democracy Alliance’s Secret Is Out: Some of its members are elitist, racist and self-serving.
you have a couple http’s up there..
Thanks, rjs. I just corrected it.
I keep hoping the recent headlines from Iraq will remind voters of her disastrous record on that sorrowful region. Not just as a Senator but also as Secy of State. It’s not the kind of record you’d try to defend.
Unless you’re Dick Cheney.
I don’t know of anything of consequence that she accomplished as Sec’y of State–which isn’t necessarily her fault, given the circumstances of international matters during those years (and still). But I also don’t remember anything high-profile that she set out to accomplish. And she was very much behind the curve concerning support for the Arab Spring. She wanted to continue to support Mubarak and the other regimes.
There’s a huge chasm between her intellectual and personal abilities and her husband’s. Bill Clinton is genuinely bright, intellectually creative, quick-witted, articulate, and personable. Hillary Clinton is none of those things.
I think you are wrong on Hillary.
I’m not a big fan of Bill Clinton’s presidency, either, Colby. A really craven decision of his–to sign the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), and an accompanying related one, into law is one of the truly appalling presidential actions in recent decades (although the rightwing Supreme Court justices have effectively rewritten AEDPA so that it is very significantly different than either Congress or Clinton envisioned it; the statute as rewritten–er, “interpreted”–by the current Supreme Court renders the statute, in my opinion, baldly unconstitutional.
And then, of course, there was the deregulation of the banking industry juggernaut.
And his mostly “centrist” judicial appointees–a surprising number who were, coincidentally, former classmates of Hillary’s at Wellesley and Yale Law School.
All that said, the ‘90s was a very conservative era politically in this country, and Clinton did have to make concessions to that–albeit not to the extent that he did.
And he is, in my opinion, someone who actually can, and is willing to, explain economic policy issues effectively. And I’m still deeply grateful to him for that speech he gave at the 2012 Dem Convention–a speech of the sort that neither Obama nor Hillary Clinton could write and deliver, to save their lives. I think that speech made a difference.
Why, Bill? What has she ever done, or tried to do, that should place her into the nomination for president?
PS: I do agree with you, Bill, that Hillary Clinton would have actually fought the Republicans. Unlike Obama, who has spent the last five+ years cowering.
But the way to fight the Repubs and win is to respond aggressively to their policy claims, by actually speaking, publicly, in some depth about them. And someone who really knows these issues and has worked on them for a long would be able to do that far better than someone, like Hillary Clinton, who hasn’t.
I had hopes for Hilary Clinton, but where is the Clinton-What’s-His-Name Act? I’m sure she’s done something in the Senate, but for the life of me I just can’t remember what. I’ll vote for her since I’m sure she’ll be running against some vile creature or another from the pits of Mordor, and they were glad to be rid of him.
Here’s my take, and no I got your last post Bev.
Since Nixon stepped into the ring, we have been in a trend in which the post of president is a celebrity achievement. The only exception is Carter. And that only happened because we were still familiar with the post of president an substance achievement.
But then the middle class was experiencing some insecurity as to their false perception of being rich, the media beat the crap out of Carter the first 2 years which neutered him for the last 2 years. The public bought it and so the public fell for an actor who I believe truly believed his crap but also was believing in the elementary school lesson that you to could become president. Mommy, look I’m the president.
We’ve been electing people consistently since Reagan who view the position as a celebrity position and achieving their star on Hollywood Blvd.
But what gets me so pissed off is both Clinton and Obama were elected at a moment in our history which allows one to truly mold this nation toward that original quest of being better as a people. Clinton had Perot who set the public up. His charts had the people paying attention, they were thinking, they were energized, they were ready to move and they knew that 2 people working in a home was not what they thought the Reagan promise was about. But NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Clinton went for the star.
Obama, gets the same moment, the same setup, the same opportunity. It was a gift of contingency. He’s blown it for the sake of getting his star.
Yet, here we are again. Only this time, my sense so far is that people want substance. They are getting that what civics they have been experiencing has been little more than a roll in a theatrical production. Only it’s the worst kind of roll as it’s not even for their entertainment. Instead it’s been sadistical. They have been played for the worst of all traits: selfishness.
Those with the means need the people’s vote to make the machine work for them. No one has been able to get around that one aspect of the constitution. People still have to vote. The people I don’t think are quite there yet, they don’t get it that this is the one true back stop that is indestructible without rewriting the constitution.
Thus, I am not sensing any great enthusiasm for Clinton II. Nor even Bush III. Only the media wants it and as noted, the people have woken up to the way they have been played in this play.
I think we will see a few come forward once the results of this next election is known. I sense they are out there just waiting.
And Warren, Brown, Sanders, Grayson, et al are showing just how well they understand the means of power in this nation by refusing to be president. Now, if one of them became a Supreme…. we would really have something.
We need to end voting democratic as the less worse option. This is not working for the nation or the economy. If Clinton is the best that the left has we might as well have a republican. Obama to me is worse than Bush II, Obama only saving grace was health care and that’s was not much of an improvement in the system.
Strangely interesting (to a 70 year old) piece in what I think may be the very conservative “The Federalist” (one of the co-founders “worked as an economic policy adviser to Gov. Rick Perry”):
Chelsea Clinton Is The Perfect Millennial And That’s Why Hillary Could Lose
Hmm, Beene. You must be a big fan of Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC, and think that what we really needed were two more Supreme Court justices like John Roberts and Samuel Alito. You also must think the Paul Ryan budget bills should have passed and signed into law. And you must really hate the Dodd-Frank banking law, including the part that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that Elizabeth Warren proposed as part of the Obama administration, and the separate law enacted in 2009 that ended the outrageously exploitative checking account overdraft charges, sometimes via manipulation of the order in which charges to checking accounts were acknowledged, and the separate law enacted in 2010 (known as the Durbin amendment) that limits the amount per transaction that Visa and MasterCard can charge merchants (including mom-and-pops) per transaction.
Add to those the matter of policy concerning climate change and other environmental issues. Obama actually has been pretty good, if very quiet about it until recently, on these things. But you must prefer to have the Koch brothers dictating EPA policy and such things as logging rights on federal lands and endangered-species policies.
Your statement is flatly false. I don’t know why that silly meme is parroted by so many people, unless those people are really working secretly for the Koch brothers.
What I will say is that a huge problem has been Obama’s and the congressional Dems’ bizarre quiet about, y’know, mentioning these statutes and policies.
“Daniel, I think you and Yves have it backwards. The Dems can’t show progress in policy BECAUSE of the billionaire-controlled campaign-finance system.”
Exactly. That and the fact it takes the three branches of government to make policy, something that people just refuse to accept.
Personally, I do not like either Clinton. But the idea that anyone remotely progressive would not vote in a Presidential election for whatever Dem is nominated is simply bizarre. One wonders just where they have spent their life.
Perhaps Beene is focusing on the 90% empty instead of the 10% full. Even if Obama achieved single payer, climate control legislation to solved warming for all time and perfect re-regulation of Wall Street …
… the bottom would still be dropping out of our daily lives in the American labor (coulee) market for most of us.
The other day I heard David Kay Johnston (your prime, high IQ muckraker) remark that America would not return to normal in his lifetime — it took 30 years to go downhill and he thought might take that long to go all the way back. Baloney! We don’t want to wait 30 years to restore what should be normal life!
At the moment we have $15 an hour minimum wages proposed in two big progressive cities — scheduled to work in over something like five years. That’s like finding food stamps to be half as much as needed and raising them up over five years — while people starve.
A strong union that knew what ownership was able to pay would not wait five years to get to that pay level. Guess what? Fortune magazine article: “Why Wal-Mart can afford to give its workers a 50% raise, by Stephen Gandel” — explains in esoteric financial terms that Wal-Mart is riding so high that its stock price would not even dip if it raised pay unilaterally, w/o even the benefit of other low paid workers (their best customers) getting a big minimum wage raise.
When will Democratic politicians and academic liberals learn that pushing for a $15 an hour minimum wage would build a lot more political momentum for the Democratic party than pushing for $10 — because of the DRAMATIC opportunity it would provide to educate the public on what is really happening to the economically — WHETHER OR NOT IT GOT THROUGH CONGRESS (that doesn’t matter).
Ditto for the only re-unionizing path that can actually work — the only way to lift the majority of unorganized Americans out of what I call the subsistence-plus labor market. (Check out: “Labor extracting the max consumers will pay — versus — the road to subsistence-plus serfdom”
Two psychological notes:
First, Beverly, you being a girl can maybe help out the boys here. Boys don’t like to talk about anything they cannot practicably do anything about (not even think about! — you’d have to be a boy) — and boys being “instinctive pack hunters” tend to limit “practicably” to actions that can be taken IMMEDIATELY in concert with others. Ergo, any brand new direction like legally mandated, centralized bargaining never gets past their dumb midbrains to their giant forebrains even for brief consideration (it’s out of there!). There was a remark in Robert Kuttner’s “Presidency in Peril”: “Why do women always have the balls?” This is why. Girls, rock your boys.
Second, notice that the Republicans perpetually have something to save the whole country at once from — right down to future generations: the deficit. Sounds impressive to the average person. Would die on the vine if Democrats were pushing genuine world savers: like $15 Now! and centralized bargaining to keep the political forum occupied with something desperately needed by desperately suffering 5% privately unionized American labor.
At the end of the day anyone running for president has to get elected and the more progressive/liberal voters shoot themselves in the foot by deciding they are not going to vote because “there is really no difference between the major parties”. That is the sort of ideological purity which has allowed the rabid dog conservatives to block any moderate legislation in the House. I am not a huge Hillary fan and Obama has been a huge disappointment to me although to be fair the opposition he has faced is unprecedented in my lifetime (and without playing the race card, there are a fair number of the most conservative types who while perhaps not personally motivated by Obama’s skin color have surely played off their constituents views about Obama’s skin color in opposing anything and everything he has ever done or tried to do), but it surely made a difference that Obama was the president to nominate Sotomayer and Kagen to SCOTUS, keep us out of Syria, at least attempt to pass immigration reform, regulate carbon, extend unemployment, argue for infrastructure improvement to stimulate the economy etc. That he has very little more respect for the rule of law than his predecessor, that he has been unwilling to spend political capital in pursuing any of his desired outcomes, that he is a terrible negotiator etc is beyond dispute, but he is vastly better than McCain or Mittens. I do not see how the Democrats keep the Whitehouse without a woman at the head of the ticket because women are their most dependable block–with good reason–and whether the younger voters or people of color turnout is always a crap shoot. On the list of prominent women candidates, Hillary stands out for 2016. Sebelious blew her future with the ACA roll out, Warren says she is not interested and I do not think she is electable nationally, Klobacheur is not ready and then we are left with even younger or much older figures. Personally, I would not mind seeing Biden or Sanders as the nominee, but I do not think either can win and that is against the GOP’s “some other dude” at this point. I just do not think there is any good reason to knock Hillary until some credible alternative presents itself and I really do not see one at this point in time.
Women are the Democrats’ most dependable bloc whether the Dem candidate is a woman or not, Terry. That’s because of the reason that women are the Dems’ most dependable bloc: that the party, and its presidential candidates–all of them men, to date–are significantly better on the issues most important to a majority of women than the Republican Party and its presidential candidates have been. Michele Bachmann as her party’s presidential nominee would not get more than about a third of the women’s vote against a male Dem. nominee.
What angers me is that there are no men who would be plausible nominees even considering running for the 2016 nomination, because it’s considered an affront to women, or something, for one to indicate that he is interested. The one exception, to my knowledge, is Martin O’Malley. So let’s hear it for Martin O’Malley.
Well Beverly my point is not that women will vote Republican–unlike white males they are smarter than that–but that at some point they will not bother to turn out which is true of young people, people of color and the people who are the most progressive/liberal at least in Wisconsin. I know my wife is still extremely unhappy that Obama got the nomination over Hillary in 2008, particularly in view of Obama’s disappointing presidency and I suspect that if the Dems do not nominate a woman in 2016, she will renew her demands that we move to Canada. I do not want to move to Canada. And I doubt whether someone she has never heard of and who seems to be the Chris Christie of Democrats would be a suitable substitute for a woman.
Bev-it looks like many people over 40 aren’t ready for Hillary as well!