Reports of Hillary Clinton breaking the law as Secretary of State has been all over the news–but what does it mean for the Democrats’ presidential prospects in 2016?
Based on the outrage over Clinton using a personal email address, which creates security issues and allows the possibility of her illegally hiding information critical to investigations like Benghazi, it’s clear that her aura of inevitability is fading fast.
This scandal alone won’t sink her chances, but when compounded with a number of previous gaffes and unforced errors, a Hillary presidency is beginning to look a little less likely each day.
But unfortunately for the Left, Hillary is all they’ve got. Because, if not Hillary, who else?
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has denied any plans to run, is a darling of the moneyed liberal elite–taking a far-Left stance on breaking up banks and college loan forgiveness. Because the liberal elite controls most of the media, her name is consistently in the press.
But what plays in Massachusetts won’t play in Peoria.
The things that make her so attractive to the urban Left are exactly the things that would make her a tough sell to other Democratic constituencies–who are less focused on a grandiose liberal agenda than they are on bread-and-butter economic issues.
While Barack Obama is just as liberal as Elizabeth Warren, his race endeared him to minorities, and his age endeared him to millennials as well. Warren would have no such advantage. At 67, she would be the third oldest President in American history–hardly the face of the next generation. And, despite infamously claiming Native American heritage on her Harvard Law resume, she’s white.
Vice President Joe Biden has long expressed interest in running as well. But at 74, he’d be five years older than Reagan was–and make Clinton and Warren look like teenagers. Plus, he has the unfortunate distinction of being a major figure in the Obama Administration. Even if Americans do elect another Democrat to the White House, it’ll be pretty clear that they’re not doing so for a continuation of the current presidency, which has suffered from low approval ratings for years. Biden will have to distance himself from Obama, without alienating Obama supporters. A tightrope act that Biden, honestly, doesn’t have the skills to pull off.
Coupled with Barack Obama declining to support Joe Biden’s candidacy last year, and his reputation as a gaffe factor, a Biden presidency would be an incredibly long shot.
Lesser known candidates like Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, or former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland suffer from similar problems as well. First, they’re all white men–which will dampen strong Democratic support among female and minority voters, the constituencies that handed Obama the White House in 2012. But, more importantly, they lack the name recognition and ability to out-fundraise Hillary Clinton.
With no clear alternative options, the Democrats are basically wedded to making Hillary their nominee in 2016. And if Hillary goes down, either somehow in the primary or against a strong Republican challenger, we can expect the next White House to be red.