Republicans continue to celebrate their victory on November 4th. Whether or not their controlling numbers in the House and Senate will make a difference and break the gridlock in Washington remains to be seen. Will their primary focus be 2016 and the White House? That’s very likely. The attacks will begin very soon; Hillary Clinton is a GOP nightmare.
Already some are indicating Ms. Clinton will be too old in 2016 to be elected. How quickly and conveniently Republican forget that their demagogue, Ronald Reagan, was elected at 69. Are they worried that Ms. Clinton will sleep her way through the presidency as did Reagan? And conservatives continue to make the claim that President Obama had too little experience when he was elected. Strangely we didn’t hear that about Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, who were merely governors, or worst of all vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin who was the least informed federal political candidate in our nation’s history. Does Ms. Clinton have too much experience?
The junior Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul believes so. However, that’s probably a mechanism to remove questions about his own inexperience and naivety.
There exist at least two ways of looking at everything. Republicans have been making the assumption that losses by Democrats in the midterms damaged Ms. Clinton’s chances in 2016. They haven’t defined why her likely bid for the White House was damaged, but they continue to make the claim.
More likely they are even more afraid of another Clinton bid for the presidency. The GOP is divided and ready to split into at least two factions; the GOP and the TEA Party. If gridlock continues, and if crucial issues such as immigration reform are not passed in some form, Republicans will suffer in 2016; they now have no one to blame but themselves.
A few inexperienced and ill-informed Republicans are claiming that the election was a mandate for their party. They election was lost for two reasons; history and misdirection.
A lame-duck president is always in danger of his party losing his final midterm. This was predictable.
Secondly, with the American people professing their disgust with Washington, and the President’s approval rating below 50 percent, Republican strategy was to wage a campaign against Mr. Obama and not against their candidate’s actual opponents. If the Democrats had campaigned with the President, praising his accomplishments in only six years considering his inheritance, more of them may have won.
The list of possible and probable Republican candidates Ms. Clinton will face in 2016 offers little challenge. She will most likely face a somewhat formidable foe in her own party. Vice-President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Independent Senator Bernie Sanders who is a liberal will all most likely enter the race for the Democratic nomination at one time.
Republicans should be fearful of a Clinton candidacy. Polls from several key states display a Clinton victory over nearly all possible candidates. The single caveat is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. He is articulate, and well-liked; he could be her strongest foe.
By James Turnage