Hillary Clinton has learned from her mistakes in 2008. She is gathering extremely qualified researchers and strategists who will shape her campaign. Clinton will be more formidable in 2016.
Clinton is expected to announce her candidacy within the next several weeks. President Obama offered numerous proposals and stated several ideas which will buoy her platform. In addition to tax increases for the one-percent, and tax breaks for the middle class, the President talked about women’s and family issues which are likely to be at the heart of Clinton’s campaign.
In a speech to the Massachusetts Conference for Women, Clinton spoke about several issues specific to women. She said that measures guaranteeing paid leave after child birth were a priority. Clinton spoke about work schedules; how there is a need for both flexible hours, and predictable times and days. She noted that there were few affordable and secure options for child care, and no paid family leave. Almost identical references were spoken by the President Tuesday evening.
While the Republican Party will likely have too many candidates to count, the opposite situation is a small concern for Democrats. Who, if anyone, will challenge Clinton?
Progressives have urged Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to place her name on the ballot. She has consistently said that she will not be a candidate in 2016.
Four possibilities exist. Vice-President Joe Biden is expected to run. In addition, Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, has been seeking possible donors. It is doubtful he could win the primary; he describes himself as a ‘socialist.’ He would be soundly beaten in the general election.
Jim Webb is a former Senator from Virginia. He has enlisted a committee to explore the possibility of a run for the White House. He is considered more moderate than Clinton.
Maryland’s governor, Martin O’Malley, hired a staff for his Political Action Committee, but has not as yet made a formal announcement.
Although Clinton remains an un-announced candidate, she has been hard at work organizing a 2016 campaign. She is engaging in daily strategy sessions. She is re-analyzing changes in voter dynamics, the influence of Super PACs, and the importance of social media. Clinton is deeply concerned with tailoring her campaign speeches in a manner which will reach the middle class and women.
Although nearly every candidate Clinton supported in 2014 lost, she was testing how to incorporate her ideas into her speeches.
Clinton has apparently learned from her failed bid in 2008. The early favorite for the Democratic nomination faltered midway through the campaign. Unlike the 2008 campaign, she appears to be waiting until April to declare her candidacy. She began her previous effort in January of 2007. Clinton misjudged Barrack Obama’s appeal. In addition, she had internal problems. Eventually her campaign manager and a strategist were fired.
Foreseen problems between Super PACs and the Clinton inner circle will be addressed quickly and with compromise.
Clinton is more prepared for 2016. Her experience and ability to observe Washington from the sidelines for a couple of years give her an advantage.
It does not appear now that a viable opponent for the Democratic nomination will emerge. All the fun will be on the Republican side of the aisle.
By James Turnage