Will a failed politician offer salvation to the Democratic Party?
In 2016, we thought we had heard the last of Hillary Clinton. We thought wrong. Instead of engaging in humble introspection, the twice failed presidential candidate went on a whirlwind tour giving interviews and lectures, blaming everyone from former FBI director James Comey to the Macedonians for her 2016 rout. But Clinton hasn’t stopped with book tours. According to multiple reliable sources, she is considering a third run, lured by both the thirst for power and the prospect of defeating her arch nemeses, Donald Trump.
Recently on Fox’s Tucker Carlson show, a close advisor to Hillary Clinton indicated that the architect of the Benghazi fiasco may yet have another go at proclaiming herself leader of the free world. Philippe Reines, who has been a close Clinton confidant since 2009 and prepped Hillary for debates with Trump in 2016, tellingly noted that Clinton has not foreclosed the possibility of joining the race.
Democrats are in serious trouble. Joe Biden, the supposed savior of the Democratic Party and the man who was expected to easily secure the nomination is lagging in both the polls and fundraising. According to the latest reports, Biden only has $8.9 million on hand. But anemic fundraising is only half the problem for Biden. He is now being eclipsed by Elizabeth Warren in the polls. That ominous development spells trouble not only for Biden but also for Democratic prospects for victory in 2020.
Despite being pulled to the left by his challengers, Biden is viewed by many as a centrist Democrat capable of securing Independents as well as causing defections among moderate Republicans. Crucially, his carefully crafted blue collar image and Pennsylvania origins gave him an advantage in the nation’s Rust Belt, an area secured by Trump in 2016. And his past association with Barack Obama gave him an advantage with African American voters.
But the conventional wisdom, logical as it was, failed to take into account Biden’s advanced age, failing mind, somewhat bizarre behavior and penchant for forgetfulness. His performance during the debates was dreadful. Worse yet, despite his desperate attempt to ride Obama’s coattails, his former boss’s much sought after endorsement was not forthcoming. Finally, Trump has successfully managed to transform the contrived Ukraine quid pro quo incident into a referendum on Joe Biden’s corruption, shedding the spotlight on both Joe and Hunter Biden’s indiscretions.
While his dad was formulating U.S. policy vis-à-vis Ukraine and China, Hunter hitched a ride with pops on Air Force Two and landed cushy deals with a Ukrainian energy company (Burisma Holdings Ltd) and a Chinese bank, securing $1.5 billion in funding from the latter and being appointed board member on the former. Nothing in Hunter’s background suggests that he speaks Ukrainian or possesses any technical training or acumen on energy. When a Ukrainian prosecutor investigated Burisma for corruption and got too close for comfort to Hunter, Joe bragged about how he strong-armed the Ukrainian government into firing the prosecutor, using economic aid as leverage. Moreover, Joe Biden’s claims that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings with Burisma were shattered when a photo of Hunter, Joe and a Burisma official emerged, with the trio leisurely posing at the golf course.
Biden’s brief foray and return to politics is ending in disaster and that is disastrous for Democrats. The polls suggest that Elizabeth Warren is now the top Democratic contender. She is also the Democrats’ weakest and most vulnerable candidate. Of all the Democratic candidates, only Bernie Sanders exceeds her leftist extremism. With her views on single payer healthcare, open borders, free healthcare for illegals, and higher taxes on the middleclass, it would not be inaccurate to characterize her as a hard core socialist.
And she has other vulnerabilities. She continues to be dogged by credible accusations that she falsely classified herself as Native American to advance her academic career. Most recently, she was caught lying about being fired from a teaching position because of her pregnancy. In addition, she lags with African American voters, a crucial Democratic constituency. Finally, traditional big-money Democratic donors and fundraisers have indicated that they would either back Trump or sit out the 2020 elections if Warren became the Party’s nominee.
Enter Hillary Clinton. Sensing Warren’s weakness and Biden’s downward spiral, Hillary, the elitist, establishment Democrat wants to have a third go. She actually believes that she can defeat Trump, claiming in one interview this month that “there does need to be a rematch, I mean obviously I can beat him again,” (emphasis added). The statement garnered many raised eyebrows in political circles but is delusional on two levels. First and most obvious, Hillary lost in 2016 but the poor soul seems to have created a fantastical alternate reality, one in which she emerged the victor. Second, Hillary would lose again for the same reasons she lost in 2016. She is viewed as an out of touch elitist, and is despised by the vast majority of Middle America. She can at best carry the bi-coastal bubble but that’s about it.
As for Warren, she is a Hillary clone, just far more to the left and that makes her doubly unpalatable for Americans. Finally, aside from deeply flawed Democratic candidates, the GOP has even more reason to be upbeat about 2020. According to a historically accurate Moody’s projection, if the economy continues to remain strong, Trump will win 2020 by a landslide. So my advice to Democrats is this; bring lots of tissue boxes to your Party’s convention center, you’re gonna need it.