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Rand Paul will not be President. He will not receive the Republican nomination. Though the Tea baggers create a lot of noise and have been somewhat successful on the local level, they were in essence created by the plutocracy. They've been convenient for the Koch brothers and their allies in creating issues for the President, but there is no way that the oligarchs are going to relinquish control of the Republican Party.

This does not mean that the Democrats are home free in 2016. I do not whether or not Hillary Clinton has a lock on the Democratic nomination. I hope not. I do know that she doesn't have a lock on the Presidency.

There are a couple of factors that I can see influencing the 2016 Presidential election.

The first is how the Republicans present themselves. This country won't elect a Rick Santorum, a Ted Cruz or some other nut job. They won't nominate Rand Paul. If the Republicans choose to run someone like that, the Democrats could run Kermit the Frog and win.

The second factor is whether or not the Democrats continue their neo-liberal ways. Despite the conventional wisdom here, Mrs. Clinton is not an automatic to become POTUS. We simply have to look back to 2000 to see that it would be foolish to underestimate the Republicans. Despite a comparatively stable economy, a supposed lightweight garnered enough votes to make the election close enough to steal.

If the Republicans nominate someone who appears reasonably sane, who doesn't self-destruct ala Romney, and if they reach out to the conservative segments of demographic blocs such as young people and Latinos, and if the Democrats nominate a DLCer like Mrs. Clinton and continue using the Third Way playbook, the Democrats could very well lose the White House in 2016.

There are Republicans who don't come off as insane. One is right here in Michigan - Rick Snyder. Unfortunately he will probably be re-elected as Governor of our state. He presents himself as a moderate. He is in favor of civil unions, a position that was similar to Mrs. Clinton's until last year. I can see him modifying his position if the political winds blow that way. He is pro-life but favors exceptions and he does not oppose stem cell research. He has favored anti-bullying legislation. Does he have progressive views on most of these issues? Of course not, but he doesn't care about our votes. All he needs to do is neutralize those issues and focus on the economy.

Mrs. Clinton's husband ran his first campaign on the theme, "It's the economy, stupid." Snyder focused on the economy in his first run, advertising himself as "One Tough Nerd", the nerdy smart guy with the business savvy to make the tough decisions to turn Michigan's economy around. He is running for re-election on the slogan, "The a Comeback Kid". Are we doing well here in Michigan? No, but the economic indicators used by the Snyder campaign are positive. One could argue that the entire country is slowly coming out of the Great Recession and that Michigan is simply coming along with everyone else. But Snyder will claim the credit and if he is re-elected, and especially if the Republicans retain control of both houses of the Michigan legislature, the GOP will use the results as vindication of their policies.

All this sets him up for Presidential run. He doesn't have the notoriety of a Scott Walker. Though his policies are similar, he has flown under the radar and avoided the controversy that Scott has engendered. He is as much of a supporter of ALEC legislation as any Republican. He is right at home with the one percent. He has given huge tax cuts to the wealthy. He has taken on the unions and won. He has put public educators on the defensive. He has placed Detroit under an Emergency Manager with near dictatorial powers. In the end, however, for most people the bottom line is the bottom line. If the perception is that the economy is improving, Snyder will be re-elected and become a potential Presidential candidate.

Snyder could run for President as the "Tough Nerd", the "Comeback Kid", who allegedly turned Michigan around and "created more than 220,000 private sector jobs".

Democrats don't have to worry about  Rand Paul or a Mike Huckabee. They need to worry about a Rick Snyder or someone similar, one who appears "moderate" but who could be much more effective in implementing the ALEC agenda than his more reactionary colleagues.

The question is not whether Mrs. Clinton can defeat a Tea Party candidate. The question is whether a neo-liberal third way Democratic hawk can defeat a neo-liberal, ALEC supported Republican.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips/Flames (12+ / 0-)

    A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

    by slatsg on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:26:55 PM PDT

  •  And what if Romney runs again? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He's been spending an awful lot of time in the public eye lately. and Romney doesn't do that for anyone but himself.`

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:36:29 PM PDT

    •  I don't see him as a serious contender (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, Odysseus

      His 47% comment basically revealed his contempt for us commoners. IMO the plutocracy sees an opportunity in 2016 and won't waste it on Mitt.

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:45:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They won't, but Mitt might... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...he has plenty of money to make trouble in the primary.

        How does that stand up to your scenario with Snyder?

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:59:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Snyder is not Romney (0+ / 0-)

          Doesn't have the same background or "pedigree". He's new money and firmly ensconced in the upper class but comes from a different perspective. He attended public schools and was an high achieving student - from what I have gleaned the  quintessential nerd. According to his own account, his support of anti-bullying legislation comes from his personal experience.

          Snyder can not be as easily dismissed as either Romney or Bush as been born with the silver spoon (born on third base and believing they hit a triple).

          He is a smart politician who picks his battles and will back off when necessary to gain a future advantage. He has achieved the many of the ALEC goals with much less controversy than Walker in Wisconsin.

          If he chooses to run, he will be a difficult opponent, much more so than Romney.

          A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

          by slatsg on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:25:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How would you expect things between the two... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slatsg, Sharon Wraight, Calamity Jean

   shake out in the primaries, should Romney's ego push him into running again?

            Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

            by JeffW on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:34:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Head to head ... Snyder - no contest (0+ / 0-)

              It really depends on the candidate field. If there are a lot of Snyder-like candidates, he could get lost in the shuffle.

              OTOH if there are a field of crazies, Romney and Snyder, I think Snyder will win. He has to avoid being drawn into the RW crazy talk, which he successfully did here in his campaigns. He received crossover support precisely because he wasn't perceived as being an ideologue. (IMO, he is a free market ideologue.)

              It also depends on where the money goes. Unless Romney has the support of the plutocracy, he is finished.

              A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

              by slatsg on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:04:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think that happens any more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If you get a convention nomination and lose, that's it.  No more two bites of the apple (or three, in the case of Bryan.)  Adlai was the last.  Then the TV era arrived, we don't do reruns of failed programs on the premium channels.  Where do you watch "Manimal"?

      Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 10:44:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Republicans will choose someone sane (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, JeffW, camlbacker

    Which pretty much narrows it down to Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, or some governor that no one has ever heard of. As in Snyder.

    For the Democrats, the race is going to hang on the choice of the Vice President -- because those poised to run are neocon neoliberals -- just as the GOP are.

    Thus, the only wiggle room is in the VP choice.

    If Julian Castro is on the ticket, the Democrats will win.

    •  Interesting insight. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, tardis10

      The Vice-Presidential candidate usually isn't a deciding factor. Where do you see him making a difference?

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:56:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Forget Christie (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, slatsg, JeffW, JamieG from Md

      If he's not in an orange jumpsuit (picture it) he'll be pretty darn close and will probably have to resign as Governor after all the cast of characters are given immunity.  Jeb kind of scares me but a 3rd Bush, I don't think so.  As for Synder he may fly below the radar but he'll get it thrown in his face the way he's run Michigan with the Emergency Managers, etc.  Besides, Snyder didn't create those jobs in Michigan, the car manufacturers did and they did that with the bail out the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress gave them.

      Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

      by Rosalie907 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:11:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Snyder will take credit for the job creation (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kck, camlbacker, tardis10, JamieG from Md

        and that will propel his re-election.

        One more thing, in order to receive credit, the Democrats actually have to let people know. Here in north-central Michigan during the last Presidential election I saw not one ad pointing out the benefits of the auto bailout. I don't watch much television so there may have been those commercials, but I didn't see any.

        Democrats do a very poor job of messaging.

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:32:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would be disgusting (0+ / 0-)

          And you're right, Democrats do a terrible job at messaging.  Heck, you or I could do better on messaging than they do.  What a shame that Synder can claim credit for creating jobs that he didn't have anything to do with and get away with it.  Wonder who at the DNC needs their ass kicked.

          Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

          by Rosalie907 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:22:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  W/ Jeb, he'll have a potential Mexican first lady. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, slatsg, kck, camlbacker his side as he campaigns.

      Univision and Telemundonwill go ga-ga over Columba.

      Dems should consider that as we embark upon our nominating process.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:13:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From Mayor to VP? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sounds crazy even for a nation where W was inaugurated. Twice!

  •  Well done, reasonable view. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, PatriciaVa, tardis10, Nisi Prius

    And Jeb?

    Since the '80's, I think of elections less Republicans vs. Democrats and more Big Oil v. Wall St. Big Oil has always been more aligned with spooks and wars while Wall St. with, of course, international banking. Big Oil has fractured but will come together behind a Rick Snyder or Jeb but Christie was always too close to Wall St. to be a serious contender IMO. Wall St. has the DLC/ThirdWay. I think Hillary would have a very very tough time against Snyder or Jeb, current polls notwithstanding.

  •  I wish Kermit was running. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terremoto, slatsg, Odysseus

    I'd vote for him.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:06:55 PM PDT

  •  I think you're wrong (7+ / 0-)

    First, the 2000 election is a bad example.  Al Gore lost because of Ralph Nader.  Would he have picked up all of Nader's votes if Nader hadn't run?  No, some Nader voters would have stayed home.  But he would have picked up more than enough to win the election outright and without controversy.

    I also reject the idea that "neoliberal" Hillary will lose the election for Democrats.  Most voters are not nuanced enough to care about her Wall Street association, and most of those who do will vote for her anyway.  Liberals and progressives always vote for the Democrat despite always complaining that they're too centrist / Wall Street / neoliberal / conservative, unless and only unless a seemingly viable liberal alternative emerges.  Hillary will be no different.

    In my opinion, there are two groups of voters who will decide the 2016 election: young voters and minorities.  If they turn out like they did in 2012, or even if they turn out in slightly lower numbers, we win.

    I am a millennial voter, and I'm not sure if you are; if you are, please excuse this paragraph, but I am sick of progressives inaccurately characterizing us as either libertarians or anti-Wall Street occupiers.  These groups exist in our generation, but the vast, vast majority of us do not fall into this category.  You're much more likely to hear a young voter say something akin to "Obama's my n**" than to hear them complain about the surveillance state or the influence of Wall Street in our politics (this applies to every race, by the way).

    Young voters vote for candidates who excite them, and lean heavily towards Democrats.  If you can't explain an issue in a few brief sentences, we're not interested.  We vote for people who seem cool, confident, competent and inspirational.  We aren't going to vote for a bore like Rick Snyder or Jeb Bush; if either of those candidates were to do well with the youth vote, you would find that youth participation had plummeted since 2012.  This will not be the case, because like it or not, millennials in general find Hillary to be an exciting candidate.  We (again, in general) don't know what "neoliberal" means and we don't care about her Wall Street connections.  We care that she seems like she can do the job, is a woman and is cool.

    •  a myth about Nader...check this out (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, Patango, ActivistGuy, Nisi Prius

      Now it gets really ugly for the Gore campaign, for there are two other Florida constituencies that cost them more votes than Nader did. First, Democrats. Yes, Democrats! Nader only drew 24,000 Democrats to his cause, yet 308,000 Democrats voted for Bush.

      Dear NSA: I am only joking.

      by Shahryar on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 06:37:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a boomer, and an older one at that. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, ActivistGuy

      I apologize for that.

      I probably don't have the same insight into millennials as perhaps you do. But as an educator I remain in rather close contact with younger people. While we don't engage in a significant amount of political dialogue, I haven't sensed a deep reservoir of support for Mrs. Clinton.

      If she truly has a lock on the nomination, we will see how inspirational she truly is.

      As for Snyder being boring, he actually uses that to his advantage. The Tough Nerd meme implies boring but intelligent and effective. As an educator and a union supporter I can attest to his effectiveness in achieving his ALEC-backed goals. The Democrats would do well not to underestimate either ALEC or Snyder.

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 07:31:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would Snyder be better than Romney? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slatsg, JamieG from Md

        I see what you're saying, but Snyder won in a midterm year, and if he's reelected, it will have also been in a midterm year.  Running in a Presidential year is much different; running for President is also much different.

        Let's say Snyder (who I'll admit I'm no expert on) became the Republican nominee.  The question is whether or not he would be able to appeal to voters who skew much younger and more minority than he's used to.  Would he be able to play well in the national media spotlight?  He strikes me as someone who is rather awkward.  In fact, he really reminds me of Mitt Romney.  Boring may work in a Governor's election, but I think it leaves you with the Romney coalition nationally.

        All of the Republican Governors in the Great Lakes region are mentioned as possible Presidential candidates, and they all hit me the same way: old, boring white men.  The candidates of yesteryear.  Maybe they can win against a similarly boring Democratic nominee, but they are just not going to be able to compete against Hillary, who has broad and deep appeal.

        Going back to millennials, I'm not saying people who aren't political junkies are going around eager for her to announce.  What I am saying is that we know who she is and we like her.  That's much further than Obama was at this point 8 years ago, and light years beyond where any other 2016 contender is right now.  Hillary will appeal to a lot of people just by virtue of the fact that she's a woman, and I have no doubt that she'll be able to capture the magic with youth that Obama managed in 2008.  AND maintained in 2012, despite no longer being a fresh face and being exposed as a "neoliberal".  People tend to forget that.

        I'm not saying that Hillary is a groundswell candidate who's going to lead us to a 60% victory and super majorities in Congress.  I'm just saying that she's a uniquely strong nominee for our party who should be able to maintain the Obama coalition, which in and of itself should be enough to win the election.

        •  Thanks for the thoughtful response (0+ / 0-)

          To start with, Snyder is 56, not old for a politician. Mrs. Clinton, OTOH, will be 67 this year (my age) and 69 on Election Day, 2016.

          It is true that we don't know how a candidate will respond to the pressures of a national campaign. Will he have a ”47%” moment? Will he even run for the office? I don't know.

          My point is that is that IMHO, Mrs. Clinton's support is rather like the Platte River, wide but not deep. The Republicans are not stupid. They will not nominate a teabagger or a libertarian. Moreover, the Republicans have demonstrated their ability to turn seeming disadvantages into advantages.

          An example is the 2004 for election where the authentic war hero was smeared and held up to scorn while the guy who avoided his obligations came out as the misunderstood victim. I wasn't a Kerry fan, but even now the purple bandage routine at the Republican convention disgusts me. And they made it work.

          Most importantly, the Democrats need to give people a reason to vote for them, rather than against the opposition. Although the Democrats have been more corporate friendly than this socialist likes, they need to point out the positives of their legislation. The auto rescue here in Michigan. The ACA, flawed though it is, has some improvements over the previous system. They should also point out that the President has compromised, specifically on the ACA, which was basically a Republican/Heritage Foundation plan.

          Finally I believe that people want to see someone who will fight for their interests, not simply pay lip service. They want someone who will aggressively stand up for labor, for those who have been marginalized, for young people who see their economic prospects dimming. And they need to see a candidate who won't engage in military action as a matter of course.

          That's my take. Of course I'm just one guy on a blog.

          Thanks again for the discussion.

          A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

          by slatsg on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 10:25:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I do want Hillary to be the nominee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I agree that no Democrat is a lock for the Presidency. It only takes a few states to turn red for a Republican to win. Rubio could win Florida and probably Ohio. Christie, though his chances certainly fell, could still potentially win New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and maybe Florida/Ohio. It doesn't take much to flip the electoral college. Jeb Bush could win Florida/Ohio.

    It's a lot easier than most think, I agree.

  •  Koch vs. DeVos for the Republican nomination: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Walker vs. Snyder.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 08:11:05 PM PDT

  •  Black people. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hassanm, slatsg

    If you think we're going to show up to vote for an old White woman like we did for Barack... then you're delusional.  

    Expect to see a big dropoff in the Black vote in 2016.

    •  I may deluded in thinking I'm not delusional. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hassanm, Odysseus

      I do believe that Mrs. Clinton needs to give people a reason to vote for her or there will be a drop off in the Democratic turnout, and not just with the black voters.

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 10:33:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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