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This is what will happen if there is no credible voice (and by "credible voice" I mean an articulate candidate with legitimate credentials, but not necessarily someone who the odds-makers or pundits will say could prevail) to challenge Hillary from the left.

1.  Hillary will move closer to Third Way thinking, i.e., staking out positions her campaign considers "centrist" and more likely to garner support from those who identify as Republican or independent.

2.  Hillary will run a cautious campaign, trying not to offend anyone but inspiring no one.

3. Hillary will affirmatively anger the most passionate portion of the Democratic base, suppressing voter turnout (and hurting other Democratic candidates at the state and local level).

4.  Hillary will win the nomination, but be ill-prepared for the general campaign.

5.  The GOP candidate may well out-flank Hillary on populist themes, which probably won't result in a GOP victory but could muddy the waters as to which party represents The People best.

6.  Hillary will probably win the general election, but be inclined to fill her cabinet with neo-conservative types and take more "centrist positions."

This is what happens with a credible, progressive voice in the primaries.

1.  Hillary will feel pressure to move left on an assortment of issues during the primaries.

2.  Hillary will still win the primary.

3.  Hillary will be better prepared for the general election (and especially better situated to position herself as more populist).

4.  Hillary will motivate the base, increase turnout, win by a bigger margin and help down-ticket candidates.

5.  Hillary will appoint more progressive candidates and her administration will be less interventionist in foreign policy, and take more progressive positions domestically.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd like to have more than a few (8+ / 0-)

    high quality candidates to pick from .
    We have some time , lets find some .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:08:46 AM PDT

  •  you do realize that anything, including just (6+ / 0-)

    about everything said during the campaign is pandering.

    once the person wins, they inevitably break promises.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:09:53 AM PDT

    •  You have a valid point (6+ / 0-)

      I'm beginning to think like my Aunt Mattie.  She told a local politician that she would vote for the next person that rang her door bell, and said "Mattie, I'm the most crooked S.O.B. on Gods green earth and I need your support".  Aunt Matt said I will likely vote for that person because at least they are honest.  I will take a long hard look at Ms. Hillary in the future.  Stabbing our President in his back does not set well with this old, not well at all.

      Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.—Greg King

      by Pinto Pony on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:30:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pinto Pony, sgruver

        but lets not fool ourselves into thinking what a politician says during the campaign translates into actual policy. that a challenge from the left would mean Hillary would actually push our legislation. it might have the opposite effect.

        most of the time politicians are literally talking out of both sides of their mouth to get votes, sometimes to the same audience.  not saying Hillary does or doesn't. just been around long enough to understand the dynamics.

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:33:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Take a look at this article by Ezra (citing some studies).  Fact is that presidential candidates generally try to keep their most significant promises.

          Of course, there are minor promises broken repeatedly.  But candidates really try to govern as they promise, in general, because it is in their self-interest. Rarely does breaking a truly important promise help someone get re-elected.

          •  yeah but they make lots of promises (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MPociask, Pinto Pony
            most significant promises
            equates to the biggest two or three policy positions.

            and even then, expect changes.

            -You want to change the system, run for office.

            by Deep Texan on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:44:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  studies from the 80's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            get out of here with that!  Their other study...  Obama!!  Yeah that's not a good enough study to base any conclusions on.

            the entire fabric of governance in DC has changed since the 80's.

            -You want to change the system, run for office.

            by Deep Texan on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:46:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Just my take (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, hotheadCA

            I was/am Joe Biden fan.  I supported Joe because he seem to stand for the same things I did, middle class, support for women and just an all around blue collar guy that I could get behind.  I gotta admit I fell in love with President Obama when it became apparent he was the nominee.  He IMO has been a remarkable President and I will eternally be grateful to him for all the things he has done (without congressional support) for us.  

            Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.—Greg King

            by Pinto Pony on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:51:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  and that exclusively focused on Presidents (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pinto Pony

            while the original comment was about Hillary, mine was tangentially related.

            i was more general. the president isn't the only election, not even the most important depending on the issue.

            -You want to change the system, run for office.

            by Deep Texan on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:57:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Animals don't change their stripes either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nada Lemming

      We all know Hillary is a CEO-hugging corporatist first, a MIC-loving hawk second. That is never going to change, so it does not matter if a progressive is able to drag her leftward in a primary.

      Regardless of what she says prior to the election, if she gets elected Lloyd Blankfein gets a sock draw in the Lincoln Bedroom, the Chamber of Commerce gets a hotline to the Resolute Desk and Lockheed Martin get's a monogrammed chair in the War Room.

      Of the almost 1,900 dead Palestinians, the IDF said it killed "900 terrorists" in Gaza. Add that to its long list of lies.

      by pajoly on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 12:17:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to me that Hillary herself is a neocon (6+ / 0-)

    running now more against Obama's record/legacy than against any purported Republican opposition.

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Join the site, then the group at

    by rhutcheson on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:37:33 AM PDT

  •  I think if there were a progressive opponent... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...Hillary Clinton would stake out more conservative positions in order to beat up on the challenger and to cement her credibility with Very Serious People.  

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:40:51 AM PDT

  •  Hillary said primaries are good. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snacksandpop, HeyMikey

    Back in '08 when she dragged out a divisive primary, causing lasting bitterness against Obama among some of her supporters, she said it was good for the party. We should hold her to that.

    •  2004: why we need a challenger. (0+ / 0-)

      First reason.

      In 2004, as long as Edwards stayed in the race, the media actually covered the differences on issues between Edwards and Kerry. And Dubya was kept out of the spotlight.

      As soon as Kerry sewed up the nomination, the media stopped caring about issues 99%, and the 1% was just he-said-she-said. ("Dubya says Kerry would sail us off the edge of the earth; Kerry says the world is round. Each side cites experts.") The other 99% of media coverage became all polling horse-race, all the time.

      We need a challenger in 2014 to get the public thinking about issues from a Democratic perspective. If Hillary is a foregone conclusion, it will be the reverse of 2004: the media will cover the GOP issue debate, and Hillary will be out of the spotlight.

      Yeah, I know Dubya won in 2004. But he was a war President in wartime. It appears (and let's hope) that won't be the situation in 2014.

      Second reason.

      Hillary, regardless of her merits on this issue or that, is boring.

      Boring candidates lose elections. See: Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, Mondale, McGovern, Humphrey.

      Elizabeth Warren is interesting. So I still hold out hope:
      Warren 2016

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals."—Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 05:50:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about making it the Al Franken decade? (7+ / 0-)

    He's a strong progressive with a nationally recognized name, highly intelligent and educated, and is extremely experienced with public speaking and in front of the camera.

    "What's it all about? You know what I mean." - Alfie

    by Fordmandalay on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 12:00:38 PM PDT

    •  Think he'd still run on ATM fees? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, highacidity, HeyMikey

      Or were you not talking about his book "Why Not Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency"

      It was based on 2000 wherein he beats Al Gore (via wholly illegal means), then triumphs over the fractured GOP only to make a really bad slavery reference in his inauguration speech, the falls into depression, punches Nelson Mandela in the stomach, has a clone of himself created and surrogated by Ellen DeGeneres and ultimately has to resign from office within the first 100 days.

      (Spoiler Alert:  The clone ends up being the head of the Franken Presidential Library)

      Funny book... the first part is his over-the-top Presidential Candidacy preparation memoir, the second is his campaign diary (the funniest part) and the 3rd part is the BoB Woodward expose called "The Void" about the first 100 days leading up to his entire cabinet being impeached and his resignation (only after preemptively pardoning himself).

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 12:18:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sure... (0+ / 0-)

    Someone should totally start raising MILLIONS of dollars and fielding volunteers in a dozen or so states in order to step up and be abso-fucking-lutely shellacked by the Hillary Campaign in order to make some kind of moral victory about something while changing nothing except adding "failed presidential candidate" as the newest title on their resume.

    I'm sure there will be dozens of people clamoring for this opportunity.  Odd that every Democrat anyone could possibly think of is either a) named Martin O'Malley or b) quickly going on the record as "NOT RUNNING" to get their name off the chattering class's list of "potentials".  (Warren, Schweitzer, Dean, Sherrod Brown, Feingold, Klobuchar, Patrick, Villaraigosa, Warner, Gillibrand, etc, etc, etc...)

    Maybe we need to step up another "DRAFT" campaign for someone since overtly demanding other people do what we think is best for their careers when we think its best always works out well for everyone.

    (and please note:  Bernie Sanders cannot challenge Hillary in the Primary.  He is an independent member of the Socialist Party.  He is not eligible to run in the Dem primary.  He can, and very well may, challenge her in the General)

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 12:01:14 PM PDT

  •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)
    3. Hillary will affirmatively anger the most passionate portion of the Democratic base, suppressing voter turnout (and hurting other Democratic candidates at the state and local level).
    Your use of the word "base" is all wrong here.   People who would sit out the election from laziness, or disappointment, or pique, or spite, or misguided cunning are by definition not part of the Democratic base.

    Only people who support the party through thick and thin deserve that badge of honor, the Democratic Base.

  •  Yeah, but who? (0+ / 0-)

    Who will run?  And who will run that's sufficiently progressive.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 12:31:05 PM PDT

  •  I agree with a lot of whay you say (0+ / 0-)

    I think Hillary would govern as a Third Way Democrat. That is unless a progressive Congress or public moved her left. I don't think we will get a progressive Congress.
    I think Hillary represents the politics of the past which isn't the answer to fixing our economy. There is no way to fix this economy without increasing people's incomes and that can't be done with the post side Third Way policy. My fear is the economy would keep.trending the way it has the last few decades until the public revolts. I know some people won't like anything i say on Hillary but I will vote for her. I don't want the GOP to get the supreme court. I do not want ACA repealed or for the GOP to do other damage.
    Right now I see O Malley and Mark Warner as the other possible candidates but they wouldn't govern much different. Also I am not sure any Democrat could get much passed in this congress

  •  Already she is tacking right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as she advocates a more aggressive policy in Iraq.  If we want to avoid engagement in unnecessary warfare, we need a more progressive choice.

    An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

    by Thomas Twinnings on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 12:54:48 PM PDT

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