COMMENTARY | What if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run for president? Hot Air raises that question, suggesting a whole slew of possible replacement candidates including Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts to Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky.
The problem is that Plan A for the Democrats retaining the White House has been for Ms. Inevitable, Clinton to run. There is no Plan B.
To be sure the Washington Post suggests that Joe Biden wants to run for a third time whether Clinton stays in or not. Another possibility is Elizabeth Warren, the junior senator from Massachusetts. She eschewed a run for now, but with Clinton out of the way, the temptation may be too great. There are even rumors that John Kerry, the loser in 2004, is thinking of having another go.
My bet is that after the initial winnowing there will be two candidates battling it out; Biden and whichever left wing insurgent survives. Then the dynamics of a Democratic race become interesting.
The argument for a President Biden rests on two things; his enormous experience and the prospect of what in effect would be a third Obama term. The latter is somewhat dubious, considering the ravages of Obamacare and the persistent economic malaise. Then there is Biden himself, old, goofy, and gaffe prone. The idea of him being the standard bearer in 2016 should send chills of the spine.
On the other hand the argument for a liberal like Warren or maybe Howard Dean is that she or he would institute far left, progressive policies unalloyed by any compromise. The argument for President Warren is to appeal to people who think that Obama is not left enough. All we need is a single payer government run health care system.
The inevitable conclusion is that whomever the Republicans pick, an experienced governor like Scott Walker of Wisconsin or a tea party reformer like Ted Cruz of Texas, will seen sensible to anyone that the Democrats pick under either scenario. Indeed 2016 might prove to be a left/right contest, say Cruz against Warren, with the middle up for grabs.