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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Commentary Magazine: Opinion: Jonathan S. Tobin: Dems Realizing Hillary's Record Matters: The Road to Winning the Democratic Nomination For President

Commentary Magazine: Opinion: Jonathan S. Tobin: Dems Realizing Hillary's Record Matters

As far back as early 2006, it was not only clear that Democrats would win back Congress that year, at least the House of Representativeswith, perhaps, a 50-50 split in the Senate, but that then Senator Hillary Clinton would not only win the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 but probably win the general election as well unless the Republican Party was smart enough to nominate Rudy Guliani,  Senator John McCain, or someone else on the Right but who could win Independents and also beat Senator Clinton in the swing states.

Well Democrats did win back Congress in 2006, both the House and Senate, and Senator Clinton served in the majority party in the 110th Congress of 2007-08. But last time I checked, she's not the President of the United States, wasn't on the ballot at all in 2012 and served as Secretary of State in the first Obama Administration. Why is that?  Well,  she lost to then freshmen Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for president.  Before his great keynote address for Senator John Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, most Americans had never heard of him.

As late as late 2007, then Senator Obama didn't seem to have much of a shot at winning the Democratic nomination for president. It was his great speech at the Thomas Jefferson dinner in Iowa in December of 07 that made him a major player and perhaps carried the Iowa Caucus for him that year.  He was  able to inspire people to get behind a cause for the society as a whole.  This was his theme for president in 2007-08.

I'm not sure if the Clinton presidential campaign was expecting a cakewalk to the Democratic nomination for president but they weren't expecting a major challenger either.  Quite frankly, most of the Democratic Party, including me, as well as most of the national media weren't expecting a strong challenge to Hillary for the Democratic nomination.  At the time, the possibility of being the first female President of the United States, the Democrat who was the most electable, and what people saw as a strong resume seemed to be enough for Hillary Clinton to be President.

I have a prediction for 2015-16. If the Hillary campaign believes the same strategy for winning the nomination and the presidency will work in 2016 even though it failed in 2008, they'll lose and, perhaps, lose big. Not the presidency itself, because, as Newt Gingrich has acknowledged, there isn't a Republican standing who can beat her right now, almost regardless of the campaign she runs, if she avoids major mistakes and nothing emerges from her record that could seriously damage her.  Her lack of a presidential vision and theme provides the opening that Brian Schweitzer, Martin O'Malley or Andrew Cuomo could exploit to defeat her for the Democratic nomination.  Any of those three would have that vision and theme to use against her.

I understand all the yearnings to have the first female President of the United States.  If the best candidate for president is a woman or Hillary wins the Democratic nomination, I'll vote for her. But running for the presidency of the U.S. is applying for the most important job in the world.  To win that job you not only have to beat out all of the other applicants but you also have to show the country why you are the best applicant and what you intend to do after you are hired.  Hillary hasn't done that yet.  She's still playing it safe as if it were 2007-08 all over again. 

The American Spectator: Opinion: Jeffrey Lord: 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative

The American Spectator: Opinion: Jeffrey Lord: 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

1964 is a big year  in 2014, for several reasons.  There are a few huge fifty-year anniversaries coming up, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Barry Goldwater winning the Republican nomination for president and Ronald Reagan coming on the national political scene. The third one is the main point of this post because Ron Reagan is far and away the most popular Republican President in modern American history.

This is why Republicans are always quoting Reagan or calling themselves "Reagan Conservatives" whether they are or not. There are Republicans who call themselves "Reagan Conservatives" and then there are actual Reagan Conservatives or Goldwater Republicans who actually practice what they claim to be their political philosophy.  They are for limited government and individual freedom, not big government intrusion into our personal lives.

John McCain, Jeff Flake, Rand Paul, and dMike Lee are all current U.S. Senators who are Reagan Conservatives because they stand by the key Reagan principles of limited government, individual freedom, peace through strength, and individual rights.  Then, there are Republicans who falsely claim to be Reagan Conservatives in order to get elected such as Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Governor Rick Scott of Florida.  They claim to be against big government except when they want Big Brother in our homes and bedrooms.  They associate themselves with Reagan to gain political power.  It is up to voters to validate their claims.