NASHVILLE, September 16, 2014 – There was a time in America when the Presidential races did not begin until after the midterm election. No longer.
Today, three minutes and seventeen seconds after the end of the loser’s concession speech, the race is on. There is much in the way of conventional wisdom about what will happen in 2016. The nice thing about conventional wisdom is that so much of it is wrong.
The conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democrat nominee for 2016. The Democrat Party, at least in this instance, has shown itself to be smarter than the Republican Party. The Democrats at least don’t nominate someone because it is their turn. Since 1988, every Republican nominee has been pushed to the front because it was their turn.
In 96, it was Robert Dole’s turn. In 2000, it was the Bushes turn. In 2008, it was John McCain’s turn and in 2012 it was Mitt Romney’s turn. If the Republican Establishment has its way, it will be Romney’s turn again in 2016.
Other than 1984 and 2000, the Democrats haven’t played that game.
Contrary to the popular belief, Hillary Clinton will not be the nominee. There is a decent chance, despite her campaign forays into Iowa recently, she won’t even run.
Who will be the Democrat nominee in 2016?
It won’t be Clinton.
Assuming she doesn’t cite health concerns as a reason for not running, she has huge problems. Her abortive book tour was supposed to be a warm up for the campaign. It was a disaster and it showed both Clinton and her team are extremely rusty campaigners.
By 2016, it will be 16 years since the Clinton’s left the White House. There is a whole generation of Democrat voters that have come up that only have a vague memory of the Clinton years.
In that 16 years, a whole new generation of Democrat voters and Democrat candidates has grown up. They see Clinton has a person whose time has past. They see her as someone who had her shot and now needs to move out of the way to allow the new generation of Democrats to take over.
Clinton has another strike against her. She will be 69 if she runs in 2016. Rush Limbaugh was excoriated for pointing out a cold hard truth. Older women are not treated as kindly in politics as older men.
So who will be the Democrat nominee in 2016?
She checks all of the boxes. She is a woman so Democrats won’t feel guilty about voting for the white men (Joe Biden and Martin O’Malley) who are running. She is as far to the left as Barack Obama and more importantly she has the support of the Obama Machine.
The worst kept secret in Washington is how much the Obamas and the Clintons despise each other. The last thing Barack Obama wants to do is hand over his legacy to a Clinton. He would rather see a Republican win than a Clinton. His entire organization, which is in better shape and is better funded than the Clinton machine, will be at Warren’s disposal.
While Warren is very far to the left, she is a competent campaigner. She is a better politician than Hillary is.
The real question now is not if Hillary will leave the public stage but which sunset she will ride off in to.