What Happens If Hillary DOESN’T Run in 2016?
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Last comment by sebekm 7 months, 1 week ago.

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That’s the question postulated by Chris Cillizza in his Washington Post article from this past Friday. His answer: CHAOS. I tend to agree. Here is his article in its entirety:

“What happens if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run for president? Chaos.

A universe of super PACs and other organizations has been built -- and staffed by former Clinton operatives -- to prepare the way for Hillary 2016. (To understand how fully formed these efforts are, make sure to read Mark Halperin's terrific piece in Time this week.)

And yet, running through all of these preparations is a current of uncertainty about whether the former first lady, senator and top diplomat will, you know, actually run. The thinking is that Clinton would never let efforts this extensive go forward if she, in her heart of hearts, wasn't planning to run. But that, like most of what we think we know about Clinton and her plans, is based not on facts but on interpretation. Clinton has been remarkably reticent about the possibility of running, although -- it's worth noting -- she has never ruled out a bid.

One thing that everyone -- those who want Clinton to run and those who don't -- agrees on is that she has simply not made up her mind on the race yet and likely won't for some time. (Our guess for an announcement about her future? Around this time next year.) So, what happens if she decides not to run? In a word: Chaos. For three reasons:

1. There is a panoply of ambitious Democrats who watched Barack Obama leapfrog them in 2008 and won't want to miss their opportunity this time around.

2. If Clinton announced on March 1, 2015, there would only be 10 months before the calendar turned to 2016. Given how much her candidacy -- or at least her decision-making about her candidacy -- has and will continue to freeze the field, there would be a mad scramble for donors, activists and key consultants in early states the likes of which we haven't seen in modern presidential history.

3. There is no obvious front-runner in a Clinton-less field. Vice President Biden would be the nominal favorite for the nomination, but you could also make a credible case for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren or even New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to occupy that space.

One other impact of Clinton taking a pass on the race: It would strengthen Republicans' chances of winning the White House while simultaneously changing the nature of the discussion in the GOP primary. If Clinton runs, one of the narratives of the GOP race will be which of the Republican candidates is best positioned to beat her. (Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is already making that argument -- to decidedly mixed results.) At the same time, the lack of a Clinton-level figure on the Democratic side would mean that the general election would start as essentially a toss-up.

To be clear, we still expect Hillary Clinton to run. But, if she doesn't, the Democratic race for the nomination in 2016 could be one for the ages.

Below we rank the 10 candidates considered to have some possibility of either running for or winning the Democratic nomination in two years. We split the candidates into four tiers; they are listed alphabetically within each tier.

First tier (The Clinton wing)

* Hillary Clinton: She is the biggest front-runner the Democratic Party has ever seen. If she runs, she (almost certainly) wins.

Second tier (If she says no, then....)

* Joe Biden: The vice president wants to run. But he knows that he would start way, way, way behind Clinton and might never be able to make the race close. On the other hand, if Clinton passes, Biden is in -- if not the next day, sometime shortly thereafter. He would almost certainly run as the logical heir to the Obama coalition within the party, although it remains to be seen whether he could actually bring that group together again.

* Martin O'Malley: The Maryland governor makes the second tier because he is the most credible candidate who will most likely run even if the 2016 field includes Clinton. Why? Simple. O'Malley is term-limited out of office at the end of the year with no obvious next step other than running for president. He can't afford to wait until 2020 or maybe even 2024 to run because by that point he will be a guy who no one even remembers was the governor of Maryland.

* Brian Schweitzer: The former Montana governor wants to run for president. While he (sort of) demurs publicly, his statements all have a sort of wink-wink-nudge-nudge-you-know-what-I-am-saying-ness to them. While most Democrats in Washington roll their eyes at the idea of a Schweitzer bid, he is a gifted and charismatic communicator.

Third tier (Not interested. But...)

* Andrew Cuomo: As Maggie Haberman and Edward Isaac-Dovere laid out in a piece on Cuomo in late 2013, the New York governor's lack of interest in the race, which was once regarded as a sort of coyness he would ultimately shrug off, is now seen as a sign that he doesn't really want to run. We continue to believe that a race without Clinton would be too hard for the ambitious Cuomo to resist, however.

* Kirsten Gillibrand: When we dedicated a chapter of "The Gospel According to The Fix" -- you didn't know we wrote a book? -- to the junior senator from New York as a potential "next Hillary," we came in for some polite ribbing from the political community. A few years later, Gillibrand has emerged as a rising star in the party -- a reputation built on her fundraising prowess and her legislative efforts on the issue of sexual assault in the military. Here's us congratulating ourselves on that Gillibrand prediction:

* Deval Patrick: After saying for years that he wasn't interested in running for president, the Massachusetts governor opened the door to the possibility last month. “That’s a decision I have to make along with my wife of 30 years, and she’s a tough one to convince,” Patrick told Politico in what is your classic open-the-door-a-crack statement. As then-Sen. Obama showed in 2008, a candidate who can unify the African American vote and win a large chunk of white liberals is a potent force in a Democratic primary.

* Elizabeth Warren: Of all nine candidates on this list who aren't Hillary Clinton, the Massachusetts senator would have the most viable path to beating the former secretary of state. A hero among liberals, who don't love Clinton and never will, Warren is the sort of anti-corporatist, anti-Wall Street populist that many Democrats thought they were getting with Obama. Like Gillibrand, Warren has signed a letter urging Clinton to run for president. But it would be hard for Warren to resist a race in a Clinton-less field.

Fourth tier (Just. Not. Happening.)

* Cory Booker: The Newark-mayor-turned-senator has a bright political future. But he remains relatively raw, politically-speaking, and is plenty young enough to wait a few elections before making his (inevitable) presidential run.

* Bernie Sanders: In an interview with The Nation earlier this month, the self-avowed socialist senator made clear he is dead serious about running for president. "I am prepared to run for president of the United States," Sanders said. "I don’t believe that I am the only person out there who can fight this fight, but I am certainly prepared to look seriously at that race." A Sanders candidacy would be fascinating if ultimately doomed to the margins of the race.”

See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/03/14/what-happens-if-hillary-clinton-doesnt-run-for-president-chaos/

So - O’Malley, Schweitzer, Cuomo, Gillibrand, Patrick, Warren, Booker, Sanders. I’m sure the overarching national question if HRC doesn’t run would be: Who ARE these people? And does anybody really think Crazy Joe could win a national election against ANY of the potential doofuses the Republicans could field on their ticket?

It looks to me that – barring a physical impossibility – Hillary HAS TO run for president in 2016, if for no other reason than to enable the Democrats to field a credible ticket. It will be very interesting to see what she does.

Latest Activity: Mar 17, 2014 at 3:51 PM

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JimmyMack commented on Monday, Mar 17, 2014 at 17:33 PM

Well, the proof is in. Dementia is a valid diagnosis. My comment on Sebes well written Blog was intended for this one and not the other one.

I sincerely apologize to all,'

Jimmy Darsey
James R. Darsey, Jr.
Local Idiot,
Hey You,
Walking Eagle,

Sheran commented on Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:11 PM
Sheran commented on Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 22:56 PM

Just so JM knows the above comment was not meant for you! If Hillary doesn't run, who's the next contestant for front runner in the Democratic party?

JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 15:03 PM

Well Sheran: Personally I like Sen.Chuck Schumer from N.Y. then I like Sen. Cory Booker from New Jersey. After that in no particular order but none the less viable candidates for Democratic Potus: Jerry Brown: Gov. California, Atlanta Mayor Muhammad Kasim Reed, Andrew Cuomo Governor of New York, Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Mary Landrieu Sen. Louisiana, Mark Udall Sen. Colorado, Bill Neson Sen. of Florida. And my very favorite and last but not least...AL FRANKEN, SEN. MINNESOTA. Anyone who was the head writer for Saturday Nite Live would make a great President. Of course we always got Joe Biden to fall back on.

Who do you like? Don't say Huckabee...he's already been around the track and lost to his Republican Peers.

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 16:46 PM

I think I'll just take a quarter out of my pocket heads so n so, tales so n so! Not a clue at this time!☺

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 22:29 PM


# 10) I vote Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I've decided to marry my German Shepherd.

# 9) I vote Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon at 15% isn't.

# 8) I vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a much better job of Spending the Money I Earn than I would.

# 7) I vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as Nobody is Offended by it.

# 6) I vote Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves. I am also thankful that we have a 911 service that get police to your home in order to identify your body after a home invasion.

# 5) I vote Democrat because I'm not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive and comfy.

# 4) I vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits, and we should take away Social Security from all those who paid into it.

# 3) I vote Democrat because I believe that businesses should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for "Redistribution" as the Democrat Party sees fit.

# 2) I vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

And the # 1) reason I vote Democrat is because I think it's better to pay $billions$ for oil to people who hate us, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher or fish here in America. We don't care about the beetles, gophers or fish in those other countries.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Sheran, That's a cut and paste job and ANYBODY can do it. Ask Tot. I would have much preferred YOUR words as you requested of me. Each side can cut and paste. Your true colors show when you can express your opinions in your own words and not in the words of others. :(

sebekm commented on Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 14:33 PM

Regardless - Sheran - THOSE ARE GREAT REASONS TO VOTE DEMOCRAT. And one's "true colors" are shown by whatever they do or say that expresses how THEY THEMSELVES feel. This also applies to an "amen."

All of the top 10 reasons you cite are absolutely TRUE, and the Dems can't refute them so they attack:

*the messenger, or

*the means by which the message is being relayed

Those top 10 reasons are being recognized and understood by more and more people across the country. Look for the results at the ballot box in November.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 17:10 PM

You guys may think you have the momentum...but we ain't leaving here without a fight no matter what. You gotta earn it. We are not giving it to you even tho you'd like us too with all these pre-election poll numbers.

It ain't that easy.

sebekm commented on Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 17:57 PM

Nobody said it was, but the GOP DOES have the momentum. Old Mo' has been playing out every day in the polls and in the upcoming Senate and House races across the country. As I said in prior comments, the Republicans still have plenty of time to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory. But IMHO they should focus on three things between now and November:

*Let ObamaCare continue to do the damage it has been doing. Don't overplay it - but make sure the Dem spin is undercut and the truth about the damage gets broadcasted.

*Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut. (I tell this to my kids all the time.) Focus on facts and minimize opinions.

*When your opponent seems hell-bent on suicide, get the hell out of his/her way.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 18:23 PM

Is it possible that Bill could run as the VP? If so....we will walk the dog on yall. No matter who yall put up to run.

BTW: who is yalls candidate this week?

sebekm commented on Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 17:18 PM

Bill who? If you mean Bill Clinton, here's what he said about whether he could CONSTITUTIONALLY run for Vice President in an interview on the Letterman Show awhile back:

Letterman: "Now there was a discussion last week, and there is I guess a greater discussion, and there's some confusion, and maybe I'm the only one confused about the eligibility of a man who has been elected twice as President to possibly be named later on the ticket as Vice President. Constitutionally speaking, can that happen?"

Clinton: "I don't believe so. There are some people who believe it can, and they have contorted readings of the amendment, the 22nd Amendment. But I believe as a matter of general interpretation, you're supposed to read all the Constitution including all the Amendments as if they were written almost on the same day at the same moment, so they're consistent with one another. And the Constitution says the qualifications for Vice President are the same as those for President. Now you can read that to mean 'to serve,' not 'to run for.' But I just don't believe it's consistent with the spirit of the Constitution for someone who's been President twice to be elected Vice President. I just don't think it's Constitutional. I don't think it's right and I wouldn't want to do that. I'd want to do whatever I could do to be of highest and best use for her, but there are lots of wonderful people out there, including all the people that are running this time would be good Vice Presidents. And, that's just not in the cards."

I personally believe it wouldn't be the slam-dunk you suggest even if it WERE possible. You might get the Dem base energized, but you would CERTAINLY lose all the Republicans and probably more than two-thirds of independents/swing voters. You have enough people who will vote against HRC because they see it as a dynastic extension. A Clinton-Clinton ticket would garner even less votes.

I don't know who the GOP candidate of the week is. You mentioned (I think) a Paul-Cruz (or was it Ryan-Cruz?) ticket in another blog string. Paul does seem to be energizing some millennials in places like Berkeley, and his libertarian streak seems to appeal to both Tea Partiers and the moderate GOP. It looks to me that the Republican field is just a bit more defined than the Dem field is WITHOUT Hillary. By just a small amount. But that's not saying much.

sebekm commented on Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 17:20 PM

Here's the link for the Letterman-Clinton exchange:


JimmyMack commented on Sunday, Mar 23, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Ok Sebe. Just maybe wishful thinking about them 'good ole days' of prosperity and world status. My bad.

I posted quite an extensive list on potential Demo Candidates a little while back. Check my comments made on my profile if you want to see them.

B-Ball today!

sebekm commented on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 15:32 PM

Yes - I've been consumed with "brackets" (and Dr. appts), and am just now getting back to the blog. My son and I usually do several brackets together and a bunch separately. I pointed out to my son yesterday that the ESPN bracket we did together is in the precise percentile as POTUS' bracket. Hardy-har-har. I told him that shows how smart WE are.....

As for the candy-dates, to paraphrase Sporty (who I miss): It's Hillary and everybody else - on both sides. I suspect somebody will come along that will catch the GOP's fancy, but they know who they need to "capture" in order to win a presidential election. I'm not sure they have that candidate yet. I'd hate to see the Dems win by default again (de fault of the Republicans, that is).

It does look like Christie is trying to "shape up" for a run, but he's probably given the Dem Dirt Machine too much to work with BridgeGate. But 100 pounds is a lot to lose:


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