I’ve been thinking about the Democratic presidential candidates and how it is we ended up with such a weak field. My impression is that in the past few years Dem party elites and the bigger contributors simply assumed it was Hillary Clinton’s turn, and that she was the strongest candidate who could take the White House. So few other Dems thought about running.
And now that assumption is not looking so good. Although she’s still a clear front runner, polls show support for her is falling. And the constant drumbeats about the email issue, even though I’ve yet to see a credible allegation she did anything illegal, could be hurting her. Some people on the Dem side are griping she’s not handling the email thing well. There are headlines about her campaign imploding.
I don’t think her campaign has imploded yet, but what if it did? This is what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket, Dems.
Joe Biden may jump in, and while he wouldn’t be my first choice, I think he’s a better campaigner and debater than people remember. Especially compared to whatever loony tune the Republicans eventually shove into the nomination, IMO Biden might strike most voters as a safe alternative.
However, given the realities of modern presidential campaigns, if Biden jumped in now he’d be millions of dollars and many months behind the rest of the field. That’s another argument for campaign finance reform, IMO. The current system forces everyone to commit too early, unable to switch gears if the one and only candidate stumbles.
As much as I love Bernie Sanders, asking America to vote for a “socialist” Jew for President is still too much of a gamble, IMO. I wish things were otherwise. Although in a sane world, considering the Republican field, the Dems ought to be able to elect a pastrami sandwich in 2016. Also, Martin O’Malley doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, although that could change once there are debates.
But, ultimately, if the Dems blow the 2016 election it’s going to be the fault of party leaders who didn’t encourage some healthy competition in the nomination process.
For another perspective on why the Dems can’t get their act together, see Charles Pierce.