Yesterday I wondered how the Democrats figure they win in 2016. Stepping manfully up to the challenge, Mark Halperin of Bloomberg lays out the case. He starts with four reasons why Bernie can’t beat Hillary, and then lists fifteen (15) separate arguments in favor of a Clinton victory next year. They are union support, locking up the nomination early, Bill, learned lessons from ’08, money, oppo research, a fractured Republican opposition, control of the DNC, immunity to scandal, debate skills (she’s “fearsome, dogged and scrupulous in debate prep”), Obama’s not-so-bad approval rating, ability to focus on the general election, the electoral college and demographics.
Anything you notice that’s not included? Like, an issue, or issues, to campaign on? Oh, but wait, I left #15 for last. She’s got a guy named Joel Benenson, and he’s in charge of finding an issue. Halperin assures us this guy’s top notch, and will definitely come up with something. At some point.
I know I’m old fashioned, but I always thought you had to have something to run on. You had to tell people how you were going to solve problems. At the Presidential level, you need to convey a vision of what you hope to accomplish on behalf of the American people.
Hillary has to come up with an answer to this question: why would you be any more successful than Obama? If he hasn’t been able to accomplish all of his goals, how are you going to be any better? Why would the economy be any better in a Hillary administration than it’s been under Obama? What do intend to do different, and better, and how, and why?
Halperin didn’t have an issue he could write about. This is a tell. Halperin is one of the new “Theodore Whites”, journalists who write tell all books about campaigns after they’re over. He wrote Game Change with John Heilemann about the 2012 race. All these people working on the various campaigns know that he’s going to write a sequel on the 2016 campaign, and they all want to be portrayed positively. So Halperin gets top level access. He gets the inside dope, often on a confidential level. The 15 reasons she’ll win the general were quite obviously fed to him from a high level source in the Clinton campaign. They were meant to be convincing. It’s their best spin on the state of the race.
And they don’t have an issue.
In other campaign news Mike Tyson has signed on as a Trump man. No word on whether they’ll be sending the boxing champ, and convicted rapist, out to Iowa to court the evangelicals.
The Bushes are knocking Rubio as the new Obama. Be careful for what you ask for. Obama was a political wunderkind. If Rubio is as good a politician as Obama was in ’08 we’re in good shape. And I think he’s better, in any number of ways.
I’m betting the ratings are down for tomorrow’s debate. Trump brought the viewers, and his appeal is fading. He has not, in fact, come up with a second act. Now that a reputable national poll shows him losing, he could be gone with the wind. It’s a vicious cycle. A decline in the polls leads to a decline in media attention, which is what this guy’s been living on. When he loses that he’s got nothing. A celebrity candidate cannot survive out of the spotlight.
He could be gone quicker than he came.