Is This 2008 For the Democrats?

In 2008 the Republicans had a presidential candidate field that included Tom Tancredo, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.  Ultimately, the party chose John McCain, a Washington insider whose political career began in 1982 when he was elected to the House of Representatives.  He became Arizona’s senator in 1988.  A moderate, mainstream middle of the road type politician, McCain, at age 72, ran his campaign on the slogan “The Original Maverick”.  Unfortunately, by 2008 no one remembered the movie Top Gun any longer.  His most stirring accomplishment was to name the young, woman governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin as his running mate.  It was a tired campaign and McCain lost to Obama 365 electoral votes to 173.

In 2008 the Republicans could have chosen from a wider field of fresher faces that did not have the “inside the beltway” connection.  But the juggernaut of machine politics picked their man the way they do whenever they get the opportunity.  When the nation had a choice of picking a young, unknown politician, the fresh-faced Barak Obama, with his youthful enthusiasm, it was Bob Dole and 1996 all over again.  The result did not surprise anyone.  Tired, old machine politicians lose when the people have a choice of someone new and different.

Fast forward to 2015.  Hillary Clinton is the ‘anointed’ Democratic Party nominee.  She was robbed of her chance to be the first woman president eight years earlier because the people saw an opportunity to tell each other how great they are by nominating and electing the first black president.  After all, you can nominate a woman almost any time.  Over half the nation’s population are women and they are well represented in politics, so there is no lack of opportunity to find a woman nominee; but Barak Obama was the first black politician to come into the national presidential spotlight and the electorate seized on the opportunity to pick him.  Hillary was robbed of her nomination by the younger, newer, unknown Barak Obama.  Being the first black president out trumped being the first woman president.

Clinton sat on the sidelines, waiting for her time to come again.  She dutifully served several years as Secretary of State, a lofty position that the Democratic Party juggernaut insisted to Obama that she get so she could position herself for the 2016 race.  It was a good job from Obama’s perspective.  She was a ranking cabinet member, whose position both guaranteed to keep Hillary in the spotlight and whose responsibilities kept her on the road and away from Barak as much as possible.  She did her job poorly but shielded by the cooperative media, the bad stuff did not stick to her.  She resigned early enough to line her pockets with a lot of money from fund raising speeches and bided her time until she announced her candidacy.

In a race that includes a crazy socialist and a mediocre former governor, Hillary Clinton, unless the stuff really hits the fan, will be the Democrat’s nominee.  A tired, mediocre, former senator, who launched her New York senate campaign with a six month listening tour, so the voters could tell her what they wanted to hear because she had no ideas of her own, Hillary looks to be Bob Dole and John McCain all over again.  She served six years as a senator and was not known for any legislative accomplishments.  Despite her name, she was definitely a back bencher.  Her time as Secretary of State was marred by the Benghazi massacre and email scandal.  More than twenty years earlier she was tasked to bring forth national health insurance, something that she failed at but her 2008 rival Barak Obama succeeded at.  Her most enduring accomplishment is being the former First Lady of the once popular, but now fading into obscurity, Bill Clinton.  At 67, Hillary is the tired, old, establishment candidate put forth by the party professionals.

Contrast Hillary to the Republican field.  Yes, there are Washington candidates among them but none of them are what you could call career insiders.  You have nine current or former successful governors, four senators, including a libertarian and one who was described by the Speaker of the House as ”a pain in the ass”, two entrepreneurs and a neurosurgeon.  Whoever is nominated, the Republican Party’s machine apparatchik is not going to control the election.  The Republican nominee will be the fresh face.  He or she will square off against the Inside the Beltway hack.  Only this time, the tired insider that nobody really wants to vote for will be the Democrat.

Our election history shows that if there is a choice between the career Washington politician and new blood, the fresh face will win.  Nixon versus Kennedy; Bush versus Clinton; Dole versus Clinton; McCain versus Obama…Hillary versus any of the above.  This time it’s 2008 for the Democrats.  Their old insider will be out.

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