You’ve all heard the old line from Will Rogers about how he was not a member of any organized political party, he was a Democrat. Another good line describing the frustration of being a Democrat is that to get Democrats organized is like herding cats.
Even though 72% of Democrats being polled want Hillary Clinton for President, progressives are out there hoping for another candidate. What the President said about Hillary was true, she is very qualified to be President. But what he also said is true as well and that is that Democrats want to try out a new car, a new candidate or someone other than Hillary. A new car sounds fine, but it still has to make it beyond the warranty period. A shiny new candidate might be unprepared to meet the challenges of today. Some new candidate might have a few defects. When you are in a crazy time in the world, there is some comfort in knowing that the car has been around the block a few times.
We hear the names of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders being mentioned and talked about. Democrats are always looking for the perfect candidate, someone exciting and charismatic. Elizabeth Warren would be an especially interesting candidate, but her leadership in the Senate on setting the Democratic agenda on issues is needed. Democrats love to be inspired by the souring rhetoric of great speeches. The truth is that many Democrats enjoy a good fight for the nomination. It is an exciting spectacle to watch grown men and women kiss babies in New Hampshire and watch politicians go into barbershops and restaurants and introduce themselves to voters. Campaigning is a unique experience akin to a marathon in that it is the tortoise that usually wins, not the first one out of the gate with flash and dash. We the people test our candidates which is a healthy exercise in Democracy.
There has never been a perfect candidate. Lincoln had a high pitched voice. Lyndon Johnson was coarse on occasion, but flavorful. Irrespective of his style he got things done. JFK was perceived by some to be an elitist. The current president has been called too professorial. What is required are leaders, people willing and able to make the tough decisions during a crisis.
For Democrats for the first time in memory they are in good shape in having a qualified candidate for President, who has just so happened to have been around for some time now. Hillary Clinton will still have to earn the nomination.
Some Democrats like Joe Biden and several others are qualified to be President. In a way it is an embarrassment of riches. Biden has been around Washington for more years than Hillary, he too knows the ropes and how to make the system work. At least he knows where the executive bathroom is.
Irrespective of the glamour and excitement of a suspenseful campaign let us remind ourselves of the purpose of the process. Each political party in theory hopes that the process finds for the country the best person for the job of President of the United States, that each party can produce.
Normally it is the Republican Party who nominates the next person in line of succession to be their nominee. It is darn right amusing to see perhaps 12 or more potential candidates seeking to be President. It will be fun to see how debates are handled with so many wannabe Presidents. I wonder if any of the Republican aspirants other than Jeb Bush really have any true understanding of how tough the job of President really is.
America is in crisis. Yes, the economy is doing well for some and the unemployment numbers are down. We have had a marvelous recovery for some of our citizens. The stock market has set records, and corporate profits are at a record high. The record profits of our corporations have not filtered down to the American worker. Our success compared to Europe has been remarkable considering how partisan our politics has been polluted, with absolutely no cooperation with the decidedly disloyal opposition.
There is more work to be done. America has an income inequality problem and a problem of a lack of social mobility from one economic class to another. Because wages for the Middle Class have gone down visa vi inflation, many of our fellow citizens are not enjoying the recovery as much as they should be. There are many people who are our fellow citizens who are angry and fearful for their financial future. If Hillary Clinton can bring to America the kind of prosperity that Bill Clinton brought would any of you complain about that outcome?
Who among the candidates of both political parties has the experience and the know how to marshal the resources of people like Robert Reich to attack our problem of income inequality? Who else is as prepared and ready to go to war against the unfairness that we face? NO, the wealthy don’t need help, but our students need a break on the unbelievable burden that they face because of student loan debt. Our children are our future. Who else is better prepared to fight Wall Street other than a person who knows Wall Street. We still need to protect ourselves against a repeat performance of what happened in 2008 when we had around 13 banks too big to fail. The answer to the question my fellow citizens as to who is ready to meet the difficult challenges that we face is none other than Hillary Clinton.