If the headlines coming out of Ukraine aren't keeping you awake at night, here's a terrifying thought that should. There is exactly one credible Democratic candidate to replace president Obama in 2016: Hillary Clinton. And she hasn't even announced yet.
Usually that wouldn't be a problem. Our current president didn't announce his candidacy until February 2007. That means Hillary should have until February 2015 to make up her mind.
But if she waits that long, it will be too late. There is no other viable Democratic candidate to take her place, and there won't be as long as she's in the race. Hillary is a giant of presidential timber, blocking the sunlight from the saplings below.
Who else is in the Democratic forest? Nobody knows, they're invisible. You can't see them for the sun that is Obama and the majestic old oak that is Hillary.
Normally, candidates who know to a metaphysical certainty that they're running for president are smart enough to hide that ambition from the public for as long as possible. Even when they know we know they play coy.
This is a wise course for most candidates in most election cycles. Once one announces, the circus is in town. The media scrum begins, the other side tosses wise cracks, brickbats, and negative ads, their opposition research digs for dirt, and if they can't find any, they smear you with mud and innuendo, defining you out of all recognition. It is better to wait.
But Hillary? Come on. They've thrown everything at her, from Bill to Benghazi, and she's still standing tall. The day she announces will be like every other day as far as her enemies are concerned. They're not waiting, why should she?
This is an election we can't afford to lose. Until the Republican Party purges the crazies from its midst we can't take the chance of giving them the White House. Anything could happen and usually does.
In 2000 the economy was roaring, there was relative peace in the world, home values were going up forever, Newt Gingrich was gone, the impeachment crowd had shot their wad, and the ship of state was sailing on the winds of a surplus. What could go wrong?
Then 9/11 happened and we had the wrong guy with the wrong team making the wrong decisions at the wrong time.
Iraq was bad enough. Imagine a president Ted Cruz, under the neo-con spell of Secretary of State John Bolton, sending the 82nd Airborne to Sebastopol and starting World War III. Do you want to take that chance?
Neither do I. I'll take Hillary any day. Any one of the Democrats would be preferable. But I'd be a lot more confident if there was more than one Democrat.
Maybe you think I'm being too drastic. Well, try this thought experiment and see if you still feel that way.
Quickly, name five credible Democrats who could run and win if Hillary doesn't in 2016". Okay, I'll make it easier on you, name me three.
Now, do the same for Republican hopefuls.... Not so hard, was it? Cruz, Rubio, Walker, Ryan, Jindal, Bush, Paul, Kasich, Christie, the depressing list goes on and on. I don't think any one of them makes a good president, but if Hillary doesn't run, they win on name recognition alone. Any one of them is better known than any of the Democrats you couldn't think of before.
Don't get me wrong. If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Nominee in 2016, I shall vote for her. I realize the significance of having a viable, female candidate for president for the first time in American history. Hillary is not a candidate who happens to be a woman, any more than Barack Obama is a president who happens to be black. Her election would be groundbreaking, it would signal a new epoch in American politics.
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