If Democrats could start over today, would Hillary be the nominee?

Hillary is old and tired with tired old ideas. Even in the bogus debate with two strawmen, the stawmen won, or would have in a fair fight. Of course, the game is rigged. Bernie could have finished her off, but he instead pledged his vassalage. Marin O’Malley tried valiantly but was counted out in advance. If the game was not over before it started, would Hillary be Democrats’ choice?.

Posted by Christine & John at December 20, 2015 10:58 AM
Comment #401513

We watched a little of the debate during the Cowboy/Jets football game commercials.

My wife said she wanted me to find out who does Hillary’s makeup as she looked good for a change.

But, a painted on face didn’t change the tired old stump speech.

What amused me most was how much these candidates would change things without ever mentioning it was Obama responsible for how bad things were going.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 20, 2015 3:45 PM
Comment #401514


I noticed that too. It is a liberal skill to loudly decry things that you, your allies or policies have wrought. Look at Rahm Emmanuel passionately attacking the system that he currently runs and one that was created by generations of exclusively Democratic power.

Posted by: C&J at December 20, 2015 5:19 PM
Comment #401515

If Democratics were to start over they should revert back to the Federalist Party and what it stood for.

They should insist on a King and his court, appointed for life, to run the country. Lords(lawyers) would be controlling the peasants who work for them on government owned property. Peasants would own nothing.

That way they wouldn’t have to lie and live a life of hypocrisy. They could actually stand behind their actions and beliefs instead of being the man behind the curtain.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 20, 2015 5:49 PM
Comment #401516

Hillary old and tired? I would point out that she is a year younger than the Republican front runner, Donald Trump. And while Trump complained about a three hour debate and demanded future debates be limited to only two hours, Hillary Clinton faced the Benghazi Committee on national television for an 11 hour session! She single-handedly testified for over 8 hours! The conservatives on the committee did everything in their power to trap her into uttering a damaging sound bite. They hectored and badgered her and tried to make her lose her cool, but Hillary kept it together. The conservatives on the committee made themselves into laughingstocks. HRC remained cool, calm, and collected. She maintained her gravity, professionalism, and dignitas while the conservatives humiliated themselves. It was so bad, one committee member claimed Hillary had trapped them! She singlehandedly destroyed the Benghazi conspiracy theory and the fake e-mail scandal in one long day, and that will probably prove to be the day she won the presidency.

The idea that Hillary’s ideas are old and tired is preposterous. It is an example of laziness. It assumes because conservatives know nothing about the issues, everyone will accept such a lazy approach to politics.
Here is an exhaustive list of Hillary Clinton’s stand on issues. It contrasts her ideas with Trump. The site also offers contrasts among other candidates:


In general, Hillary advocates the continued expansion of rights for all Americans on the social front, and continuing the policies that have led to the long economic expansion under Obama.

It would be unfair to refer to conservative ideas as old and tired because there really aren’t any conservative ideas. Donald Trump is winning in the polls and his policies, such as they are, range all over the political spectdrum. Conservatism will have to be redefined to match his… well, what is the word… they are not really policies… his notions about things to do.

Generally speaking, it is a fear-based agenda- a fear of illegal immigrants, a fear of Syrian refugees, a fear of Muslims, a fear of terrorists, a fear of gay marriage, and more. It rejects the science behind Global Warming and encourages conservatives to believe Obama is a Muslim.

It should more properly be considered a reactionary platform, and that holds true for most conservative so-called ideas. They seek to deny, whether it is rejecting Global Warming or repealing health care reform without providing an alternative. It is just a long list of reactions to Democratic ideas.

Posted by: phx8 at December 20, 2015 7:01 PM
Comment #401517


I won’t defend Trump. My nightmare scenario is the battle of the liars, i.e. Trump v Hillary. I would stay home and not vote in that election.

My contention above is that Democrats would not nominate Hillary if they could have a do over. Of course, that do over would have to start eight years ago, since the Clinton machine has smothered rivals for that long.

Re economic expansion - we have recovered poorly from recession. It is a bounce unrelated to Obama policies and if anything more in spite of than because of his leadership. The main drivers of our recovery have been Fed policy and cheap energy related to the fracking boom. The fundamentals were in place the day he took the oath. Obama policies did no good and may have caused some harm.

Re global warming - that problem will be solved, or not, by technological advances. That talk-shop in Paris will have no effect over that.

Consider that the first year ever when a large economy reduced its CO2 emission in a time of robust economic growth was 2006. If you tell me what policy did that, I will join you in advocating it.

Posted by: C&J at December 20, 2015 7:22 PM
Comment #401518

If Hillary could be magically removed from the equation, who would represent the Democrats? Biden. Like Hillary, he would represent a continuation of the Democratic policies we saw pursued in the Obama administration. Like Hillary, there would be some minor differences, but Biden would be the logical candidate.

As for the economy… What record what need to be broken in order to acknowledge this is a good economy? We’ve already seen stock market highs, record low interest rates, a new record for consecutive months of adding jobs in the private sector, an unemployment rate of 5% (which meets the Fed criteria for full employment), low inflation, low energy costs, a recovery in housing prices, and economic growth in 2015 of 2.25%, which falls within the sustainable growth rate named by the Fed of between 2 to 3%.

Maybe if you could give a concrete number for measurement, we could use that to assess the strength of the recovery. You refuse to accept the stock market, bond market, interest rates, job creation, inflation, unemployment rates, oil prices, GDP, or housing prices as a valid criteria.

No problem. Name the number you use to judge this.

Posted by: phx8 at December 21, 2015 1:11 AM
Comment #401519


If Hillary was not there, you would have a better crop of Democrats. They have been excluded for eight years, maybe more. Doesn’t it seem odd to you that the only “possible” Democrats were two old men, one old woman and a failed governor? Have not the Democrats developed anything new since 2000.

Republicans have too many candidates and a much younger and more diverse field. Some of the Republicans were still in college when Hillary showed up in the WH the first time. It was a long time ago.

Re the economy - low interest rates this low are not the sign of a strong economy. The Fed would like them higher. The stock market growth is related to the low rates. It is ironic that you mention these factors, since they contribute to inequality and help the already rich.

Unemployment rate is low because fewer people are looking for work. This is also not a sign of strength. That is probably a big reason why real wages are down since 2008. Again, it is odd you would bring this up, since it hurts the less rich.

Low energy costs - Obama had nothing to do with that. In fact, he was more an impediment than a help. Fracking is the reason for this happy situation. That process began more than twenty years ago and really started in earnest around 2005.

So, Obama’s economy is a lot like Hillary’s resume. All the things are in the right place, but the performance is sub-standard.

One more thing on the economy - it get better. The Fed & TARP stopped the free fall and all this was started before Obama took office. The big stimulus of low energy prices began years before Obama and continued. I give him some credit for resisting the more extreme voices of his party, but he was not a force for good. I don’t recall Obama promising to make energy cheaper by drilling more wells and producing more fossil fuel. Did he?

Posted by: C&J at December 21, 2015 8:05 AM
Comment #401521

“If Hillary was not there, you would have a better crop of Democrats.”
Well, I suppose that is true. If Hillary were not so good, it would have encouraged someone else to run, and maybe they would have been able to challenge Biden and Sanders and O’Malley. We’ll see good Democratic candidates arrive during the first and second terms of HRC’s presidency. The VP nomination may propel such a candidate, as well as some cabinet nominations. The mayor from San Antonio is one such candidate to watch.

We see the opposite situation in the GOP. There is no good, dominant candidate. Instead we have seen a crop of extremely mediocre Senators and governors running and failing at the feet of Donald Trump. It is a terrible thing to see. It is so bad, Senator Ted Cruz might come in second. He even take over the lead should people decide they are were just kidding the pollsters, and not actually show up to vote for Trump.

Cruz is supposedly running a very good campaign, a good ground game, and a good organization. Trump is just so-so; ok in IA, very good in NV. Rubio should be doing better, but he is not good at staffing and running an organization. He is not good at strategizing about what he needs to do to win primaries. He seems satisfied to come in 2nd or 3rd. Maybe he’s just running for VP.

The GOP primary will essentially be over by March 15th. If Trump wins FL, that will be that. He will just need to make sure he has a majority of delegates, and if he wins FL, he probably will.

Posted by: phx8 at December 21, 2015 11:42 AM
Comment #401522


I really do not understand why followers think she is so good. I have had close contact with her on a couple of occasions and worked in an organization that she ran. She was not terrible in the job, but she certainly was below average among the nine SecStates I have known. Kerry is significantly better (and I am not a fan of his). She never really understood her job and did not work very hard at it. She visited us and spent most of the visit in “downtime”. And when it was all done, nothing changed.

I do not like Trump or Cruz. I don’t want them as president as much as I don’t want Hillary. You can criticize Republicans if you like, but at least there is a real choice.

Posted by: C&J at December 21, 2015 12:52 PM
Comment #401524

Well at last one of the zero candidates “suspended” his run which is the same as he quit. Graham had nothing going for himself and operated the same way in past performances. There are a few more that should get out of the race starting with Jeb and moving onward.

Posted by: tom humes at December 21, 2015 6:41 PM
Comment #401525
Low energy costs - Obama had nothing to do with that. In fact, he was more an impediment than a help. Fracking is the reason for this happy situation.

C&J you keep telling us this but many of the fracking rigs have ceased production as oil prices have dropped. You seem to be giving fracking credit for the Saudis/OPEC increasing production and lowering prices driving the frackers out of the business. It’s kinda like the conservatives bragging about low gas prices under GWB in 2008 because they crashed the economy….or was that set in motion 15 years earlier as well?

Posted by: j2t2 at December 21, 2015 7:44 PM
Comment #401526


The fracking rigs have put a ceiling on prices. It forces the Saudis to try to win market share. They may succeed in driving some frackers out of business, but they must do this by lowering prices. That is the point. Beyond that, fracking is flexible. We will not soon be seeing high prices oil. We may never see it at all, as renewables are coming on line.

Re the crashing economy - I really think you should update your understanding of that. Nobody who knows anything really thinks Bush crashed the economy. If you think so, perhaps you can identify the mechanisms beyond the moralizing about greed.

In any case, Hillary is just not a good leader. She has a casual relationship with the truth and just doesn’t have it. If she gets the job, it will be the old fashioned way of marrying into it, like they do in Argentina or other backward places.

Posted by: C&J at December 21, 2015 8:22 PM
Comment #401527


And maybe we can actually learn something. I cannot figure out Hillary’s appeal. Evidently it is related to something in the following.

Her being a woman (like more than half the population)
Her resume (lots of good jobs, but not doing a good job)
The fact that it is her turn

Hillary seems a smart woman, but not a very smart woman and not a good leader. I can never get a good answer to the question of why Hillary? The answers I get are “she is a woman,” “She traveled a lot,” “She supports women’s right,” “She supports LGBT rights.” These thing are perhaps not unimportant, but there is no distinction. I personally know many women similarly qualified. Nothing special enough to be president.

Posted by: C&J at December 21, 2015 8:36 PM
Comment #401528

“Re the economy - low interest rates this low are not the sign of a strong economy. The Fed would like them higher. The stock market growth is related to the low rates.”

Low interest rates are not a sign of a weak economy. They are a result the economic collapse at the end of the Bush administration involved deflation, not inflation. Conservatives willfully ignored this aspect of the collapse. That is why their predictions about runaway inflation turned out to be so wrong. ‘Printing money’ at the Federal Reserve did not create a mountain of cash that resulted in inflation. ‘Printing money’ was filling a deflationary pit. It was an extremely serious economic problem, and there were very few examples of ways to escape it. Japan’s Lost Decade and the Great Depression were about the examples available.

Many other countries made bad decisions on how to combat the economic collapse. They chose to address the debt and deficits rather than focusing on growth. The Obama administration, the Democratic Congress, and the Federal Reserve made good decisions. We are very, very fortunate they did.

As for Hillary… We often see candidates as media portraits, but we tend to forget they are real people, and they all have the same real shortcomings as the rest of us. Hillary is far from perfect. She is too tight with the Banks- a product of being the Senator from New York- and one of these days her hawkishness may get her into trouble. But on balance, I think she is a good candidate, she has tremendous experience, and will make a good president.

Posted by: phx8 at December 21, 2015 8:40 PM
Comment #401529

“Tremendous Experience”? Maybe Bill, but Hillary, NO! If she is elected, her best advisor will be Bill and I think it will be his 3rd term. phx8

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 21, 2015 8:55 PM
Comment #401530

“The main drivers of our recovery have been Fed policy and…..”

Agree that the Fed did the heavy lifting during the depths of the Great Recession and continued supporting the recovery up until last year with it’s Quantitative Easing programs. Thankfully, conservatives were either unaware of the extent of the Fed’s balance sheet expansion from $800 billion in 2008 to $4.5 trillion in 2014 or unable to do anything about it.

However, your dismissal of federal fiscal stimulus as contributing to the recovery is at odds with the assessment of the very institution that you credit for saving the economy. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Fed, stated repeatedly before Congress during that period that continued fiscal stimulus and deficit spending was necessary to support economic recovery. In his recent book, he said that the austerity imposed during the debt ceiling crisis by conservatives was counterproductive to recovery and delayed and dampened the recovery. This is what he had to say about Republican policies:

“It’s the stupid economics. That’s why he’s no longer a Republican, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tells us in his new memoir. Bernanke says he “lost patience with Republicans’ susceptibility to the know-nothing-ism of the far right.” Here’s part of his indictment:

“They saw inflation where it did not exist and, when the official data did not bear out their predictions, invoked conspiracy theories. They denied that monetary or fiscal policy could support job growth, while still working to direct federal spending to their own districts. They advocated discredited monetary systems, like the gold standard.”” http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2015/10/09/ben-bernanke-has-had-it-with-stupid-gop-economics

It should be noted that the purchases by the Fed of all those mortgage backed securities and Treasury bonds from the private sector has turned a very handsome profit for the Fed. In 2014 alone, the Fed realized $101 billion in profit which by law, less expenses, is returned to the federal government.

Posted by: Rich at December 21, 2015 9:11 PM
Comment #401531

Having Bill Clinton as a personal advisor to a president would be a pretty good thing.

Posted by: phx8 at December 21, 2015 11:07 PM
Comment #401532


I still don’t get Hillary. I have seen her in “action.” It is just not very impressive. She surrounds herself with people who flatter her but do not challenge her.

I understand that we have media portraits. I have some semi-personal experience with her. I worked visits when she was first Lady and got to know her staff and met her. I also had the misfortune to work with her visits when she was SecState. I can compare her to others over 30 years. She just is not not that good. There is a lot of sound and fury but not much really there. And there is a big sense of entitlement. Instead of arranging meetings like most, she actually brings media producers. They treat local leaders like props in the Hillary story rather than as people to be respected. Her visits leave a bad taste that it takes professions weeks or months to repair. But the pictures are good back home and that is all that matters.

She just doesn’t care about anything but Hillary. A good example is the email. I know that you guys don’t think much of that, but I do. We would lose our security clearances if for half of what she did. Hillary (or someone she authorized to use her name) sent around a personal notice telling everybody not to use private email for official business. Then she did much more than anybody I have ever heard of. She showed either profound stupidity or recklessness. I don’t think she is stupid. Her mistake is that she has been inside so long that she doesn’t bother to follow procedures that have their roots in intelligent practice. She is the Marie Antoinette of today’s political scene.

Posted by: C&J at December 21, 2015 11:10 PM
Comment #401533

Having Bill as an advisor would be a good thing, but having Hillary for President would be a bad thing, phx8. I doubt she would even listen to Bill.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at December 21, 2015 11:26 PM
Comment #401534

Perhaps she makes mistakes. Perhaps she keeps herself a little too insulated and stays a little guarded when in public. Sometimes that works to her favor. Sometimes not. She has been outstanding in debates and her testimony in front of the Benghazi Committee was remarkable. It was live, in real time, and she sustained a level of knowledgeable professionalism over a prolonged period of time, despite badgering and hostile questioning, and that impressed me a great deal.

I’ve seen a few accounts of what she is like in person, and generally people say she is likeable. People also say Trump is a very charming guy in person. The one person just about everyone slams is Senator Ted Cruz. He is supposedly a truly crappy guy. One famous line about him: ‘Democratic Senators hate Ted Cruz for his policies. Republican Senators hate Ted Cruz.”

Posted by: phx8 at December 21, 2015 11:31 PM
Comment #401535


The Fed is insulated from day-to-day politics.

The Obama stimulus was small potatoes compared to the stimulus provided by the energy boom. AND the energy boom helped loosen us from the ties of the Middle East despots. Obama was dealt a wonderful hand to play, both politically and economically. Kenny Rogers would sing a song about him not knowing when to hold them or when to fold them.

Republicans wanting to go to the gold standard are stupid. Obama’s desire to use government make fundamental changes in the American system are similarly stupid.

We need to go beyond all these old fashioned ideas.

On the plus side, I think Obama appointed very good leaders to the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy and he let them do their jobs. His choice of Hillary as SecState was understandable but bad. His choices of Defense Secretaries were good, but he let his cronies Susan Rice and Valarie Jarrett extent their influence well-beyond their competence. Eric Holder was a disaster.

Generally, Obama’s inner circle is too small and he tries to keep all decision making within it. There simply is not enough intelligence or information there. And it gets worse, since Obama is more interested in being an activist than a leader.

On the plus side, the next president can undo much of Obama’s policies, since he went the degree route rather than the legislative one. What one president proclaims, another can UN-proclaim. Recall that Lincoln made the bold emancipation proclamation but then did the hard work of passing an amendment to make it real. Obama got the first part down, but neglected the rest.

Posted by: C&J at December 21, 2015 11:43 PM
Comment #401536


Most political types are charming in person and charming to their inner circle. Hillary is not charming to those she uses, and that includes most. Her job on official visits is to do diplomacy with the leaders of the host country. She does not do that.

It is true that her staff members are the one doing most of the arrogant and bad things. But she gets to choose them and fish rots from the head down. Her personal staff as first lady sucked and her personal staff as SecState sucked. The only thing constant in these bad relationships was Hillary. Her staff protects her from saying anything off script. This is not right. The leader should set the tone.

I worked with Lawrence Eagleburger. He brought only a few people with him, not the hundreds Hillary needs. We prepared talking points. He said something like, “I don’t need these. I make the policy.” And then he just did his job. He met leaders and they liked and respected him. The same was true to an extent with Powell, Schultz & even Condie Rice. Clinton just is not in the same class.

It was not all Hillary’s fault. Obama did not give her the the authority she needed. He had his own special advisers for all the important work.

Let me be clear. Hillary would not be terrible. I think she would be hands off, much like she did as SecState. If she appoints good people and lets them work, it might be okay. After the primaries, she will pull to the right and probably be a pragmatic president. On the plus side, Hillary doesn’t really have any ideology beyond wanting to help Hillary. If she achieves her goal of being first woman president, she will probably calm down and let others do the real work. That will be better.

Posted by: C&J at December 22, 2015 12:16 AM
Comment #401545
The Obama stimulus was small potatoes compared to the stimulus provided by the energy boom. AND the energy boom helped loosen us from the ties of the Middle East despots.

Small potatoes, half was tax cuts C&J, the end all and be all for conservatives and you call it small potatoes! Have you forgotten it was conservatives that demanded the spending part of the stimulus be scaled back?

I just don’t understand this energy boom thing you have made up C&J, what despot, exactly are we now free from other than Bin Laden of course? The Saudis/OPEC have spoken and we are in an energy bust and have been for some time. IMHO the “energy boom” should include clean energy and the jobs created that haven’t went bust as the oil boom did. But somehow I suspect you include only the fracking portion of the “energy boom in your energy boom stimulus, is that correct?

Posted by: j2t2 at December 22, 2015 9:10 PM
Comment #401546


C&J in case you have forgotten the stimulus spin and such at the time…

Posted by: j2t2 at December 22, 2015 9:25 PM
Comment #401548


The energy boom was worth billions AND it was real money. Government stimulus moves money.

RE the despots - in 2005 we were looking at the need to import natural gas. Putin & the Iranians were preparing a gas cartel to squeeze the West. Oil was high priced and bad guys in Russian, Iran and elsewhere, even some ostensible friends, also had that weapon. Today they do not. If the Iranians threaten to cut off their supplies, our response - good.

Re clean energy - I am a proponents of renewables and have written on many occasions. The technology is developing rapidly, but there are time lags. A car can go for decades. It doesn’t make sense to spend thousand on a new car in order to save hundreds on energy. This goes even more for buildings. So an energy transition takes decades, since it depends on the turnover of capital and durable stock.

The other caveat is that renewable technology is indeed developing rapidly. A too fast transition means that too many lock themselves into the older tech. The Germans are learning that today. They boldly went into solar and now their solar is yesterday’s tech. They face the same transitions I mentioned above. They have the old tech and it doesn’t make sense to change it. They might have thought about that sooner.

My preferred scenario, which I think is also most likely,is for abundant American gas to replace coal in the short term, quickly reducing CO2 emission. This is the transition to renewables, which will be the major component of our energy mix in a few decades.

As for the contribution to the energy boom stimulus, renewable are not a factor today. Energy from renewables is generally MORE expensive. We can say renewables are good, but we cannot say that they are supplying cheap power at this time. That is why I include fracking - which has brought down prices - as part of the boom and not renewables - which have raised prices a bit.

Posted by: C&J at December 23, 2015 9:34 AM
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