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To Hillary Or Not To Hillary

Probably the biggest problem Republican and conservative voters have is that they think too highly of the intelligence of Democrats.  Now, I’m not saying that they’re stupid, but Republicans often assume that their political opponents are looking at the chess board and have things planned out ten moves ahead and that their own Republican leadership is far too short sighted to keep up.

This is not the case.

The truth is Democrats are solving one problem at a time and not worrying about the next one until it’s time.  The best example of this is Joe Biden.  He didn’t win South Carolina and Super Tuesday so that he could solve the Trump problem.  He won in those contests so that he could solve the Bernie Sanders problem. 

Now that the Sanders problem is solved, Democrats are increasingly coming to realize that Biden will not be able to solve the Trump problem.  This is despite some recent polling that shows Biden ahead in several key states and demographics.

Why is this true?  Because polls don’t mean a lot at this stage in the game.  There’s still a lot of time between now and election day and what’s happening now will only be a vague memory by then. 

But this is also true because Democrat party leadership knows something that the average voter does not.  That something is Joe Biden.  They know he’s terrible on the campaign trail, he’s a terrible fundraiser, he is a self-described gaffe machine, he’s easily flummoxed and angered when in interaction with voters, and (perhaps worst of all) he has a sex scandal hovering over his head that seems to be getting worse by the day.

So, as I’ve already said, Democrats are looking to solve this problem.  You can find hints at it in the Twitter-verse.  You can read whispers on the opinion pages.  When democratic pundits talk, you can hear their lack of enthusiasm.  And it all comes down to this: they’re looking for a way to ditch Biden.

The loudest suggestion for this recently appeared in the opinion section of “The Hill” where it was suggested that Hillary Clinton should be the one to step up if and when Biden is removed as party nominee.

In this piece, it is suggested that timing is everything.  First, Biden would have to pick Hillary as his VP.  Then, the switch would have to take place after the convention that makes Biden’s nomination official.  If Biden were to step back before the convention, then the Bernie Sanders problem is reopened. 

So, let’s play a little game.  What would it look like if Biden were to be replaced by Hillary Clinton as the 2020 nominee for the Democrat Party?  As I see it, there would be three positives of this as well as three negatives from the Democrat perspective.

The first positive is that Hillary Clinton is a far better fund raiser than Joe Biden.  At one point during the primary, Joe Biden’s campaign was spending more money than it was taking in.  This problem was only solved when the other candidates started dropping out and those fearful of Bernie Sanders started sending money to Biden out of panic.  Since then, his fund raising has been adequate, but hardly noteworthy.  The bills are getting paid, but it won’t be nearly enough for a six-month long slug-fest against the Donald.  Either Biden needs to find a way to woo the donors, or the Democratic party needs to find someone who can.

In steps Hillary Clinton.  She is a flawed candidate to be sure, but she can raise those campaign funds like nobody else.  She knows how to twist the arms.  She knows how to make the right promises.  She knows what circles to move in and who to invite to the $10,000 a plate dinners. 

Another positive is that she would have more energy.  This seems hard to say for someone who remembers her lack of energy in 2016, but “Sleepy” Joe Biden’s campaign seems to be making her lack luster campaign last time look a lot better by comparison. 

Another positive in replacing Biden with Clinton is that, and I’ll be honest here, she can finish a sentence.  Some have attributed it to a mental decline, others to a stutter, still others to his natural propensity for gaffes.   But everyone has noticed Biden’s speaking problem.  And it will be a big problem as the election gets closer.  As November draws nearer, and the stay-at-home orders expire, Biden will be expected to once again hit the trail.  He will have to hold campaign rallies.  He will have to do interviews.  He will have to do townhalls and meet and greats.  Then, at some point, he will have to stand on stage and debate Donald Trump with the entire nation watching.  Can he do this with the speaking problems he’s been having? 

One thing we do know, Hillary can.  She may not have been the best at it.  Her public performances were nothing to write home about (remember the coughing fits).  But, she did it.  When it comes time to debate Trump again, the Democrats would be much better off having Hillary in that horse race than Biden.

 On the other side of the coin, there are a few reasons the Democrats would be better off with Biden than Hillary.  The first is, if Hillary Clinton found herself back in a race for President, she would only reinforce the perception of her blind ambition.  As much as she tried to deny it.  As much as she tried to portray her intentions as altruistic, Hillary Clinton has had her eyes on the Oval Office since 1993.  Every observer has known this and has taken note of the lengths she’s been willing to go to in order to get it.  And, quite honestly, it is a huge turn off to the average voter. There still lingers some common sense in the American psyche that says someone that eager for power ought not be granted it.

Another negative of replacing Biden with Hillary is that it would alienate a huge part of the Democrat base that the democrats are trying to keep in line.  These are the Sanders backers. 

Now, losing to Biden was a bitter pill for them to swallow.  They’ve made that known.  But you know what was even worse?  Losing to Hillary in 2016.  At least Biden’s victory seemed more on the up-and-up than Hillary’s.  If Biden stepped aside and she suddenly found herself at the top of the ticket again instead of Bernie Sanders, it would open up old wounds, renew past bitterness, and cause a lot of the voters she would need to show up on election day to stay home instead.

Finally, another negative that would come with using Hillary to replacing Biden is that it would motivate the opposition like never before. 

I’ll be honest.  The Russians didn’t make me vote for Trump in 2016.  Hillary Clinton did.  She would do the same thing in 2020.  In fact, nothing raises the hackles of conservative voters more than the mention of the name Hillary Clinton.  If she ran again, it would unite the right wing of this country in way that it hasn’t been united since . . . well, the last time she ran.

2020 is shaping up to be a weird election year.  With a large crop of mediocre candidates, the Democrats picked the most mediocre of the bunch.  Trump’s erratic personality will continue to cause erratic polling results for him.  And Justin Amash is threatening to launch the strongest third party bid this country has seen in a generation.  Given what’s happened so far, another seismic shift is not outside of the realm of possibility.

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