Not So Fast
03.14.14 5:30 PM ET
Does America Really Want to Coronate Hillary?
“You say you want a coronation?”
It looks as if Democrats are borrowing this famous line from the Beatles song Revolution in regards to Hillary Clinton reaching the White House in 2016.
Therefore, the question “Do Democrats really want a Hillary Clinton coronation?” needs to be raised.
Then the logical follow up, “Will American voters accept a White House coronation?”
Both questions should be asked, first to the party that looks set to nominate Hillary Clinton, and then to the Republicans who want to defeat her.
Two recent polls shed some light on a possible answer.
An ABC/Washington Post poll from mid-January asked registered voters about the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and Hillary Clinton won in a landslide with 73 percent.
Compare that to Vice President Biden at 11 percent and Senator Elizabeth Warren at 9 percent. In addition, a Democrat-leaning PPP poll had Clinton at 67 percent with Biden and Warren tied at 7 percent.
Apparently Democrats do want a coronation but is it because they do not have better choices?
Certainly, no serious Democrat in his or her right mind is going to willingly throw their body against a ferocious Hillary Machine currently under construction. That would be akin to committing political suicide unless the politician had ulterior motives such as aiming to raise his own national media profile by appearing on a debate stage next to the royal HRC. Even Biden seems hesitant to go full throttle against Hillary.
As a Republican hoping that my party will recapture the White House in 2016, I am envious of this potential coronation—for such candidate unity years out from a presidential election is both rare and highly unusual in either party.
Therefore, how could any Republican not be jealous of Hillary’s three-year head start building a billion-dollar national campaign organization with 70 percent Democratic voter support?
And what do Republicans have?
Well, Senator Rand Paul last weekend won the straw poll at CPAC, so I guess that means he is now the 2016 front-runner. But that victory is analogous to the GOP renting a straw hut compared to owning a steel skyscraper.
Is there any candidate who appeared at CPAC or who did not appear that is capable of building an organization that will match Hillary’s after the Republican bench gets whittled down to one tired nominee in the spring of 2016?
More unfortunate is building that national organization will only begin after the bench-sitters have wiped the blood and mud off of each other and the video of their sparring matches is already appearing in Hillary’s television ads.
Do you remember how back in April of 2012 President Obama’s reelection campaign started launching non-stop attacks on Mitt Romney? The ads negatively defined him just as he had sewed up the Republican nomination.
Some Republican strategists believe the timing and effectiveness of those ads did irreparable harm to Romney’s branding and contributed to his ultimate defeat.
In 2016 around springtime or even earlier, you can expect Hillary to give the GOP nominee that same kind of treatment. Hillary 2016’s organization will be like running against a presidential incumbent with all the resources in place.
Meanwhile, recent RealClearPolitics poll averages show Hillary defeating the GOP’s prospective candidates by margins of as little as 9 points for Paul Ryan to a high of 17 points for Marco Rubio . Former frontrunner” Chris Christie loses to Hillary by 12 points, and new frontrunner Paul goes down by 12 points as well.
The saving grace in all this depressing news, from my Republican point of view, is that in political dog years we are decades away from 2016 and anything can happen.
Certainly there is the real possibility that Republicans could win control of both houses of Congress in 2014 and even keep control beyond 2016. Then Hillary, if were elected, she would face divided government.
But now let’s go back to the title question, “You say you want a coronation?”
You will be hearing this question asked more often as time moves along because the media likes horse races from both parties and a coronation is boring.
So whether Republicans are ready or not, Hillary is getting ready and that is something the GOP must address organizationally now, because waiting until 2016 will be too late.
I would suggest that the Republican National Committee start setting up “We are ready, too” offices around the nation to even the playing field.