The elite class and Hillary Clinton, specifically, are unsatisfied with the current Democrat primary field and have signaled their dissatisfaction in a variety of ways in recent weeks, from refusing to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden (D) to dismissing the ultra-far-left candidates’ radical agendas.
There is no shortage of candidates in the current Democrat primary field. Democrats have, on paper, everything they have claimed to want in terms of diversity in their lineup.
They have multiple women — Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and self-help guru Marianne Williamson (D). They have candidates who represent racial minorities — Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Julián Castro (D) — as well as a candidate who embodies their self-proclaimed devotion to the LGBT community.
Yet, despite that, Democrat elites like Clinton are unsatisfied, indicating a deepening divide within the Democrat Party.
The first presidential primary is less than three months away, yet select Democrats are still mulling a last-minute run. On Thursday, reports indicated that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg filed presidential primary paperwork in Alabama, with sources adding that he is “close” to coming up with a final decision on a presidential bid.
Similarly, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is reportedly considering a long-shot bid, and Hillary Clinton has been teasing a run for weeks, failing to use her recent interviews to quash the rumors.
It has been widely believed among Democrats that Bloomberg and Clinton would not run unless Biden, who was long believed to be the unshakeable frontrunner, showed signs of wavering. Both Warren and Sanders have managed to put a dent in his support, keeping potential candidates like Clinton on the fence and prepared to pounce.
Bloomberg’s, Holder’s, and Clinton’s purported considerations speak volumes about the state of the current Democrat field. Democrat elites are unsatisfied with the choices, fearing Biden’s lack of stamina in a general election matchup against Trump and questioning the electability of Warren and Sanders, who have unabashedly embraced far-left proposals and positions that strategic Democrats, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have long attempted to keep at bay.
Clinton has openly criticized the positions of Warren and Sanders, causing some to wonder if she is subtly attempting to undermine the field or in the very least, influence the candidates’ positions.
She appeared at the New York Times’ DealBook conference this week and took aim at ultra-wealthy tax proposals and Medicare for All — two progressive plans both Warren and Sanders not only support, but champion.
“I just don’t understand how that could work, and I don’t see other examples anywhere else in the world where it has actually worked over a long period of time,” Clinton said of the wealth tax proposals, calling them “complicated.”
“If you were going to do a wealth tax and it was on assets … how you would value it is, I think, complicated to start with,” she said.
“But assume you can get some system of evaluation, people would literally have to sell assets to pay the tax on the assets that they owned before the wealth tax was levied,” she continued.
“That would be incredibly disruptive, so I think there are other ways to raise the revenues,” she added.
Clinton also expressed doubt that Warren’s $52 trillion Medicare for All plan would ever pass.
“No, I don’t,” Clinton replied when asked if she thought Warren’s plan would pass. “I don’t, but the goal is the right goal. ”
“I believe the smarter approach is to build on what we have, a public option is something I’ve been in favor of for a very long time. I don’t believe we should be in the midst of a big disruption while we are trying to get to 100 percent coverage and deal with costs,” she added.
Clinton has also taken direct aim at candidates like Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), calling her a “favorite of the Russians” and suggesting that she is a “Russian asset.”
“They [Republicans] know they can’t win without a third-party candidate, and so I do not know who it’s going to be, but I can guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most need it,” Clinton said on the Campaign HQ podcast with Barack Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe last month.
Time and time again, rather than encouraging Democrats to rally behind a candidate in the existing presidential primary field, Clinton has subtly hinted that she could jump in the race instead.
In October, President Trump tweeted that “Crooked Hillary” should join the race “to try and steal it away from Uber Left Elizabeth Warren” as long as she explains “all of her high crimes and misdemeanors including how & why she deleted 33,000 Emails AFTER getting ‘C’ Subpoena!”
“Maybe there does need to be a rematch. I mean, obviously, I can beat him again,” she said. “But, just seriously, I don’t understand. I don’t think anybody understands what motivates him, other than personal grievance, other than seeking adulation.”
Clinton kicked off an additional 2020 buzz on social media after posting a quote from Beyoncé about the need to “take” power:
The twice-failed presidential candidate’s book tour has almost doubled as an outlet to express her views on the 2020 race. She dropped yet another doubtful analysis of the current 2020 field during an event at Portland’s Revolution Hall last month, suggesting that it would be nearly impossible for anyone in the current field to unseat Trump in the next election in the event that he is not impeached.
“It’s hard to know who’s going to be the best candidate to beat this president, assuming this president is still running,” she said.
We have a number of very able, very admirable candidates who are vying for the nomination, but at the end of the day, there are a lot of forecasters who are saying, ‘Look, if the economy stays in good shape and he’s not impeached, or he’s impeached but not convicted, it’s going to be very, very hard,’ because of all of the advantages that he will have on the stuff we were just talking about like suppression and everything else.
Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, has done little to extinguish the mounting rumors, explaining that his wife “may or may not ever run for anything” during an appearance at Georgetown Law’s second annual Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture in Washington, DC, last month.
Most recently, Clinton dodged a question on whether she is planning a last-minute jump into the race, reverting to jogging jokes at the New York Times’ DealBook conference.
“I’m sorry, to run? You know, I have always been a very, very slow runner. I am embarrassingly slow,” she said, continuing her bit.
“There’s been some teasing and some hinting that, maybe, you’re sitting off in the wings here and waiting for some moment,” Andrew Ross Sorkin said.
Clinton, however, refused to answer the question directly:
You heard it here first:
Not taking up professional running anytime soon.pic.twitter.com/dH2I4ZvMcZ
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 7, 2019
Look, I think I would have been a really good president. I think I could have been a very effective leader. We have real divides in the country over all kinds of things, but I certainly, in my time in the Senate and secretary of state, worked really hard, as you say, to actually solve problems, not exacerbate them or ignore them. I would have done everything I could to try to get us positioned for the future. That’s what a leader is supposed to do. Elections are supposed to be about the future and leadership should be about the future.
I think I could have done a really good job. I think the last election was deeply flawed and that there were so many unprecedented problems in that election that it’s almost hard to make sense of.
Sources for both the New York Times and Washington Post have said that Clinton has not ruled out a presidential bid and is actively keeping an eye on it, which is overwhelmingly evident to those who have been tracking her latest remarks.
The possible late entrances — from Clinton, Bloomberg, and Holder — indicate the growing worry over not only the direction of the Democrat field but the Democrat Party’s ability to defeat Trump in 2020. While Democrat voters are more open to radical policies, such as Medicare for All and multitrillion dollar proposals to combat climate change, there are growing concerns that those proposals will not bode well for the left in a general election matchup.
Despite that, Sanders, who remains a top-tier candidate, is boldly running with his multitrillion-dollar, big government proposals and has garnered support from three individuals largely demonstrative of the ideological divide within the party: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
Ocasio-Cortez’s infamous feud with Pelosi over the summer was almost a foreshadowing of the internal strife to be seen within the Democrat Party in the presidential primary. There is an ongoing, although largely unsaid, matchup between establishment Democrats and the unabashedly socialist “new” left. Ultimately, the Democrat establishment worries the progressive flank will hand Trump, and his MAGA agenda, four more years in the White House.