Guess who has injected herself into the 2020 presidential election mix, albeit on the periphery? Hint, her initials are HRC. She has been appearing on various talk shows, ostensibly to plug her new book, but her words and actions indicate she still has illusions of power and reclaiming what she believes is rightfully hers – the presidency.
She is continuing to assert that she did not lose the 2016 presidential election “fair and square.” She is claiming she was “robbed” of the presidency by Mr. Trump’s collusion with Russia, and she was victimized by the racism and sexism exhibited by a certain portion of the electorate. Furthermore, she has been stepping up her criticism of Mr. Trump. Her current mantra is that he is an “illegitimate president” who should be impeached. The two have been engaging in an amusing twitter war of words reminiscent of high school. Essentially, he challenged her to run, and she replied “Don’t tempt me. Do your job.”
In my opinion, the subtext of all of the foregoing is that if the Dem Party were to fail to agree on a candidate she would be available to step in. I don’t place a lot of credence in her recent denial to CNN. Pols who want to be drafted always deny that they’re interested.
If you view that as a farfetched scenario consider the following:
1. Many voters, especially independents and moderate Dems, are not exactly enamored with any of the candidates for various reasons.
2. These candidates have dragged the Party far to the left, considerably further than the electorate.
3. Recently, each of the top three candidates has encountered problems, which could weaken, if not derail, their respective campaigns.
Biden has been ensnared in his son, Hunter’s, highly questionable business practices in Ukraine and China. Joe has been caught on tape bragging about how he pressured the former president of Ukraine to fire the special prosecutor who was investigating his son.
Sanders was recently hospitalized with a heart attack, which caused him to suspend campaign activities temporarily. Given his age, this has made many voters uneasy about his health.
Warren has been caught in yet another lie, this time regarding her first teaching position. Briefly, she has claimed in several campaign speeches, that she was fired from that teaching position because she was pregnant. Her words were “my principal ‘wished me luck,’ and [then] hired someone else.” In reality, according to a 2007 video, at the time she had been teaching on an “emergency certification,” because she had not completed enough education classes. Furthermore, the CA Board of Education actually accepted her resignation “with regret” and offered to extend her contract. Since this was not the first time she had been caught in a lie, one has to wonder about her character and credibility. HRC is cognizant of all this, hence, her not so subtle campaigning.
In my view, Dem insiders realize Mr. Trump may be vulnerable, despite the fact that, historically, few sitting presidents who are presiding over a good economy and peaceful conditions have been defeated for re-election. He is very unpopular, personally, and despite a very good economy, the defeat of the ISIS Califate and many other accomplishments, he can possibly be beaten with the right candidate. They also know that the current crop is weak and likely not up to the task. I think that is why Pelosi has been fast-tracking the impeachment process, and why HRC has raised her profile. As I said, the clear subtext is “remember me? I am available if needed.”
All that said, we are still four months away from the first primary in Iowa. A lot can and will happen before then. All the major polls show Mr. Trump losing head-to-head to the Big 3.
However, one caveat about early polls. As Reuters pointed in a recent article, historically, their reliability has proven to be questionable. Many respondents state their preference chiefly based on name recognition. In addition, voters often change their minds as the campaign progresses. Also, there is not necessarily a correlation between those who respond to polls and those who actually vote. Finally, there is evidence that many Trump supporters are reluctant to admit it, even to a pollster.
Regarding early polls, in August 2007 HRC led Obama by 20% and ended up losing. In 2016 Trump was trailing Clinton right up until the votes were cast. And, in the most famous case of all, in 1948 Truman was so far behind Dewey in the polls that the Chicago Tribune actually printed an early post Election Day edition with the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman.” So, don’t bet the house on these current polls.
Perhaps, one candidate will distance himself, or herself, from the field and sew up the nomination before the convention. Maybe, a new candidate will emerge. But, if the Dems end up with a wide open convention, don’t discount HRC.