Democrats Need a Plan B for 2016
by Deacon Blues
This week’s deflating spectacle of watching Team Hillary respond to the latest in a series of self-inflicted wounds raises several issues that Democrats have to contend with for 2016:
1. Team Hillary fully expects to ride this out with the State Department’s help over the coming months, and hopes the email story goes away. But it won’t, so precious months will be wasted propping up a flawed candidate as the party’s presumed front-runner.
2. The effort itself, to argue that there is no story here except the typical ranting from Clinton haters, is a pathetic defense that will only peel more swing voters away from supporting Hillary next year.
3. Hillary’s dominant status up until now has only ensured that Democrats have no "Plan B" candidates behind her ready to step in and run a credible national campaign, especially female alternatives that committed to Hillary early.
4. In the absence of any national alternative candidates that could appeal to the base, independents, swing voters, and yes, white men, should the party leaders:
--Allow a wounded Hillary to claim the nomination and head the ticket anyway, taking the party along for whatever comes?
--Take a fresh look at Joe Biden as a fallback?
--Launch an expedited effort to find new faces that can appeal to a broad swath of the electorate; or
--Run a "base" campaign that may lose, but allows Democrats to say “I told you so” for 2018?
Hillary’s challenge only reinforces the need for Democrats to tackle these questions here and now. Waiting 3-4 months to see if Team Hillary's approach works is not an option, because if the poll numbers this fall show she’s been damaged, as I think they will, then Democrats will have lost valuable time coming up with a Plan B. And keeping the GOP from taking over control of the Supreme Court in 2017 requires that Democrats think about the party and the country more than propping up Hillary.