One of my biggest fears about the inevitability of Hillary Clinton’s nomination for President of the United States (POTUS) is the very fact of its (presumed) inevitability. I would love to see Senator Elizabeth Warren (or, for that matter, Senator Bernie Sanders) come at her from the left. I don’t necessarily think Senator Warren would wrest the nomination from the candidate presumptive (although that’s not a foregone conclusion), but her challenge would, at the very least, force Hillary to debate the issues near and dear to progressives, and remain sharp, focussed, and be ready for Autumn, 2016. This is absolutely crucial to invigorate the base and create enthusiasm in corners of the Democratic party where little currently exists.
Let me say it up front: Hillary will have my vote when it comes right down to it. But in the end, by the time the Republicans have their pick next summer, we will know them very well–where they stand, what they believe (and how much is contrived for the audiences to whom they speak). In an uncontested race, we get only what Clinton wants to give; her point of view, unchallenged. Untested.
So, here’s my suggestion: set up a series of proxy debates. Not real debates, but town halls, specifically designed to throw her hardball questions and refuse to let go until we have a clear, sharp answer about every significant policy and social issue around. Middle-America moderates, Blue Dog Conservative Dems, Hispanics, Senior Citizens, Baby Boomers (I do not lump the boomers in with the seniors, because many boomers are far from senior citizens), Dreamers, young voters, Progressives, and the Far Left all should be given a shot to question, unfiltered, and un-cherrypicked, every facet of the Clinton policy agenda.
What are her priorities? What is her vision on economics, climate change, infrastructure, immigration, international competition (for example)? How will she deal with intractable foreign policy issues in the Middle East: ISIS, Al Quaeda, Iran, Iraq, and the future of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
But much better, I would like to see a real challenger step up, long-shot or not. She needs the challenge. We need to see her challenged. And long before the September 2016 final leg of this very long Presidential race. Personal plea to Senator Warren: please, please run. You would be the voice we all need (except for the one-percenters). Who knows? You could win this thing!
What do you think?[amazon template=iframe image&asin=1476751447,0743222253,0307388557,0804136777]