How a challenge by Martin O’Malley could move Hillary Clinton to the left

Martin O'Malley
Martin O’Malley’s presidential ambitions have been long known to those who pay attention to him, but that’s not such a large group.

Hillary Clinton holds a historically rare commanding position for a non-incumbent in a race for an open presidential nomination. Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum and it seems inevitable that someone will challenge her and, given the state of play, the challenge will almost certainly come from her left and will paint her as too moderate and especially too cozy with Wall Street.

I choose to believe Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s many statements that it won’t be her. Sen. Bernie Sanders (who actually isn’t even a Democrat) would like to figure out a way he could do it. Former Sen. Jim Webb is publicly talking about running, although he might not present a left alternative to Clinton.

In her Washington Post column Monday, Katrina Vanden Heuvel (who is also editor of The Nation magazine) writes that former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley “is almost certainly running for president. And he’s determined to make his voice heard despite some pundits dismissing his ability to mount a ‘credible’ challenge to Clinton for the party’s nomination.”

Although he is far from a household name nationally, O’Malley won two races for mayor of Baltimore and two for governor of Maryland. His presidential ambitions have been long known to those who pay attention to him, but that’s not such a large group. When a poll showed him attracting 11 percent in a race against Clinton, O’Malley cracked: “Who did this poll, my mom?”

Vanden Heuvel is clearly among those who wants to see Clinton challenged from the left. She described O’Malley as developing “a progressive, populist message.” She wrote:

“Specifically, he has called for reinstating Glass-Steagall banking regulations, hiking the capital gains tax, increasing the minimum wage, raising the threshold for overtime pay and strengthening collective bargaining rights. And while he is far more comfortable discussing his policies than his potential opponents, O’Malley took a perceived shot at Clinton in South Carolina when he declared, ‘Triangulation is not a strategy that will move America forward.’”

Seems likely to me that Vanden Heuvel hopes a challenge from the left will pull Clinton in that direction and make commitments to progressive issue positions that she will take into the White House. There is a contrary and conventional line of analysis that believes that the sooner a presidential candidate can move to the center and craft a message appealing to swing voters, the more likely that candidate is to win. If Clinton can occupy a position close to the center of the political spectrum while Republican candidates are trying to fire up the party base, her chances of winning in November go up.

I understand that analysis, and it may be correct. It is certainly traditional thinking. But I was struck by some remarks made by Dan Pfeiffer to Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine on the occasion of Pfeiffer’s departure from the White House. Pfeiffer left with the title of “senior adviser” to Obama and had been on the team since early in Obama’s first presidential campaign. He took on a version of the conventional wisdom about needing to move to the center to find success. From the Chait piece:

“The original premise of Obama’s first presidential campaign was that he could reason with Republicans — or else, by staking out obviously reasonable stances, force them to moderate or be exposed as extreme and unyielding. It took years for the White House to conclude that this was false, and that, in Pfeiffer’s words, ‘what drives 90 percent of stuff is not the small tactical decisions or the personal relationships but the big, macro political incentives.’”

Pfeiffer says that the Obamians gradually learned that taking middlish positions to court moderate Republican support doesn’t work. These two paragraphs summarize the alternative view to which Pfeiffer now subscribes:

“Many political journalists imagine that the basic tension for the White House lies between Obama’s liberal base and appealing to Americans at the center, who will be crucial for tipping elections.

“Pfeiffer believes the dynamic is, in fact, the opposite: ‘The incentive structure moves from going after the diminishing middle to motivating the base.’ Ever since Republicans took control of the House four years ago, attempts to court Republicans have mostly failed while simultaneously dividing Democratic voters. Obama’s most politically successful maneuvers, by contrast, have all been unilateral and liberal. ‘Whenever we contemplate bold progressive action,’ Pfeiffer said, ‘whether that’s the president’s endorsement of marriage equality, or coming out strong on power-plant rules to reduce current pollution, on immigration, on net neutrality, you get a lot of hemming and hawing in advance about what this is going to mean: Is this going to alienate people? Is this going to hurt the president’s approval ratings? What will this mean in red states? And yet this hesitation has always proved overblown: There’s never been a time when we’ve taken progressive action and regretted it.'”

Bear in mind that Pfeiffer seems to be explicitly talking about governing, not campaigning. But Obama did, after all, upset the favorite in 2008 — namely Hillary Clinton — by exciting the Democrats’ liberal base and generating higher turnout among groups that skew ideologically left but often don’t turn out to vote.

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Comments (59)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/17/2015 - 09:07 am.

    Before worrying about who might challenge her, I’d wait until we have a look at the former Secretary of States’ OF-109 Form. A hard copy must be maintained, so deleting it wouldn’t have helped her… I’m sure under the gentle guidance of Rep. Trey Gowdy, the DoS will hand it over sooner or later.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/17/2015 - 09:41 am.

      Unlike most conservatives

      I hope Hillary’s trouble with soliciting funds from foreign governments for her family business while she was SoS, taking national security information home, etc., stretches well into next year. The democrat bench is so thin that unknowns like O’Malley are being mentioned as (hopefully late) replacements. And it will take a shepherd’s hook to get her off the stage. heh

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/17/2015 - 10:26 am.

        “I hope Hillary’s trouble . . . stretches . . .”

        Apart from the moral issue raised by your wishing misfortune on another human being, I would note that you seem to think scandals will afford your side some partisan political advantage. The fact that you think this would be a good thing is bad news for the Republicans. It seems to concede the point that a conservative Republican could not win on the merits of his or her policy positions. While this may help a Republican candidate, it means that the country would be saddled with leadership with whom it disagrees.

        Or don’t you think an election should be about more than winning?

        • Submitted by Robert Owen on 03/18/2015 - 08:05 am.

          Moral Issue?

          It’s not like he said he wants her to get cancer.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/18/2015 - 09:18 am.

            Moral issue

            He wants her to have prolonged and serious legal issues.

            Wouldn’t a true patriot hope that all government officials ,of whatever party, are free of scandal?

            • Submitted by Robert Owen on 03/18/2015 - 03:07 pm.

              Of course I want any politician to be free of scandal. But in this case HRC is not free from scandal and I’d hate to see her political career benefit from it.

          • Submitted by jason myron on 03/18/2015 - 02:55 pm.

            I wouldn’t count on that

            A simple stroll through any comment section at places like Breitbart, Newsmax, World Net Daily, Hotair or Redstate would dismiss that notion.

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/17/2015 - 09:48 am.


      Trey Gowdy, famously of the ‘House Benghazi Committee.’

      Surely, this is an apolitical congressional investigation into Hilary Clinton’s e-mails. I mean, what else could possibly be expected from a guy who is still droning on about Benghazi?

      Of course, I’m certain Trey Gowdy was motivated to run for office by the 2007 Bush Adminstration E-mail controversy. The one where they were using non-government e-mail servers to conduct the official business of firing seven US Attorneys to give political cover to Republicans who were under DOJ investigation.

      Anywhere between 5 million and 22 million e-mails were deleted. From a sitting presidential administration. This dwarf’s the Clinton e-mail (non) controversy.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/17/2015 - 10:48 am.

        It was Rep. Gowdy’s unfailing quest for the truth that brought Hillary’s failure to maintain records, as required by DoS and federal law, to light. He is to be commended by anyone that cares about transparent, honest government.

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/17/2015 - 11:40 am.

          I don’t think Gowdy is anything more than a dyed-in-the-wool reactionary conservative puppet. The guy got elected after primarying a long-standing Republican member of congress, because he support cap-and-trade and acknowledged global warming. He also opposed contraception coverage in the ACA and supports giving religious exemptions to corporate persons. He’s a true-believer, only interested in HIS subjective truths- not facts.

        • Submitted by jason myron on 03/18/2015 - 06:46 am.

          You people have accused

          Clinton of everything from land fraud to murder and she’s still beating any candidate you have. She eats scandal for breakfast.
          If you think anyone but partisan political wonks give a rip about her signing a form or using an email address that wasn’t even required of her at the time, you’re delusional. I suspect election night in November 2016 is going to be reminiscent of 2012 for you…with the added bonus of watching senate seats disappear.

          • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/18/2015 - 10:29 am.

            “She eats scandal for breakfast.”

            That’s a great reference, Myron. But people, left and right, with insights into such things are remarking that the electorate is sick to their stomachs by the continuing Clinton scandals; the other shoe turns out to be an inexhaustible closet full.

            Add to that, the fact that the MSM is not giving her a pass on this latest one (even the WaPo is ripping her), and that it shows no sign of going away, and you got trouble for Democrats.

            • Submitted by jason myron on 03/18/2015 - 02:52 pm.

              Keep telling yourself that

              As I stated, political wonks might care, but not the general electorate. The news media are desperate for simple narratives…this will be a non factor when it comes time to fill in the oval. Besides, to anyone outside of the comment sections at Redstate or Powerline, the GOP field is about as likeable as dysentery. Simple demographic changes in the voting bloc spells doom for the future of the GOP. It’s a fact that you need to come to grips with and start fielding moderate candidates if you have any hope for future relevance.

        • Submitted by Tom Karas on 03/19/2015 - 04:52 pm.

          cut and dried

          This proves that some conservative commentators are paid by the post, regardless of merit or factual basis. Nice part time gig.
          Good luck with all that, but it will make for good campfire chatter at the Mills Fleet campsite.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/17/2015 - 09:56 am.

      Looks like one of those bureaucratic details

      that the Republicans get worked up about when they don’t have a real issue to ride.
      If this and her email account is the best that they can do, they’re in real trouble.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/17/2015 - 10:38 am.

        Form OF-109 is required to be signed by all departing employees of the Department of State upon leaving. Failure to follow the requirements contained therein is a felony. Deliberately deleting DoS documents is a felony. You may call that a bureaucratic detail, but many high ranking Democrats disagree. It is a scandal that has dominated mainstream media for a week and a half, and has lost no steam.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/17/2015 - 03:47 pm.

          And what proportion of those forms

          are actually turned in?

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/17/2015 - 03:59 pm.


          there seems to be some question whether the Secretary of State comes under the same regulations as employees do. See the statement by the State Department spokesperson in the WaPo at:

          Key quote:
          “The form is part of a packet of paperwork employees routinely fill out when leaving the department, but Psaki said it does not appear that Clinton or at least two other predecessors, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, ever did so.
          On Monday, Psaki had said it was not yet clear whether Clinton completed the form. She suggested then that secretaries of state, as the topmost officials in the department, might have been considered exempt.

          “I don’t think former secretaries are standard employees,” Psaki said.”

          Seems to be a couple of squawks short of a scandal.

  2. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/17/2015 - 09:37 am.


    I’m not interested in voting for another dynasty. I more than welcome fresh blood!

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 03/17/2015 - 09:54 am.


    The rationale for Hillary’s candidacy isn’t really that she would be able to do much in a positive way for the country, she is too hopelessly compromised for that, rather that she would be able to slow the pace at which things get worse. The last Republican president implemented policies that nearly destroyed the economy, and every current Republican candidate wants to return to to those very same policies.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 03/18/2015 - 06:51 am.

      I’m interested in winning

      as there are supreme court nominations at stake. Fresh blood is a nice concept, but the reality of what kind of wasteland a republican president could make of this country is too frightening to even contemplate.

  4. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/17/2015 - 09:57 am.

    Good points!

    Before I read all the way through the article, I was going to post something to the effect that there are two ways to win the election:
    To pick up undecided votes in the middle, or to
    increase the turnout by the committed.
    But I guess that I don’t have to.

  5. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/17/2015 - 12:23 pm.

    Isn’t it peculiar that the Democratic candidate is the true conservative in the race.

    The debasement of current politics is contained that observation.

    When the Republican party no longer believes in the processes of governing in a democracy, they have moved into very dangerous ground. That is beyond “conservative” and a part of some other political universe.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/17/2015 - 07:07 pm.


      A “conservative’ is someone who wants to maintain the status quo.
      A “reactionary”‘ is someone who wants to return to an earlier time,
      such as the McKinley era and the robber barons’.

      (sorry — this got garbled when first posted).

  6. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/17/2015 - 08:15 pm.


    Forget all the e-mails – what are Hillary’s achievements that qualify her to be the president?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/18/2015 - 10:04 am.

      Your question

      Mr. Gutman, your question implies that you are not interested in petty scandals that have nothing to do with any of the real issues in the upcoming election. You are asking about a candidate’s qualifications for office, a line of inquiry that verges dangerously towards substance. When you ask about Secretary Clinton’s achievements, you are trying to distract us with minutiae like the actual work of governance.

      I’m not sure if your revolutionary approach will catch on.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/18/2015 - 06:17 pm.

        No answer

        Mr. Holbrook, imagine that – someone to the right of center wants to talk about governing… While people on the left avoid discussing Clinton’s accomplishments (or, more precisely, lack thereof) by all means possible. To them, she is a woman (a necessary qualifications, it seems, to be a Democratic nominee) and will be able to conduct a “feminist” policy which is what she has been emphasizing lately (which brings to mind a Swedish foreign minister who wanted to conduct “feminist” foreign policy and who ended up alienating Israel and Saudi Arabia and undermining huge contracts for Swedish firms). That makes her a great candidate! E-mails fiasco is just a symptom of Clinton’s unaccountability and inability to evaluate the situations correctly and appropriately so it is just a by-product of her inability to achieve anything (which is proven by your reluctance to even try to make a list).

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/19/2015 - 09:07 am.

          No answer necessary

          Hillary Clinton is a highly public figure, and has maintained a high profile for at last two decades, at least. She’s a known quantity, which is one the reasons she polls so highly across the board- everyone has already made up their minds on her. So have you, obviously. You asked the question (ostensibly) because you already believe you know the answer.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/19/2015 - 09:22 am.


          Yes, it is a thing of wonder to see someone right of center talk about governance. The discourse from so-called conservatives these days tends towards the petty scandals (which you now seem to regard as important, since someone to the left happened to agree with you that it is unimportant), malicious gossip, and unsupported innuendo. This trickles down to the average conservative citizen, who picks up dirt from bottom-feeders like Breitbart, and reposts that dirt, giggling at the furor they set off. It is the equivalent of a flaming bag of ordure left on the doorstep.

          You raise more questions than you answer. Who has avoided discussing Hilary Clinton’s accomplishments? Are you willing to put them up against the accomplishments of, say, a Rand Paul or a Jeb Bush? How has she been “emphasizing” a feminist policy? When have I been reluctant to make a list (for the record, Hilary Clinton is not my first choice, but seems the most realistic opportunity to prevent the devastation that would be wrought by anyone likely to run as a Republican)?

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/19/2015 - 10:58 am.

          Few presidents

          have long lists of achievements before becoming president. They’re elected because of what they’re expected to do -after- becoming president.
          What was Eisenhower’s list of achievements (outside of the military) before he became president?
          Or Washington’s, for that matter?
          Lincoln had some success as a lawyer and legislator, but was hardly a towering figure before the electon campaign.
          The fact that you have to denigrate a Swedish foreign minister to have enough mud to throw at Clinton is a giveaway to the actual content of your post.

        • Submitted by jason myron on 03/19/2015 - 12:56 pm.

          We’ve avoided nothing of the sort.

          Not long ago, I provided you a comprehensive list of her accomplishments, but you seem unable or unwilling to either read it or comprehend it.

  7. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/19/2015 - 10:33 am.

    Yeah, I’ve seen Hillary move to the “left” before…

    And then after the election she’s goes home. Progressive’s just don’t know if they can trust her. She’s got two huge strikes against her. The first was her health care project with turned into giant effort to rescue the insurance industry rather than build an workable health system. And the second was the vote for the Iraq War. These were more than a decade apart so they do not point towards a leftward drift of any kind.

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/19/2015 - 01:50 pm.

      I disagree. I supported Clinton when she was running in 07, specifically because I thought she was more liberal than Barack Obama, more specifically on health-care issues and gay rights- and she had a record on those things. Barack Obama gave us Bob Dole’s healthcare plan and didn’t openly support gay marriage until it started becoming politically popular, whereas Hillary, I think, would have really gone to battle with Universal Coverage as the starting point for healthcare reform. She would have been ready for the Republican attacks and intransigence, as she’s been through that wringer before.

      This progressive trusts her to act in accordance with the way we expect her to act after 30+ years in public life. Has she done things I disagree with? You can bet your sweet bippy, but as Jason and RB have noted before in this thread, she’s the best chance (at this point in time) for keeping the presidency in the hands of what passes for the liberal/progressive party in this country.

      I will also say that, political considerations aside, part of my support for her stems from the fact that I have an educated, hard-working professional mother who is about her age, and I’ve watched men talk down to both of them MY entire life, while they are both demonstrably smarter and more accomplished than 90+ percent of the population.

      • Submitted by jason myron on 03/19/2015 - 06:52 pm.

        and to your point, Jonathan,

        I’ve always thought that the fact that Hillary Clinton is smarter than all of them is what rankles the GOP the most. I think she’s going to make a fine president.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/23/2015 - 08:29 am.


        I don’t know how “progressive” you really are, I’ll take your word for it. Hillary on the hand is not and never was progressive. She is the very definition of a DLC animal, and as such, lacks progressive credibility. The last time you guys ignored the progressive vote you an election you actually won to Bush. I know a lot of people like the “idea” of Hillary, but the actual person (and I’m not saying she’s a bad person) is you get in the White House.

        • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/23/2015 - 01:39 pm.

          While I enjoy having my own progressive credentials questioned by an apologist for Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson, I find it hard to follow your chain of logic here. She (Hillary) may not be as quote-unquote “progressive” as you, or I, or even a large chunk of the millennial population, yet she remains comparatively more progressive than any candidate the GOP is going to field. Is she cozy with Wall Street? yes. Is she cozy with the big political power brokers in the US? yes. Should those things inherently be a conflict with anyone claiming the mantle of ‘progressive?’ That’s a question each of us has to ask ourselves, though anyone who exists in politics necessarily has to work with elements that may be undesirable to different political bases.

          She may not be my ‘ideal’ candidate, but she is the best chance for, as I’ve said before, what passes for the liberal party in this country to keep the White House. While I consider myself to be heavily liberal/progressive, I also consider myself a pragmatist, and somewhat of a cynic (maybe skeptic is a better word) . If you keep holding out for your ‘ideal’ candidate, you’re never going to get anywhere. For instance, I volunteered and campaigned for Howard Dean in 03/04, and when Kerry won the nomination, I went and volunteered for him. Was John Kerry my ideal candidate? Not at all, yet he was easily the best pick of the realistic options. Besides, any impending SCOTUS vacancies will need to be filled, and I would much rather a Democrat be the one nominating appointees, unless you prefer Alito/Roberts to Kagan/Sotomayor. I would much rather a Democrat have the ability to veto congress, as opposed to a Republican.

          I’m also not one of those people who thinks that a vote for Nader, Perot, etc, is a ‘wasted’ vote, or somehow is a ‘stolen’ vote from anyone else. They earned those votes.

          • Submitted by Margaret Houlehan on 03/23/2015 - 09:09 pm.

            That is where we disagree

            I hold Nader fully accountable for 8 years of Bush, and I consider Jill Stein a political lightweight, having listened to her interviews at various points. But, go ahead, vote 3rd party. I am sure we will all be comfy with a President Walker. Me, I am looking at jobs in England and Canada should this horrific scenario play out.

            • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/24/2015 - 09:10 am.

              Me, I hold Katherine Harris, Karl Rove, and the Rehnquist Court responsible for what happened in 2000.

              But I do have to go back and say that it’s not Ralph Nader’s “fault” that the vote total was close enough. I’ve never voted for Nader (or any 3rd party, I think), and at the time was angry at him for playing the spoiler, but Gore also ran away from an incredibly popular incumbent and ran a safe, boring campaign. He loses, is finally free to be the liberal he wants to be, and he becomes a sort of folk-hero. Gore (while still, you know, WINNING the election) has only himself to blame for his weak campaign.

              I will say this. The only vote I’ve ever regretted casting is for Mike Hatch. I really liked Peter Hutchinson, but I voted for Mike Hatch instead of Hutchinson because I knew how damaging another Tim Pawlenty term was going to be to MN.

              I don’t think we will end up with a President Walker- so don’t pack your bags just yet.

  8. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/19/2015 - 08:02 pm.

    Still no answer

    Mr. Holbrook, it seems like you are stereotyping conservatives – not a good thing for a liberal to do. Anyway, so you seem to say that Mrs. Clinton’s e-mail issue is just a petty scandal which is pretty telling considering how much untruths and semi-truths she managed to say around that And saying that Conservatives dig dirt is ironic considering how much dirt was poured on Bush, Romney, Christy, etc.

    Who has avoided discussing Clinton’s accomplishments? Liberal media. Jeb Bush was a governor of Florida for 8 years (meaning he was re-elected). Mrs. Clinton emphasizes her “feminist” policies all the time by bringing up the fact that she is a woman and that she helps women – just read her speeches; in fact her last speech before e-mail controversy press-conference was about women in the world. And you are reluctant to make a list right now – you did not include any of her accomplishments in your posts.

    Mr. Ecklund, you are right, Mrs. Clinton is a well-known public figure but that is not an accomplishment. And yes, “She’s a known quantity” but again it has nothing to do with accomplishments. So you, too, are dodging the question.

    Mr. Brandon, some young presidents were elected on their potential (like Obama, for example) but most of them were well know figures with known accomplishments (for example, FDR was a NY governor and being an accomplished military leader is quite an accomplishment – proves that one can lead, doesn’t it?). So electing Mrs. Clinton on the basis of what she can expect to achieve after she has achieved nothing in almost 70 years is a stretch by any imagination.

    Mr. Myron, you did provide links to these websites and I replied that those things are not accomplishments which are defined as “the successful completion of something.” It is interesting that Ms. Marshall lists what was done in Libya and Egypt as examples of her success as a SOS; well, that was written more than a year ago so now it is clear what kind of “success” it was.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/20/2015 - 09:02 am.

      Once more, Mr. Gutman

      Forgive me, but I had thought from your original comment that you regarded the e-mail fracas as a minor distraction from the real issues in the campaign (yes, I think asking after a candidate’s accomplishments is a valid point). Was the strain of having someone on the left agree with you too much to handle?

      I wish the stereotype view of conservatives were wrong, but I don’t think so. The conservative movement is led by people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly. The fires are fed by the ones who dwell at Breitbart. I think that speaks for itself.

  9. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/20/2015 - 06:11 pm.

    Left and right

    Mr. Holbrook, I always appreciate when people agree with me – left or right. I never said that e-mail issue was a minor distraction – I meant that it is not important compared to how unqualified Mrs. Clinton is. I also said that it is just another proof of her not being suited to be a president. But sure, if everything else she was doing were great, I would have ignored this e-mail problem in a heartbeat.

    Now, I never in my life listened to Rush, do not like Hannity very much, and am getting disappointed with O’Reilly. I also never read Breitbart site. But I do check MSNBC once in a while and read Slate and Salon and Huffington Post and I can say that what liberals are saying is so much worse than anything Fox does. Just as an example, remember that Romney and his black grandson (I think it was) story? Or what was said about Palin? Or all the lies about “hands up, don’t shoot?” Should I continue?

    Mr. Galitz, for a liberal to be elected in the State f New York is not an accomplishment and you know that. They elected and reelected Rangel and Wiener. Is it possible for a Democrat to lose an election in New York? On the other hand, Bush was elected and re-elected but I doubt you would consider that an accomplishment… As for being a Secretary of State, it is not an accomplishment; that would be actually achieving something at that time.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 03/20/2015 - 11:50 pm.

      Why yes of course

      As Florida is a bastion of liberalism. Tell me again, the last liberal governor of Florida was whom? Also, might you tell me from where Rep. King hails? Exactly what did Jeb do besides being born with the last name Bush? Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer a liberal instead of the ol’ DLC establishment, but as Mr. Myron states I prefer to win. That qualifications uneasiness is all your team can muster at this stage is a very good indication of which horse I should be backing. Get back to me when you come up with a candidate who isn’t an irrelevant crank, or an objective failure at governance, and perhaps we can have a discussion.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/21/2015 - 11:00 am.

        End justifices the means

        Mr. Haas, Florida is a swing state and we all know that. Anyway, I understand that you want to win – and the end justifies the means for you. A Democrat must be a president no matter how unqualified and deceptive and “wrong.” So we are not talking about “qualification uneasiness” here – we are talking about total lack of any qualifications whatsoever. I personally wish Romney would run – I think he is very qualified. Among current ones – I don’t know enough yet but Rubio and Jeb Bush do not look too bad – they do have something but anyone who is not a Democrat is a priori a crank and/or a failure. But this is what I see as the major problem: You would vote for anyone with a D next to a name and that makes election a farce.

        • Submitted by Matt Haas on 03/21/2015 - 09:09 pm.


          I would also vote for Bernie Sanders if he puts an S or I next to his name. As for your squad Romney is unelectable, as anyone who isn’t conservative or a millionaire believes he cares nothing for them. This isn’t going to change, whether or not you think it’s true.(I do) As for the rest of them, you have Walker, the most polarizing political figure in America outside the President, whose policies (or those of his sponsors) are, to date, abject failures for Wisconsin by every definable measure. You have Rand Paul, who as his name suggests in an objectivist at heart, (ie a crank) objectivistism is not mainstream no matter how much its proponents would like it to be. Hey, he can pull in all his father’s supporters and garner 3 percent of the vote! Rubio, nothing of note accomplished as a senator, Cuban factor being diluted by overwhelmingly democratic turnout among Latinos generally. Santorum, go ahead and split those bible thumpers during the primary with Huckabee et al, the failed (ie electorally defeated) senator, returns to irrelevance outside of internet search result notoriety by convention time. Carson, surely you’re joking right? Did I miss any? Palin’s usual attempt to
          pad her wallet for a few more years doesn’t count as candidacy in my book, and the usual also ran wannabes of the world (Bolton et al) don’t merit mention. Not hard to vote D when the alternative is worse than non-existant.

        • Submitted by Matt Haas on 03/22/2015 - 08:28 am.

          Oops appears I missed one

          Too bad too, since with him goes any chance of your candidates trying to sound less like right wing fringe radicals during the primary season, come on down Tea party Teddy!

          • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/23/2015 - 07:08 pm.

            REJECTED sp Mr. Haas, I was not

            Mr. Haas, I was not discussing who is electable and who is not – I was saying who I would consider at the moment. Your rant also proves my point that whoever is not with you is against you and you would find anything to bash them. Sure, you would vote for Sanders – never mind the abject failure of Socialism in history; you would always say that it was done the wrong way but you (and Sanders) know the right way.

            • Submitted by Matt Haas on 03/23/2015 - 10:38 pm.

              Rant hmm

              I gather its a low bar. As for the lessons of history, I guess we are to just skip over the gilded age, the Victorian era, feudalism, and on and on and on. The best part about conservatism is the never-ending historical record of its abject failure at bringing about anything but misery for large groups of people. I could care less which conservative candidate flavor of the month is electable, conservatism itself is the issue, it’s not that conservatives are my adversaries, its that conservatism is incompatible with civilization, and as such must be resisted at every available opportunity.

  10. Submitted by Margaret Houlehan on 03/23/2015 - 09:16 pm.

    Mr. Gutman,

    Romney is a man utterly devoid of an moral core. Don’t believe me? Google his debates with Ted Kennedy and Shannon O’Brien. The man who claims he is now severely conservative advocated for minors to obtain abortions without parental consent, which is to the left even of me. But, this man would have sold his mother if it would have allowed him to become President. Let’s also not forget Romneycare. He sold his soul on that one as well. So sad. As someone else pointed out, this man cares nothing for other than 1 percenters, nor can he or his snooty wife possibly understand the struggles of average Americans.

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