Hillary Rodham Clinton is a unique politician in many ways, but perhaps her most unique quality is that she’s universally-known. For 17 consecutive years, Gallup has found her the most admired woman in the world. She is arguably the most vetted politician in the history of the United States; and without doubt, she is the most vetted politician alive.
Every time she speaks, it’s news — no matter how insignificant the utterance. Just last week, a routine fundraising solicitation from the Clinton Foundation made worldwide news because the subject line teased “Announcement.” There have been books written about Hillary; and then books written about the books written about Hillary. In fact, there are columnists, reporters and authors who have made an entire career out of musing about Hillary Clinton. Can you imagine a career for Dick Morris without Hillary Clinton? She’s a cottage-industry, and the level of intrigue and vetting is pervasive.
This is why I’m so befuddled that some liberal Democrats are pressing for a primary challenge to Hillary Clinton in 2016. They claim that no one deserves “a coronation,” and that the party needs a debate on its future. That’s nonsense. As Democrats, we know where Hillary Clinton stands, and what she stands for. We don’t need a lengthy primary to determine if she’s worthy of a presidential nomination. After all these years, if you’re still on the fence about Hillary Clinton, then you should probably support someone else in 2016. Token opposition, merely to test Hillary, would be a pointless exercise and a complete waste of money.
As able as Elizabeth Warren and Martin O’Malley may be, they present only token opposition. No one within the Democratic Party actually believes that either of them could defeat Hillary and win the nomination. Even their supporters acknowledge that any insurgent campaign would be aimed at influencing Hillary’s positions for the general election, not actually defeating her. Such goals could be achieved by working with Hillary behind-the-scenes, not waging an unnecessary intra-party despite in public.
Liberals have never really warmed to Hillary Clinton; they distrust her centrist views on foreign affairs. However, it’s those very views that make her viable in a general election against any Republican. She is the best chance Democrats have for maintaining the White House after President Obama. And she has the rare advantage of being broadly-popular enough to win the nomination outright. This is an advantage that Democrats should be happy to take. While the GOP is destined to have a bitter fight over its 2016 nomination, why wouldn’t Democrats quickly embrace Hillary, and collectively take aim at a divided Republican Party? It would be smart politics. All Democrats need to do is fall in line behind their obvious leader.