Cook Report ponders the unthinkable: ‘What if there’s no Hillary?’

posted at 6:01 pm on July 14, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Amy Walter, one of the astute political analysts over at Cook Political Report, opened a Pandora’s Box on Monday by asking and attempting to answer the question that terrifies Democratic operatives: “What if there’s no Hillary in 2016?”

The short-term answer is panic, mass desertion, rampant substance abuse, and night terrors among Democratic voters. Fortunately, Walter answered this question with a bit more perspective in mind.

While Walter conceded that most of the people around former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton believe she is running, and her behavior and media schedule since the start of her June book tour is consistent with a presidential candidate’s. There remains, however, a specter of doubt about her commitment to another bid for the White House. Furthermore, Walter added, there is no shortage of liberal Democrats who are… unenthusiastic about the prospect of another Clinton candidacy.

With that in mind, Walter took a look at who might fill the vacuum that would be created if Clinton backs out of another campaign.

“[Vice President Joe] Biden starts as the frontrunner, but a very weak one,” Walter noted. “Even with Biden in the mix, most of the Democrats I spoke to said they saw a ‘free for all’ and a nomination ‘up for grabs.’”

Then there is Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley who has made it abundantly clear he has his eyes on the big prize. “O’Malley has the more liberal record, but he would still struggle to get the attention or hold the appeal of a [Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth] Warren, [New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo, or Biden,” Walter continued.

Walter’s next instinct is a telling and accurate one. She proceeds to examine how the Democratic Party, which has spent the last election cycle positioning itself a party focused squarely on identity politics, stacks up in terms of experienced minority office seekers. She found that the party is sorely lacking in potential African-American and Latino presidential aspirants.

Among black candidates, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker have the minimal qualifications to become the next Democratic nominee. Both, however, have limited experience and are closely associated with the Obama White House – a potential drawback should an affiliation with the outgoing president become a liability by 2016.

“Overall, however, the bench of well-known African-American pols who could run a national campaign is pretty thin,” Walter observed.

Moving on to the Hispanic demographic, Walter determined that GOP is in a better position to run a Latino politician in 2016 than are the Democrats. “For all the talk about the GOP’s troubles with Latino voters, they have a bounty of potential Hispanic candidates for 2016,” she wrote.

From Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to Governors Susana Martinez and Brian Sandoval, the GOP has a wealth of qualified candidates with Hispanic backgrounds that could fill out a presidential ticket. “[W]hen you ask Democrats to name a serious Hispanic candidate for 2016 the only name that surfaces is former San Antonio Mayor and newly appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro,” Walter noted.

Walter concluded by conceding that hers is not “an exhaustive list.” I think she does not give herself enough credit. The Democratic Party has no shortage of competent politicians who could run for president, but the party’s base is far more interested in a candidate who can stake an authentic claim to personal adversity and the right combination of accidents of birth.

One of the unexpected results of the 2012 campaign was to create a Democratic electorate which is actively hostile to the party’s 2016 bench.


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I will have spent a lot of effort on chops that may never see the light of day. Run her!!!!

Bmore on July 14, 2014 at 6:05 PM

One of the unexpected results of the 2012 campaign was to create a Democratic electorate which is actively hostile to the party’s 2016 bench.

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind??

Lord Whorfin on July 14, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Evan Bayh.

portlandon on July 14, 2014 at 6:06 PM

a potential drawback should an affiliation with the outgoing president become a liability by 2016.


You’re new here, Noah.

We really recommend people use the /sarc tag while they are still establishing their “voice”.

Because only a liberal would think an affiliation with the outgoing President isn’t already a liability for 2016 with EVERY Democratic candidate for the office of dog catcher or higher is disavowing Obama already.

PolAgnostic on July 14, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Well, the market price for high-end bourbon falls through the floor, for one thing…

JohnGalt23 on July 14, 2014 at 6:08 PM

only Zuul?

trubble on July 14, 2014 at 6:11 PM

PolAgnostic on July 14, 2014 at 6:07 PM

You’re going to make Noah cry if you keep talking about his president that way.

Pork-Chop on July 14, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Imagine there’s no Hillary. It’s easy if you try.

Bertram Cabot Jr. on July 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM

The Democrat bench is so thin that Hillary almost has to run. O’Malley, Cuomo, and Warren would get destroyed. And Bite Me has no chance at the nomination.

Doughboy on July 14, 2014 at 6:15 PM

We can only pray…hey lay off Noah, give the kid a break….besides he has a great first name….remember what happened to the folks that picked on the first Noah……

crosshugger on July 14, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Let’s face it, King Barack has set the bar so low, ANY Democratic loser could run for office.

GarandFan on July 14, 2014 at 6:19 PM

‘What if there’s no Hillary?’

If Hill never did exist, Bill would be the happiest man on earth.

poxoma on July 14, 2014 at 6:20 PM

BC Jr.:

No cackling laughter,
No BJ Clintoon…….

Imagine all the libturds,
jumping off the roofs……yoooooohooooo
You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only

conservative hispanic on July 14, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Cook Report ponders the unthinkable: ‘What if there’s no Hillary?’

…Billy will keep her as a Cigar Humidor?
.
.
.
… and ‘High Cheeks’ will run!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 14, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Imagine there’s no Hillary. It’s easy if you try.

Bertram Cabot Jr. on July 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Oh, man- you can make an entire Democrat parody feature film out of that song

♪♫ You may sayyyy I’m a Dreamer… but I’m not the only one…I hope some dayyyy you’ll join us… ♫♪

Dolce Far Niente on July 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Hillary Clinton will not be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016.

Lolo on July 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Elizabeth Warren who, even if Hillary is running, is the darling of the progressive Democrat Party.

Viator on July 14, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Let’s face it, King Barack has set the bar so low, ANY Democratic loser could run for office.

GarandFan on July 14, 2014 at 6:19 PM

This.

Are we suddenly supposed to believe that experience or name recognition means anything whatsoever in a Democrat primary after 2008?

Because it means about as much as Obama telling people he’s on their side. (Hint hint, he’s not.)

Aizen on July 14, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Imagine there’s no Hillary. It’s easy if you try.

Bertram Cabot Jr. on July 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Oh, man- you can make an entire Democrat parody feature film out of that song

♪♫ You may sayyyy I’m a Dreamer… but I’m not the only one…I hope some dayyyy you’ll join us… ♫♪

Dolce Far Niente on July 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM

♫No Slick boinking interns, no Marcy Park for the coroner’s daily run….♫

viking01 on July 14, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Obama’s going to destroy Killary and run Corey Booker… or maybe Eric Holder or Mooch.

Key West Reader on July 14, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Elizabeth Warren who, even if Hillary is running, is the darling of the progressive Democrat Party.

Viator on July 14, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Granny won’t play well outside of MA and California, and she’s only a year younger than Hillary! is.

Del Dolemonte on July 14, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Evan Bayh.

portlandon on July 14, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Yep. Remember we talked about this about 2 years ago I think.

“Keep your eye on Evan Bayh”

He’s not a bad guy, I kind of like him but there is NO WAY I’d ever vote for him. The Dem party is the party of Socialists, Communists and Marxists. Toxic.

Key West Reader on July 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM

I thought that second paragraph was aimed at AllahPundit. Why, I bet he’s got a whole bunch of Hillary posts already written

rbj on July 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM

♫No Slick boinking interns, no Marcy Park for the coroner’s daily run….♫

+100.

Let us all, however pray that Smokin’ Joe Biden elbows her aside for the nomination.

Because electoral mass extinction of historic proportions.

orangemtl on July 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM

… hey lay off Noah, give the kid a break….besides he has a great first name….remember what happened to the folks that picked on the first Noah……

crosshugger on July 14, 2014 at 6:16 PM

The “first Noah” was not a raging liberal, and would never have done things like trash Sarah Palin, and praise Eric Holder – on his Twitter feed.

Noah Rothman @NoahCRothman · 7h
Watch Eric Holder obliterate Sarah Palin’s absurd call for GOP to impeach Obama!

Pork-Chop on July 14, 2014 at 6:37 PM

‘What if there’s no Hillary?’

.
BJ Clintoon, On The Loose! Watch out, interns!

ExpressoBold on July 14, 2014 at 6:40 PM

If Hillary doesn’t run, watch out for Mark Warner.

Mark Warner checks all the boxes..

1. Successful Businessman – made billions in telecom industry

2. Successful Governor in a Swing State (Executive experience)

3. Successful Senator from a Swing State (Legislative and federal government experience)

4. Bi-partisan (Gang of Six member)

Not one GOPer running in 2016 can match Mark Warner’s success and accomplishments.

Ned Pepper on July 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Not one GOPer running in 2016 can match Mark Warner’s success and accomplishments.

Ned Pepper on July 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

.
DMV.. look it up

ExpressoBold on July 14, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Ned Pepper on July 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

.
Oh yeah… YOU ARE STUPID!

ExpressoBold on July 14, 2014 at 6:49 PM

I believe there’s a better than even chance Hillary doesn’t run. I also believe, if she does run, she could easily lose in the primaries. One thing that isn’t brought up, Hillary is not the Clinton Democrats love, it’s Bill. There’s a reason a inexperience Senator from Illinois won the nomination in 2008 and there is no reason to believe that isn’t going to happen again. The only difference is going to be if Hillary realizes that before she runs or while she’s running.

bflat879 on July 14, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Not one GOPer running in 2016 can match Mark Warner’s success and accomplishments.

Ned Pepper on July 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

I don’t see it. I mean, to be the Democratic nominee, doesn’t that require at least some amount of victim qualification? What’s his?

Lolo on July 14, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Mark Warner, who???

viking01 on July 14, 2014 at 6:52 PM

remember what happened to the folks that picked on the first Noah……

crosshugger on July 14, 2014 at 6:16 PM

No relation

HotAirian on July 14, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Fauxcahauntus is there in the wings. Hey, ya know, Corrine Brown’s district is being redrawn from the archetypal gerrymandered district that it is. She’ll, hopefully, be “available” when rationality comes back to redistricting.

ProfShadow on July 14, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Elizabeth Warren who, even if Hillary is running, is the darling of the progressive Democrat Party.

Viator on July 14, 2014 at 6:27 PM

.
Granny won’t play well outside of MA and California, and she’s only a year younger than Hillary! is.

Del Dolemonte on July 14, 2014 at 6:34 PM

.
Don’t discount those “high” cheek bones … : )

listens2glenn on July 14, 2014 at 7:01 PM

She’s just one more medical emergency away from having to drop out. Whether it’s another stroke or a problem with her congenital-defect riddled heart, it’s just a matter of time. Likely it will happen during the grueling stress of the campaign.

slickwillie2001 on July 14, 2014 at 7:01 PM

You mean Shotgun Joe would be the standard bearer with Fauxcahontas or Andy as his Veep for gravitas?

Not one GOPer running in 2016 can match Mark Warner’s success and accomplishments.

Ned Pepper on July 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Perry, Walker, Paul, Jindal, Scott (either), Martinez, Cruz…

I think Ned was hit a little higher than the lip.

formwiz on July 14, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Let’s face it, King Barack has set the bar so low, ANY Democratic loser could run for office.

GarandFan on July 14, 2014 at 6:19 PM

.
That unfortunately includes Republicans, as well.

listens2glenn on July 14, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Or Hillary may have decided that if the D’s can’t have her, they will be lacking in funds because she is now the Royal Money Vacuum. All that cash she is soaking up… what if she decides right before Primary season to say ‘SUCKERS’ and then walk off stage with the loot?

That would make sure Warren would have a steep, steep climb and her affiliation to the Obamaites would then put her in a permanent hole. Anyone else who waited for her to decide would also have major problems… and if you go in against her early on, then you will get savagely attacked and then still be in a money hole.

Yes there are lots of rich Leftists out there. They didn’t get rich by putting their money into bottomless pits.

That has got to be a worry in the back of some D’s heads: that they screwed Hillary badly in 2008, especially the super-delegates who went for Obama when their States went for Hillary, and she is now going to take her revenge on the entire party. If they are all stabbed in the back, what does she care? They will all be out or fossils by the time Chelsea gets around to doing anything…

ajacksonian on July 14, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Granny won’t play well outside of MA and California, and she’s only a year younger than Hillary! is.

Del Dolemonte on July 14, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Yeah but she looks twenty years younger. New hairdo this week too.

slickwillie2001 on July 14, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Not one GOPer running in 2016 can match Mark Warner’s success and accomplishments.

Ned Pecker on July 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Hey Ned, are you going to tell us which scam your Traveler family is working this month?

slickwillie2001 on July 14, 2014 at 7:08 PM

The democrats must know they are up against it in 16. Only GHWB was successfully elected extending a party’s reign to 16 years in the past 35 years.

Hillary won’t run.
Elizabeth Warren unleashed will go into full blown commie mode.
I am betting on darkhorse Kirsten Gilebrand as the eventual nominee.

can_con on July 14, 2014 at 7:10 PM

More setting the field for a Hillary Presidency.

albill on July 14, 2014 at 7:11 PM

sorry, mean’t 12 years, d’oh!

can_con on July 14, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Fauxcahauntus is there in the wings. Hey, ya know, Corrine Brown’s district is being redrawn from the archetypal gerrymandered district that it is. She’ll, hopefully, be “available” when rationality comes back to redistricting.

ProfShadow on July 14, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Unfortunately from what I hear so is Daniel Webster’s. The one Alan Grayson had for one term.

Judge_Dredd on July 14, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Yep. Remember we talked about this about 2 years ago I think.

“Keep your eye on Evan Bayh”

He’s not a bad guy, I kind of like him but there is NO WAY I’d ever vote for him. The Dem party is the party of Socialists, Communists and Marxists. Toxic.

Key West Reader on July 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM

I do remember that! Bayh is basically a 1990′s Republican. About the only democrat I could stomach, but still wouldn’t vote for.

portlandon on July 14, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Hillary won’t run.
Elizabeth Warren unleashed will go into full blown commie mode.
I am betting on darkhorse Kirsten Gilebrand as the eventual nominee.

can_con on July 14, 2014 at 7:10 PM

MD Gov Martin O’Malley will be challenging Liawatha for the full blown progressive-fascist vote.

I also expect CA’s Gavin Newsom to toss his hat in the ring to run from the hard left.

Given the state of the DNC, anyone to the right of Liawatha or O’Malley doesn’t have much of a prayer. The mantra over Obama’s 8 years will be that he didn’t go fascist enough.

Athos on July 14, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Mark Warner checks all the boxes..

1. Successful Businessman – made billions in telecom industry

2. Successful Governor in a Swing State (Executive experience)

3. Successful Senator from a Swing State (Legislative and federal government experience)

4. Bi-partisan (Gang of Six member)

Not one GOPer running in 2016 can match Mark Warner’s success and accomplishments.

Ned Pepper on July 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Lily-white skin and no birth canal. A lot of memes will gonna get sacrificed.

Rix on July 14, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Elizabeth Warren unleashed will go into full blown commie mode.
I am betting on darkhorse Kirsten Gilebrand as the eventual nominee.

can_con on July 14, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Funnily, Gillibrand and Warren are the only Dem women who are relatively easy on the eyes, even with the latter’s grandmotherly age. Kirsten won’t run though, she is just an unknown nobody outside her state, and has no Chicago machine behind her. As for Warren, I find myself strangely undisturbed about her potential presidency. The first thing she will likely do is destroying our bank system, and of the entire country that’s one piece that needs to be destroyed first and foremost; too bad the rest of the country will follow it into the abyss, but hey we’re going to end up there anyway so why wait?

Rix on July 14, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Raul Castro should be in the mix. He’s as much a native ‘merican as The One.

vnvet on July 14, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Raul Castro should be in the mix. He’s as much a native ‘merican as The One.

vnvet on July 14, 2014 at 7:30 PM

And reportedly the same sexual preference.

Judge_Dredd on July 14, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Rix on July 14, 2014 at 7:26 PM

I think Chucky Schumer is plotting her ascension (Kirsten) as he is thinking he will eventual grab that Senate Leader’s position from a retiring Reid. Not many out there that would be able to call in wal street and banking favors like Chucky.

Honestly, I can’t see anybody buying what warren’s selling once she get’s into a campaign mode. She would be worse than Howard Dean.

can_con on July 14, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Raul Castro should be in the mix. He’s as much a native ‘merican as The One.

vnvet on July 14, 2014 at 7:30 PM

You are questioning the qualification of a black person. You must be a racist, aren’t you?

Rix on July 14, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Of course there’s always:

Charlie Crist
Chris Christie
Biff Huntsman

can_con on July 14, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Not one GOPer running in 2016 can match Mark Warner’s success and accomplishments.

Ned Pepper on July 14, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Ker-plop….(((FLUSH)))

bimmcorp on July 14, 2014 at 7:36 PM

And reportedly the same sexual preference.

Judge_Dredd on July 14, 2014 at 7:33 PM

That’s untrue. I have actually read the stories of a young female Cuban immigrant who was “convinced” (read: forced) to accommodate Raoul’s “needs”. The Castro brothers may be monsters but neither of them is gay.

Rix on July 14, 2014 at 7:37 PM

O’Malley, Cuomo, and Warren would get destroyed. And Bite Me has no chance at the nomination.

Doughboy on July 14, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Cuomo would probably be a strong candidate–a relatively centrist Governor of a populous state like New York. The State of New York has been running lots of ads lately in faraway states (even on Fox News) about tax breaks for businesses which relocate to certain parts of New York state. That might be enough to fool some voters into thinking Cuomo is less liberal than his father.

Steve Z on July 14, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Cuomo would carry New York Massachusetts California and maybe Maryland Delaware and Rhode Island. He would have trouble elsewhere. His gun laws would not work with the South or West. His social views will be a tough sell in the South and besides New Yorkers are seen as arrogant. Elizabeth Warren would not carry the heartland with her hard left views. She probably would not even carry Indian reservations. Biden is not respected. Booker would be another freshman Senator with no executive experience at a State or Federal level. That sounds too much like Obama redux.

Hillary will practically be forced to run.

KW64 on July 14, 2014 at 11:00 PM

The Democratic Party has no shortage of competent politicians who could run for president

lol

spinach.chin on July 14, 2014 at 11:55 PM

Well Hillary is definitely running for President. But just for the sake of argument, I’ll give my prediction on what would happen if she didn’t run. Joe Biden would be the front runner. But then Julian Castro announces he’s running for President and shoots up to the top of the leader board. Biden and Castro battle it out. In the end Castro wins the nomination thanks to latino support. He then would face off against Chris Christie in the general. Castro wins and is elected President.

SoulGlo on July 15, 2014 at 5:49 AM

From the article:

We could have someone with the name Hussein in his name, followed by someone named Castro. Eeeesh.

Fleuries on July 15, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Cuomo is not very popular in NY. He lacks charisma, and he no longer has a connection to the Kennedy’s he can tout.

Gillibrand could fake it. But she would need to visit the speech therapist, to stop the childish sing song, that would drive serious people away. Gillibrand has family power behind her in NYS, she is the grand daughter on two side of political families and her grandmother with the illicit “mistress” to the democrat Machine Mayor of Albany, Erastus Corning. Gillibrand even looks like Erastus Corning.

Senator Warren, would cause all kinds of trouble in a primary, as would Duval Patrick of Massachusetts. Duval has been an awful governor, and Mrs. Warren has no governing experience, like Sen. Obama.

They might send in a new comer at the final hour, after the Republican convention so there is no time to vet them. Democrats will change laws and their own party rules and claim that if they don’t do it, they will plead in front of a judge that it would cause “disenfranchisement.”

There is a very strong feeling that Mrs. Clinton is OWED this one. “Things would not have been as bad if she were president,” and last time was a mistake that needs correcting. There is also a campaign to say she is so much more conservative when she is just the same as Obama, just more of a faker. If she is so smart, why doesn’t she call up the White House, now, and tell them what to do and save the country from 2.5 more years of this pain? She is deferring to Obama on everything and never speaks out nationally, just like the wimpy democrats who never criticize Obama, but will tell us later they were never in favor of his policies. Liars.

Fleuries on July 15, 2014 at 9:46 AM

IMHO, it depends on the Senate outcome this fall. If the Repubs take the senate, I think Hillary runs. She can use he W.o.W. meme to her advantage, and then has the option using in congressional blockage of Dem agenda as cover for the inevitable failures.
If the Dems, keep the senate, I can see the possibility of her not running (who could she use as her foil?) and in fact the DNCC calling a mulligan on this race in general and pushing a far lefter who may not win but could provide groundwork for 2020. Face it, the next POTUS is inheriting a mess of epic proportions. I can see the Dems, throwing a weaker hard left candidate. If they win, they’re in progressive Utopia, if the lose, they can say “told ya so” at every opportunity.

BamaXray on July 15, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Hillary Clinton will not be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016.

Lolo on July 14, 2014 at 6:22 PM

I’ll take that action. Are you giving odds too?

hillary will run, she will get the nomination, and she will win. The press will see to it.

runawayyyy on July 15, 2014 at 10:27 AM

I no longer believe Hillary will be the Democrats’ nominee. It’s going to be Elizabeth Warren.

They win elections now through stoking envy and class warfare. Warren plays that schtick like a Stradivarius — far, far better than Hillary can.

Oh, and Warren will be extremely difficult to beat. See the 2012 election results. Voters can be easily manipulated with demagoguery; they seem almost mpervious to facts, logic, economic statistics, etc., rebutting it; and again, it’s a game Warren plays very well.

FishingwFredo on July 15, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Whether or not Warren is beatable is ENTIRELY up to the Repubs. Her claim to American Indian heritage can be extended to about 60% of the people I know in my sphere…Clever campaigning can easily paint her as yet another Obama-ite liar or buffoon. With deteriorating support from unemployed millennials, I see them as less than enthusiastic about 2016, no matter what meme the progs employ. look at Reddit, 4chan even Tumblr and you’ll see these meme’s everywhere, but all the comments say “what’s the use?”
The deluge at the border and the fall out from it will, and is, motivating the vast majority of communities to stand up to the big bad feds. Should a major event cause harm to citizens and be able to be attributed to O’s open borders, I suspect all Dems will have major issues- if any one has the cajones to point it out and lay some blame where it belongs.
It’s going to be interesting to say the least…g

BamaXray on July 15, 2014 at 3:09 PM