Add Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to the list of Democrats unequivocally throwing all of their complimentary predictions as well as predictable compliments behind the possible — or, depending on who you talk to, probable — candidacy of Hillary Clinton 2016. Not only would she win and make a splendid president, says Reid, but “she’ll handle things probably even better than [Bill Clinton] did”:
Hillary Clinton may have a bigger fan than Harry Reid; I just don’t know who it would be. I think that what she did as a senator, what she did as secretary of state will go down in history books as a remarkable, remarkable job that she did. I, of course, have such admiration for the president. Remember, the last three or four years he was here we reduced the debt and created 22 million jobs – pretty good deal. And I think that they’re a pretty good team, but she’ll handle things probably even better than he did. … I don’t know what more I can say than — to be a cheerleader for — than what I’ve already said in this interview.
The “remarkable job that she did” as secretary of state? Er… debatable, but try telling that to a Democrat, and anyway, Clinton is of course topping the race in all of those Quinnipiac 2016 hypothetical match-up polls. The big rejoinder for Clinton’s potential presidency, however, is that it isn’t as if plucking a candidate from relative obscurity has never worked for the Democrats before, ahem, and Hillary might be a little too much on the old side of the old guard come 2016; Chris Cilliza at WaPo made a list the other day sussing out some of the other possible Democratic options we might be looking at come the next presidential campaign cycle. If it isn’t going to be Hillary, maybe it’ll be one of these guys? Maybe?
7. Howard Dean: It’s been a decade since the former Vermont governor lit the Democratic world on fire with his remarkable if ultimately flawed presidential candidacy. While Dean hasn’t been an active candidate since then, he retains something of a following among liberals, and if there is a segment of the party looking for an alternative to Clinton, he could be it.
6. Martin O’Malley: On paper, the Maryland governor looks great. He’s built a governing record in the Old Line State — guns, the death penalty, gay marriage, etc. — that liberals will love. He’s handsome. And, he badly wants to be president. Like, really badly. But, as the New Republic’s Alec MacGillis noted in a recent piece on O’Malley: “For all his gym-rat, pub-rock credentials, O’Malley is not a very charismatic politician.” There is a “Democratic Tim Pawlenty” narrative building around O’Malley at the moment. …