If Hillary were to pass, who do the Democrats have left?

Our friend Matt Lewis raises a question at the Telegraph this week which has come up before, but may move much more to the forefront once the mid-terms are over. The default assumption among politicos to date remains that Hillary Clinton will not only run for President in 2016, but would be virtually unbeatable in the Democrats’ primary. But I’ve questioned this assumption before, as have many of our readers. Any number of factors could lead Hillary to simply collect her winnings and walk out of the casino without running the risk of going all in for a second time.

If she did, a huge vacuum would immediately open up among the Democrats. Who could fill those sensible shoes? Matt isn’t very confident in any of the current options. The first name on the list remains my personal favorite (in terms of someone who would be easily defeated in a general election), Elizabeth Warren. This despite the fact that she has said repeatedly that she’s not running.

Should she change her mind, Warren would have to overcome at least one weird biographical challenge: her purported Native American heritage is, at best, dubious. That’s right, she seems to have erroneously claimed to have American Indian lineage.

Now, when she ran for the Senate, Warren was able to shrug off allegations that she played identity politics by padding her politically correct resume. But it’s easier to get an unapologetic liberal elected in Massachusetts; the rest of the country might not be so forgiving.

Matt also talks about Jim Webb, the former Senator from Virginia. He’s a proven winner in a purple state, a Marine, and has experiencing serving under presidents from both parties. But he has issues of his own.

In a novel Lost Soldiers, he describes a graphic scene of incest and paedophilia between a returning soldier and his son that is too explicit to quote from here; in another he describes a woman performing sex acts on a banana.*

When Webb ran for the Senate, this was brought up to no avail. But running for president is an altogether different animal. One wonders how American voters would feel about these fictional depictions. And there’s more. Critics point out that he has written fondly of his own Confederate roots and defended the Southern states’ decision to secede from the Union, which led to the American Civil War.

Matt also looks rather dubiously at Brian Schweitzer and Bernie Sanders. (The Hot Air readership will now, I hope, join me in a moment of prayer. Dear Lord. Please, in Your infinite and inscrutable wisdom, allow the Democrats to somehow nominate Bernie Sanders. Amen.) One of the most interesting possibilities raised – and one which I think would bring joy to the hearts of conservatives and Republicans across the land – is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. There’s no question that he hungers for the job, but the record he amassed on his way to the big office in Albany has, sadly, most likely disqualified him from national office.

During his tenure he attempted to pass an abortion bill so far beyond the mainstream that it had moderate supporters running for the aisles. His passage of the New York SAFE Act, which led to gun confiscations and other related Second Amendment rights disasters, is sure to be offensive to all but a handful of the most liberal states. And, of course, his recent ethics problems following the disbanding of the Moreland Commission would make him a pinata for the GOP.

Who does that leave? Joe Biden? I don’t know if this scenario will come to pass, but if it does we could be in for one of the most entertaining episodes in American political history.

This article was edited to correct a description of one of the comments by Jim Webb as provided by the author.