I think this headline from the Washington Post is interesting: “Clinton is banking on the Obama coalition to win.” It is interesting because the Obama and Clinton wings of the party don’t seem to like each other at all. However, the “coalition” refers to the demographic voting bloc rather than political alliances.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is running as the most liberal Democratic presidential front-runner in decades, with positions on issues from gay marriage to immigration that would, in past elections, have put her at her party’s precarious left edge.
The moves are part of a strategic conclusion by Clinton’s emerging campaign: that it can harness the same kind of young and diverse coalition as Barack Obama did in 2008 and 2012, bolstered by even stronger appeal among women.
Her approach — outlined in interviews with aides and advisers — is a bet that social and demographic shifts mean that no left-leaning position Clinton takes now would be likely to hurt her in making her case to moderate and independent voters in the general election next year.
The strategy relies on calculations about the 2016 landscape, including that up to 31 percent of the electorate will be Americans of color — a projection that may be overly optimistic for her campaign. It factors in that a majority of independent voters already support same-sex marriage and the pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that Clinton endorsed this month.
It might work, but I have my doubts (or hopes). Much of it will depend on who runs against Hillary. Will it be someone who can challenge Hillary’s history as a war hawk? That might get voters concerned about other issues besides free birth control.
The game plan also hinges on a conclusion by Clinton strategists that the broad appeal of issues such as paid family leave, a higher minimum wage and more affordable college will help outweigh any concerns about costs.
Perhaps there is a majority that is still that stupid. But I can’t help but think that voters are waking up to the financial crisis that we face. Our economy is still in tatters as the Federal Reserve continues the strategy it has pursued since the Bush Administration with the full blessing of the Obama Administration.