Liberal leaders want Hillary Clinton to face a primary challenge in 2016 if she decides to run for president.
The goal of such a challenge wouldn’t necessarily be to defeat Clinton. It would be to prevent her from moving to the middle during the Democratic primary…
It’s been more than five years since then-Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) stunned Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. At the time, segments of the left lambasted her support of the Iraq war. Now, the wariness is on domestic policies.
Clinton raised concern among the Democratic Party’s populist base when she recently accepted an estimated $400,000 from Goldman Sachs for two speeches.
Influential progressives wonder whether someone who accepted such a large sum from one of Wall Street’s biggest investment firms could be expected to hold corporate executives accountable if elected president.
They also wonder how aggressively she’d call for addressing income inequality, which many see as one of the biggest economic problems facing the nation.
This is portrayed as an attempt to keep Hillary Clinton properly liberal. If she has an opponent on her left during the primary then she will have to keep her leftist commitments and base.
Does it ever really work that way?
The only thing a Leftist opponent can do during the campaign is force Hillary to campaign more to her left. But that won’t change the fact that she gets a lot of money from Goldman Sachs. Nothing she says or does during the primary is going to dictate how she acts as President. At most it will affect the way she campaigns against the Republican nominee because she won’t want to appear too inconsistent.
But a Leftist opponent in the Democrat primary in 2016 is hardly going to have as much sway on her Presidency as Wall Street will.
There is another way to look at all this.
Hillary realizes that she is losing her base when they find out about the Goldman Sachs honorariums and other such things. So she wants a liberal opponent during the primary to keep all the liberals fully interested in the campaign. By running against such a challenger and perhaps bringing the opponent on as a Vice President, Hillary can ensure that the leftists don’t get disaffected. It gives her a chance to make sure her base votes for her despite the problems she makes for herself by consorting with Goldman Sachs.
In my opinion, when the story tells us that, “The goal of such a challenge wouldn’t necessarily be to defeat Clinton,” it is pretty much giving away the game. It tells us this is a strategy aimed at changing the opinions of voters and giving them false hope, rather than a way to change Hillary’s actual positions.