More Hillary-in-2016

Gillibrand and Carville are weighing in. Could be real.

With both Gillibrand and Carville chiming in, this is starting to look real to me. I should add that my enthusiasm for a Clinton/Biden job switch drew skepticism from a politically connected and sophisticated Republican I met recently who told me he’d probably vote for Obama against Romney. His take was that such a move would be a turn-off for independents, who would see it as reflecting lack of loyalty to Biden on Obama’s part. My sense is that it would still be a net boost for the campaign, but if I had to choose between my own political judgment and my informant’s, I’d choose his.   In any case, I don’t think Clinton needs to be VP to be the instant frontrunner – possibly the uncontested choice – four years from now.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

25 thoughts on “More Hillary-in-2016”

  1. FWIW, I agree with your informant. I think one of Obama’s great political strengths is that he’s been a “steady hand at the tiller” of the ship of state as we’ve traveled through stormy seas over the past 3+ years. With Clinton having repeatedly said she doesn’t want to remain Sec. of State for a 2nd term, with Biden having been a loyal VP (who does want to remain for a 2nd term), a job switch between the two would risk looking panicky—and thereby destroying (or at least weakening) one of Obama’s key advantages against Mitt Romney, the human Etch-A-Sketch.

  2. That may be right. But the belief seems to be that Biden would rather replace Clinton than keep his current post.

  3. I don’t buy it. If Hillary wants to run in 2016, I think she’d actually be in a weaker position as sitting VP than she would as a recently-retired secretary of state.

    1. How strong Hillary will be will probably depend on how bad things get in the Middle East and how we respond to it.

      1. And whether the world-wide economic Ponzi scheme is finally exposed. Did you read Taibbi’s column on Bank of America? Revolting!

    2. Yup. Consider how much news she makes compared to Biden, and how impressive the stories are: she’s meeting world leaders and representing the country, and he’s campaigning for the ticket to factory workers in the midwest. Some of the difference is that her stature is higher than his regardless of their positions, but – excepting tragedy, or perhaps a senate tie – her job is just more impressive and dignified than his is, while also being less partisan.

      On the other hand, it’s a long time since a former Secretary of State became President: none have since the Civil War (although it was fairly common in the first few decades of the country), while the recent odds of a Veep getting the nomination and the job are fairly high.

  4. Went to an event w/ politicos where it was brought up. David Axelrod indicated such a switch would be “disloyal” though I suppose he left some wiggle room. I would strongly doubt it happens.

  5. At this point, my guess is that Obama is maybe a 70 per cent chance for reelection. If Obama loses, it seems to me that Clinton is far stronger for 2016 if she is a respected former Secretary of State than if she was part of the losing 2012 ticket. So on the ‘run’ side, there is some calculus: 70% chance of sitting Veep versus 30% chance of loser.

    1. Sure, but is sitting veep really better than sitting (or recent) Secretary of State? The veep spot would seem a better launchpad based on recent form, but if the veep is Biden and Biden’s not running then Secretary of State Clinton wouldn’t have to worry about her office being less prominent than another contender’s, if it even is.

  6. I can see a Prez run:

    1. 70 is the new 60
    2. Biden exudes bozoness
    3. She stayed in the ’08 race so long that she makes Newt’s assessment of his chances look realistic, and his Southern Strategy mild.
    4. She has a claim to one of the more remarkable Foreign Policy Presidencies in recent history…on top of Bill’s economic one.

    I don’t see a VP switch

    1. It used to be common, but will now be interpreted as a sign of weakness…if done before the election.
    2. Better for her to quit while ahead (on the heels of a successful foreign policy) rather than stay on for 4 years and risk inheriting some future Obama failure.

  7. She’s in a great position if she gets out now. If Obama’s second term sucks, then she can be the “I told you so” choice. If he succeeds, she can be the “continuing the Obama legacy” choice.

    1. “She’s in a great position if she gets out now. If Obama’s second term sucks, then she can be the “I told you so” choice. If he succeeds, she can be the “continuing the Obama legacy” choice.”

      If Obama ends on a sour note, the GOP gets the presidency, regardless of anything else.

  8. Mark: I like Secretary Clinton, but don’t forget how badly she did among younger voters when she ran in 2008. From 2008 to 2016, over one million people who voted for her will have passed away…she has yet to show appeal to people born after the baby boom, and that would make her weak in 2016.

    1. I think you might be over-reading the results from 2008. I suspect that Clinton did poorly among young voters largely because Obama did so well. Democrats poll well generically among younger voters and I suspect Clinton would be fine. Even Obama isn’t likely to do as well as Obama (’08) did among younger voters. Cue the breathless “How Obama lost the youth vote” headlines.

      1. Sven: Well, I have to say I was taken aback by the number of younger Obama(<45 years) voters who were actively hostile to Ms Clinton in 2008…and don't forget there will be a younger charismatic alternative running again in 2016, Andrew Cuomo or someone like that, so you may see the same dynamic again of Ms. Clinton mainly drawing from her own generation, which of course shrank in size significantly from the 2008-2016.

  9. a Clinton/Biden job switch drew skepticism from a politically connected and sophisticated Republican I met recently who told me he’d probably vote for Obama against Romney.

    These people still exist?

    Mark: I like Secretary Clinton, but don’t forget how badly she did among younger voters when she ran in 2008.

    I suspect the dynamics will be different. Dramatically.
    The country will be over ready for a woman president.
    I suspect even the republicans will understand that.
    Which is all to suggest: Look for white males as VPs for both parties in 2016.

  10. Assuming for sake of this discussion that he and his wife are still married by then, does anyone really want to see Bill Clinton back in the White House, this time without official duties to occupy his time?

  11. If an incumbent president changed VP running mate without a reason other than strategic, I would view that as disloyal and would hold him against him/her even though I know there is a president.

  12. If she really wants to run in 2016 — a pretty big if, imo — retiring in mid 2013, taking a year to plot and make some money, then two to run while unencumbered, seems like the best strategy of all. VP is a subordinate job, and isn’t going to increase her standing with anyone at all.

  13. Although I think it is likely Sec. Clinton will run in 2016, I disagree that it will uncontested. Govenors Andrew Cuomo (NY) and Martin O’Malley (MD) are both building national reputations, and are likely to run.

  14. Clinton is too old! Her time has passed. This is a time for a new generation of leaders. Fresh ideas. new leaders who are bridge builders. We must move away from the Republican-Democrate Battle that is ruining the USA.

    1. We must move away from the Republican-Democrate Battle that is ruining the USA.

      Yes a curse on both their houses.
      Because Democrats are working just as hard to deny the truth of climate science as Republicans.
      And Democrats are working just as hard to privatize Medicare and Social Security as Republicans.
      And Democrats are working just as hard to deny woman contraceptives…
      I could go on and on…
      But let’s do a jump to this:

      Clinton is too old! Her time has passed.

      I am tempted to say: Ageism is the last refuge of the bigot.
      But that’s obviously not true. Yes it is a refuge, but not nearly the last one:
      Not when we got southern Christian Fundamentalism (i.e. The modern Republican party) coiling and hissing in various snake pits around the country.

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