Faced with the apparently unstoppable campaign of Republican Donald Trump, and not one but two Latino Republican presidential candidates – Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio – Democratic party donors appear to be hedging their bets as they consider whether 74-year-old Sen. Bernie Sanders and 68-year-old Hillary Clinton can adequately represent the ambitions of a party that has tried so hard to entice younger voters.
Hillary’s scandals – including her use of a private email server on which classified material was transmitted, coupled with her apparent inaction during the Benghazi crisis – and Sander’s socialist leanings are causing big donors to wonder if the presidency is lost to the Democratic party. According to several reports, Vice President Joseph Biden is being pushed as a candidate to go up against the eventual Republican nominee. Oklahoma businessman and Democratic fundraiser Bill Bartmann wrote an email to fellow Democrats on February 5 urging them to consider drafting Biden. A prominent backer of the “Draft Biden 2016” movement, Bartmann wrote “I would urge all of you to join me in ‘keeping our powder dry’ until we see if for the good of the party and the country, we should resurrect (sic) the Draft Biden movement.” Signaling the urgency, Bartmann wrote “We cannot afford to lose the White House.”
Bartmann expressed worry over a new poll numbers showing that the Hillary Clinton campaign is seriously in decline. And a narrow, disputed, win over Sanders in Iowa, has Democrats concerned. In addition, Sanders is beating Clinton by double digits in New Hampshire.
The most recent Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Hillary and Sanders are neck and neck among registered voters. The Quinnipiac poll shows much the same among likely voters. The poll numbers do not necessary predict outcomes at specific primaries, such as the upcoming Super Tuesday in March, but Hillary needs to project of invincibility in order surpass her poor showing for personal qualities. She does not appear to be a sure thing anymore. Among the issues she has to overcome are her demonstrated ties to Wall Street, her private email server at the State Department, Benghazi, her ever-evolving policy positions, and her enormous speaking fees.
Earning the public’s trust will be a challenge for Hillary Clinton.
And some liberal pundits appear to agree. Among them are Washington Post columnist Colbert King, a liberal, who agrees with Hillary’s conservative critics that the mishandling of classified information is part of a pattern of deception and equivocation. King wrote:
“The Hillary Clinton email issue is developing into a real whodunit, complete with Clintonesque legal semantics. “I never sent or received any material marked classified,” she said with respect to the discovery of classified information on her private, unclassified email server. That surface denial nearly rivals Bill Clinton’s classic: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
“But this is no laughing matter.
"There is nothing trivial about a secretary of state having top-secret information on an unsecured computer in her home. That appears to have been the case, based on the State Department’s announcement last week that 22 emails, across seven email chains, containing top-secret information were on Hillary Clinton’s private email server.”
Signalling what Democrats might be thinking now, King wrote:
“Just a thought: As a precaution, the manager in the White House dugout might consider telling the bullpen to start warming up Joe Biden.”
But a Biden candidacy could also backfire. Veep Biden has had two unsuccessful presidential campaigns. The first ending abortively when his plagiarism of the speeches of British politician Neil Kinnock was revealed, and his 2007 campaign was almost an immediate flop.
Ed Morrissey at HotAir wrote of a possible Biden candidacy:
"The only people who take Biden seriously are either named Biden or Obama. Finally, at this late date, Biden might make it through a primary without a ground organization if Democratic voters are desperate enough, but he’d get killed in a general election. There simply isn’t enough time for him to compete, especially with his electoral handicaps. Biden needed to start a year ago just to have a chance — when the e-mail scandal first broke.
"In other words, Democrats had a chance to take national security seriously before it backfired on them."
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.