Rushville Republican

Columns

May 7, 2013

Barada: The GOP and its next run for the White House

RUSHVILLE — I’m going to make a fearless prediction this week. If the Republicans don’t get their act together soon, very soon, there will be another Democrat in the White House for the eight years following the end of the Obama Administration.

I’ve never seen anything more obvious in my life. Right this minute people are at work organizing the drive to elect Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States. While the GOP is floundering around, it’s clear to anyone who’s interested in or who watches national politics that Hillary Clinton is laying the groundwork for a run to be the next president.

It’s so obvious, in fact, that sometimes I don’t think people realize what’s going on right in front of their eyes, especially Republicans. Although it’s more than three years away, no Republican, and there are potentially many of them, has stepped to center stage in the race to recapture the White House. On the other hand, former First Lady, former United States Senator, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the best position possible to become the next president. Not only does she have the credentials for a very serious campaign, but also please note, she’s essentially lying low right now, letting some significant time pass, before even hinting that she might be interested in the nomination.

Take a minute to look at recent history. It was almost a foregone conclusion that Barack Obama would win the presidency a little over four years ago. Why? Well, not only was he an articulate spokesman for the liberal wing of the party, but also he would have been, and became, the first African American president in the history of the United States. With absolutely no disrespect intended, there was a certain amount of novelty associated with the idea of electing the first African American president. That was especially appealing to young people, liberals, and the rest of the African American community. Qualifications notwithstanding, millions of people voted for Obama because of his race and the history-making nature of his candidacy.

The same sorts of things will be true of Hillary Clinton. She could easily become the first woman to be elected President of the United States. There will be wild enthusiasm for her among women, regardless of party affiliation, if she decides to run. Young people will vote for her. Females on the left, right, and independents will vote for her, not necessarily because she will be the best candidate, but because she’s a woman.

To the extent that there is no clear front runner on the Republican side and to the extent that it’s still too soon for campaigning to start, no obvious candidate is even being talked about in the inner circles of the GOP. On the other hand, even without any public exposure to speak of at the moment, who seems like the best hope for another Democrat in the White House? Hillary Clinton. I don’t think there’s ever been a more obvious choice among potential candidates in either party, despite the fact that not much appears to be happening at the moment.

There are, to be fair, all sorts of possible candidates on the right who are likely to run, but there’s only one clear choice on the left. Think of it. The first woman to be elected President of the United States. Hillary will attract the overwhelming majority of independent voters, not to mention those who would vote Democratic anyway. Add to that group all those who voted for Barack Obama, and you have enough prospective voters to overwhelm whoever the Republicans finally decide to select. Will there also be a certain element of novelty to voting for the first really serious female candidate for president? Of course, there will be. Anyone who doesn’t think she will be the odds-on favorite in the next presidential election just isn’t thinking clearly.

The only unknown at this point is what’s going to happen in the midterm election in 2014. If the Democrats should regain control of the House of Representatives, the Republicans might as well concede the presidential election in 2016 before the race even gets underway. Think about it for a minute. Who on the Republican side has the campaign experience, the resume, and the intestinal fortitude to defeat Hillary Clinton? Marco Rubio? Jeb Bush? Paul Ryan? Chris Christie? Or, perhaps, Condoleezza Rice? Wait a minute, perhaps the most likely candidate among the top Republicans very well could be Condoleezza Rice. Think about a presidential race between Clinton and Rice. Rice is African American, female, a professor at Stanford University, and a former Secretary of State. That very well could be the campaign of the century and Condoleezza Rice is about the only prospective Republican candidate who could beat Hillary Clinton.

But, again, it will all depend on the outcome of the 2014 midterm elections. If the Democrats win back control of the House, that will amount to an affirmation of President Obama’s program of social equity, also known as redistribution of the wealth and the expansion of the nanny state. On the other hand, if Republicans retain control of the House, Rice could emerge as the only candidate with a serious chance of winning back the White House for the Republicans. She would be the first African American female elected to the nation’s top office. Think about the ramifications of that. If there’s a realistic way to beat Hillary in 2016, Condoleezza Rice just might offer the way to do it.

That’s -30- for this week.

 

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