by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If Hillary Clinton were in an actual horse race, she’d be at the glue factory today.
Consider: In an effectively two-way race for the Democratic nomination, the former first lady, U.S. senator, and secretary of state — vanquisher of the patriarchy, shatterer of glass ceilings, modeler of pants suits — earned less than half the vote against a 74-year-old, Marxist incarnation of Waldorf from The Muppets, who, when he’s not wondering where penguins buy their tuxedos, is pitching a package of free stuff so outlandish that it would cost every American taxpayer at least 11 percent of his income. Joe Biden is ripping out his hair plugs.
The Democrats could learn a lesson from all this. …
… For the last three years, the entire work of the Democratic party has been to ensure the smooth, graceful ascension of Hillary Clinton to the presidency. It’s “her turn.” Toward this end, the party machine has trudged, unenthusiastically but inexorably, grinding down every obstacle in its path by force of sheer inertia. Those obstacles included viable primary challengers: Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo.
Yet, over that same period, the Democratic coalition has fractured and the center of gravity has moved decidedly leftward, thanks largely to a younger generation of liberals animated by the impulses of the Occupy movement rather than the Vietnam protest movement. The Clinton-style rapprochement with free markets is noxious to young Democrats. They want to skin some fat cats. Bernie Sanders might not be the most compelling candidate, but he’s been hating the rich since Hillary was a Goldwater Girl.