To fend off challenges from Left

Headline on article about the politics of Hillary Clinton:

Clinton copies Warren to fend off challenges from Left

To “fend off”? Why not do it because Warren is right? Or not do it if you don’t think she is right?

I know, that sounds dewy-eyed naïve, but really, if politicians do things solely for tactical reasons, what reason do we have to think they will go on doing said things once they’re elected?

The body of the article:

Hillary Clinton has copied the populist, anti-corporate rhetoric of Sen. Elizabeth Warren partly in the hopes of keeping the Massachusetts Democrat, or any other liberal challenger, out of the 2016 presidential race, some liberal activists say.

There again. If that’s what she’s doing and why, then clearly it becomes all the more urgent to propel Warren to the nomination.

Not that I actually want to spend time thinking about an election that’s more than two fucking years in the future.


  1. Loren Petrich says

    It hadn’t always been that way, or at least so it seems. It used to be that Presidential candidates would start early election year or late the year before. But over the last decade or so, they have been starting earlier and earlier. Some time in 2009, I think I remember thinking how far it could go. But right after the 2012 election, Marco Rubio went to Iowa. So he started as early as one can. Or will candidates start getting interested even further, during the previous election campaign?

  2. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    The anti-corporate/populist reforms that Warren advocates and that so many of us want to see are not being thwarted by the President they are being knee-capped by her fellow Senators and the whackos in the House. Having a President willing to sign on to such reforms is great but until we have a Congress willing to actually draft and pass them, a President LBJ/Carter/Sanders/Kucinic would be hard-pressed to get anything done on this front. I think Warren may be able to affect more change from the Senate than she ever could as President. What we really need is a whole lot more Warrens in Congress (and obviously to keep anyone from the paste-eating GOP out of the White House.)

  3. Fitzgerald says

    Do politicians really make good on campaign promises they make under duress?

    Actually, they generally do. At least as often n as they make good on any promise.

    Case in point. You know the Bush tax cuts? Those started life as an off handed platform plank to find off a potential primary challenge from the right.

    That’s actually pretty typical. Politicians, and presidents in particular, will doggedly pursue a lot of goals that they don’t care about personally because they need to toe the party line. And for whatever reason, they’re a lot more likely to be open to influence during a primary (hint, it has to do with getting elected). Generally, there doesn’t seem to be much difference in how the president promotes the ideas they adopted to win votes and their “real” ideas.

    Of course not everything gets through Congress, but that’s down to the fact that the other party still exists, and the president does not have mind control technology (yet?)

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