‘How can we miss you if you don’t go away?” That is the question Democrats concerned about bringing their party back from the wilderness should be asking this week, as their top three “stage hogs” — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Bernie Sanders — have been dominating the media landscape. From a Republican perspective, this trio deserves applause for keeping Democratic-party “rising stars” from gaining more media exposure, increasing name ID, and potentially emerging as presidential timber.
Let’s start with the week’s biggest stage hog, the “most qualified presidential candidate ever,” Hillary Clinton.
Sadly on display is Mrs. Clinton’s inability to leave the national stage, while her husband seems to have found a quiet place. (Anyone heard from Bill lately?) Desperately in need of healing from her devastating defeat, Hillary is oblivious to the fact that the longer she stays in the public eye rehashing the 2016 campaign and playing the blame game, the more ridiculous she sounds, reinforcing the reasons for her defeat. Mrs. Clinton appears angry, selfish, and insecure, seeking hugs from friendly book-tour crowds like a junkie needing a fix. Meanwhile, all her blaming is damaging the party’s brand and obstructing its ability to make a clean break from the Clinton era.
The fact is, Mrs. Clinton is a politician who lacks basic political instincts and has absolutely no situational awareness – the polar opposite of her husband.
Inevitably, someone Clinton respects — former president Barack Obama, for example — will be tasked with delivering, in effect, the following message: “Here is a muzzle; go back to Chappaqua and enjoy your grandchildren.”
Speaking of Obama, he announced in a video this week that he will soon host the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. Stating the foundation’s mission, Obama said, “We want to inspire and empower people to change the world, and we hope you’ll be a part of it.” Oh no, another presidential foundation aiming to “change the world.” Surely the launch and its follow-up will shower excessive and continuous media attention on the former president, with his proud legacy of failed Obamacare and the decimation of the Democratic party at the state and national levels.
“Keep Obama in the media” should be the GOP’s mantra. Maybe the Obama Foundation will serve as a launching pad for the former First Lady’s political career? Anything is possible; back in May, Michelle Obama told People Magazine, “We’re not gone, we’re just breathing, y’all.”
Ironically, the more attention Barack Obama attracts while trying to fulfill his mission of empowering new leaders, the less media bandwidth will be left to empower new leaders. Which brings us to the Democratic party’s new leading 2020 presidential candidate – Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is not even a Democrat.
A new Zogby Analytics survey asked likely voters, “If the 2020 Democratic primary or caucus were held today, for whom would you vote?” The runaway winner was Sanders at 28 percent. Placing second at 23 percent was “not sure,” followed by former vice president Joe Biden, who garnered 17 percent. The last of those earning double digits was Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren with 12 percent.
It’s good news for Republicans that Sanders, who will be 79 when 2020 rolls around, is emerging as the national face of the Democratic party with his Medicare for All Act of 2017. The bill, introduced with much fanfare this week, was co-sponsored by 16 Democratic senators, including several of the 2020 presidential contenders. Sanders, who prides himself on being an independent and a socialist, is positioned to lead Democrats off a 2020 fiscal cliff with the Medicare for All price tag of $1.7 trillion. (If you love Medicare fraud estimated at $140 billion annually, coupled with the efficiency of VA hospitals, then Medicare for All is your prescription.)
While President Trump aims to cut regulations and reform taxes to boost the economy, Sanders and his team of 16 senators are recommending the most radical, intrusive, overreaching, and expensive program in American history, involving one-sixth of the total economy – ironically, during the same week the national debt hit $20 trillion.
Democrats are stuck in a leadership vacuum, cutting off the oxygen supply for new candidates.
At the very least, Bernie’s Medicare for All will replace the ubiquitous and friendly-sounding liberal health-care dream system known as “single-payer” – a phrase that shields its true, sinister meaning, “government health care for all.” Not surprisingly, an NBC News poll found that Sanders’s program is popular with voters . . . until the cost and tax increases are revealed.
Having Bernie Sanders on top of the 2020 heap makes supporting government-run health care a new litmus test for Democrats, as his leadership steers the party into far left field. Most sane politicos consider Sanders highly unlikely to win in 2020.
The trio of socialist senator Sanders, Obama the media darling trying to stay relevant, and washed-up Hillary Clinton in need of national hugs while refusing to vacate center stage translates into a Democratic party stuck in a leadership vacuum while effectively cutting off the oxygen supply for new presidential prospects. And to that, a Republican can only say, “Democrats, stay the course!”
— Myra Adams is a media producer and political writer. She was on creative team of the 2004 Bush campaign and on the ad council of the 2008 McCain campaign. E-mail her at [email protected].