The Campaign Spot

You Know Who Could Really Challenge Hillary?

From the Thursday Morning Jolt:

You Know Who Could Really Challenge Hillary in a Democratic Primary?

Hillary Clinton is still the person most likely to be the Democrats’ 2016 nominee. But this week’s almost comically bad press conference makes a non-Hillary nominee significantly easier to imagine.

Every once in a while, I’ll hear from GOP folks speculating about Democrats taking a hard look at former Virginia senator Jim Webb or former Indiana governor Evan Bayh, contending that the opposition may zig when everyone expects them to zag, and head to the center.

No, no. The hearts and souls of Democrats passionately yearn for another Obama — somebody young and inspiring and unapologetically progressive. (Yes, this is not the most electable option. Remember, a lot of Democrats think that whoever they nominate will win no matter what, because of changing demographics.)

How about California state attorney general Kamala Harris? Yes, she’s running for the Senate right now. Part African-American, part Asian-American; first female state attorney general of California; vocal proponent of gun control; tough on those “predatory” banks; she tried to fight evictions of people who stopped paying their mortgages; opposes the death penalty; eager prosecutor of hate crimes; created an “Environmental Justice Unit” in the San Francisco DA’s office; and of course, enthusiastic supporter of EMILY’s List:

Tell me she isn’t the kind of candidate who would have progressive activists doing cartwheels. She’s the “tough D.A.” figure who goes after all of the liberals’ perceived enemies.

She’s not experienced enough? Remember, Democrats don’t worry about experience.

She’s too young? She’s actually 50. Maybe she has a portrait on the wall that ages faster.

She’s too liberal? A majority of Democratic primary voters aren’t convinced that such a thing exists.

At this point, there’s no indication that Harris wants anything other than the Senate seat. But one of the more astounding developments of this young cycle is that no major Democratic figure looks in the mirror and sees “the Barack Obama of this cycle” staring back. If anything, Hillary’s political instincts have atrophied and she comes across as more phony and brittle.

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