Democrats limited bench will hinder party for years
Chris Matthews made a point about the candidates that Democrats are putting up in 2016. He made a comment that is rather prescient.
“Democrats think they can win back the US Senate in 2016. And to do that they are trying to lure back names back into the political arena for comeback bids,” Chris Matthews said. “The thinking is that strong Democratic candidates who lost in the GOP wave elections of 2010 and 2014 when turnout was exceedingly low and bad for Democrats, they have a chance of winning in a Presidential year when voter turnout is usually high.”
Chris Matthews then displayed a parade of Democratic election losers including Former Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC), & Russ Feingold (D-WI), Former Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA), and Former Governors Charlie Crist (D-FL) & Ted Strickland (D-OH).
The prominent list consists of one White woman and five White men. They are all over fifty. Hillary Clinton’s potential candidacy has stifled the development of any real debate for a candidate to move past their past.
The Democratic Party has mostly the correct values. It has mostly the correct policies. What it is lacking is a broad bench for Americans to see.
The Republican Primary may turn out to be another exercise of free comedic entertainment. But their candidates look like America even as they articulate lunacy. They have the young and Latino in Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. They have the Black man in Ben Carson. They have the woman in Carly Fiorina. They have the establishment middle-aged White guys in Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker. And they have the religious fanatic in Mike Huckabee. Now that is diversity, not the one America needs philosophically, but visually.
Democrats should fear two things. The first is that the predictable Presidential surge will fail to materialize when all Democrats see are retreads. Secondly, a well defined narrative for Hillary Clinton could set in, a narrative that she could have problems shaking. There are many narratives that could come back and bite her as the Republicans jump on the income inequality train. Republicans know how to do that well especially for a flawed candidate.
So here is the question. Where is the Democratic bench? Are there any fresh candidates with great ideas ready to fill it? In today’s politics the optics and semblance of what one will do is much more effective than a party’s articulated platform.