David Frum compiles his own case against Hillary Clinton in a column for CNN, where he writes that the biggest risk of her nomination is “that it would short-circuit the necessary work of party renewal.”
A Hillary Clinton campaign would want to shut down any such debate before it starts. It would want to inherit the Democratic nomination and then the presidency as an estate in reversion: a debt long owed, now collected. If successful, it would arrive in office without a platform and without much of a mandate. That’s not a formula for an effective presidency — or a healthy democracy.
Last month for The RUN’s kick-off, I outlined the three main reasons to bet against Clinton’s ultimate ascent to the White House, with the first being “She’s the past.”
It’s similar to the argument that Frum is making now. Despite the historic implications of her candidacy, it’s hard to imagine a Clinton as the future of the Democratic Party – introducing a new policy scope and fresh vision – especially coming after President Obama.
Frum’s correct when he argues that a Clinton campaign that steamrolls the competition would essentially eliminate the tough intraparty debates that help steer the direction of a party’s future.
But as I also noted, even if Clinton easily rolls to the nomination, she still won’t be able to avoid the tough questions about her views compared to her predecessor. Is she more hawkish on drones? Did she really tell Obama containment wouldn’t work in Iran? Does the assault weapons ban the administration wants go too far?
If Clinton has no real opposition in a primary, her most nagging rival might end up being her former one — who still occupies the Oval Office.