With each passing day, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s status as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination deteriorates.
Whether it is one of two controversies involving her family’s charitable foundation or the personal email server she used while serving as the nation’s top diplomat, voters aren’t as ready for Hillary as they were two months ago.
Since July, Clinton’s numbers have fallen by a third, from 66 percent to 44 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics average of national polls. In the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s even worse for Clinton. She is tied with self-proclaimed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) in Iowa and finds herself 11 points behind him in New Hampshire.
Despite Sanders’ lead in Iowa and New Hampshire, it remains unlikely the Democratic Party would select Sanders as a nominee, especially with the party’s system that uses so-called super delegates, which are unpledged delegates not bound by a state’s primary or caucus, made up of elected officials and party officials for the party’s convention next year.
Last month, Clinton’s campaign claimed she already had enough of these 440 super delegates to give her an insurmountable lead for any challenger to overcome. But her campaign made the same claim at this point in the 2008 presidential election cycle, and the early front-runner Clinton was soundly defeated by the party’s ultimate nominee, Barack Obama.
If a guy like Sanders were to win Iowa and New Hampshire, and gain enough momentum from those states to build a lead heading into the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next July, it would still be hard to see him winning the nomination.
For a lot of Democrats, Hillary Clinton is the girlfriend you don’t really like, but both of you are together out of desperation and fear of being single.
That’s why Vice President Joe Biden is now suddenly the man of the hour.
Biden hasn’t exactly been the country’s greatest vice president, but how many vice presidents make any sort of significant historical impact?
In fact, going back to the nation’s founding, only four sitting vice presidents have been elected president — John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren and George H.W. Bush.
It’s even more complicated for Biden, who is overcoming the loss of his son Beau, who died earlier this year from brain cancer.
If you go back to the 2008 campaign, at times things got downright nasty between the Hillary and Obama camps. Given the history of the Clinton camp and the willingness to sling mud if necessary, would it be a little much for a guy like Biden to put up with over the year?
During Obama’s 2012 reelection, it was documented Biden was courting some of the president’s campaign contributors for his own potential run in 2016. Those in Obama’s inner circle promptly shut that down and forced Biden to maintain a low profile for much of the president’s reelection campaign.
So, if anything, we know Biden was at least considering the possibility of a run even before voters and the Democratic party grasped Clinton’s vulnerabilities.
Something happened on Stephen Colbert’s new late-night show on CBS last week that made it even more evident there is an opening for Biden.
Colbert took a break from his usual clown shtick to welcome Biden on his show. The two discussed his family’s tragedies and how he is dealing with the grief. But also during that interview, Colbert on two occasions lobbied the vice president to run for the White House in this election cycle.
Colbert’s plea to Biden revealed something we kind of already knew about mainstream Democratic voters: they’re not quite on board with Hillary Clinton and they’re also not ready for a socialist president.
For better or worse, Colbert and his former Comedy Central colleague Jon Stewart were figureheads for the coveted age 25-54 Democratic Party voter. Their 2010 Rally to Restore Sanity a week before that year’s national midterm election in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall drew over 200,000 — most of whom were Democrat voters at a time when all of the enthusiasm in the country was on the GOP’s side.
With Stewart now playing a behind-the-scenes role as executive producer of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Colbert’s national platform on CBS has made him the de facto leader of any possible political movement made up of left-leaning, pseudo-hipster young suburbanites, whose votes count just as much as everyone else’s.
Colbert may not swing an election for Biden, but it would have to be somewhat concerning to Clinton’s campaign that they don’t already have him sewn up in the win column. If you’re on the Democrat side, it’s not a good thing that you’re hemorrhaging support from the heart of pop culture.
It is late in the game, with the Iowa caucus five months away, and it would take a yeoman’s effort from Biden to assemble the infrastructure to fundraise, be on the ballot in all the different primaries and be set up in a position to run against the eventual Republican nominee come next summer.
But that might be the kind of hero Democrat voters are holding out for.