As David Remnick wrote bluntly in The New Yorker, “Hillary Is Running,” as well she should.
The choice between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008 was difficult for many Democrats. Clinton in 2016 should not be. What is at stake is another chance to make history by electing a woman president, to assure an independent judiciary, to advance the interests of working people and maintain a continuity of citizen access to government against the waning, raging Right. At this point, Clinton alone can mobilize a movement base and raise the hundreds of millions necessary to secure a high-turnout victory for a coalition seeded with thousands of progressives.
Yes, it is true, unfortunately, that Clinton is decidedly hawkish on military policy, the primary policy reason that many Democrats supported Obama’s challenge in Iowa. Not much appears to have changed since then. Clinton crossed Obama and sided with Petraeus in the internal White House debates over Afghanistan (see Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars). She was tepid in supporting the popular overthrow of the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. She wanted the war in Libya.
The task for the peace and justice movement, then, is to spend the next four years creating a pro-peace climate strong enough to deter Hillary-as-hawk and smart enough to convince her that the old Hillary-the-dove was right in her instincts. Unlike the Sixties, we live in a time when all but the craziest neo-conservatives realize that “it’s time for some nation-building at home,” and there is no one more qualified than Clinton to move the agenda in that direction.
Of course life is unpredictable, which is why Andrew Cuomo and others are warming up for the race as well. But with determination and good health, Clinton should move to the forefront as rapidly as possible, hopefully with President Obama providing full support. We have seen in 2012 the indispensible political value of having Democrats united and Republicans cutting each other up. It is time for the peace bloc to take firmer shape in the electoral process.