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      Hillary Clinton in 2016

      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

      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.

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      Reader Comments (8)

      This peace movement should back this a joke? Hillary's base has always been in the NYC and DC press corps. Take their fawning with a grain of salt.

      Her bungling of the Keystone pipeline was nearly the Obama administration's biggest scandal. Interfering with that process is the one big favor Congressional Republicans did for Obama. It should be taken as a sign that her administration would be cozier with the Koch crowd than the peace crowd.

      If I wanted a warmongering, former Walmart board member with ties to the Koch Brothers as President then I would vote Republican.

      Also, her biggest problem in Iowa wasn't just the war. It's that Midwesterners can spot a phony. That hasn't changed. It was easy to see that her supporters in the Iowa caucus were 90% old white people. That's not a winning coalition. We need a candidate with appeal beyond Clinton-era nostalgists and Hillary's cult following.

      December 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWill

      If another dlc, warmongering hack is the best our system can retch up, we are truly doomed. This is the way the American Empire ends... not with a bang but a whimper...

      December 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchuckvw

      I agree Tom. As usual you will infuriate the Radical Avengers on our Left with the short view. In the Long run this is the way to go...

      December 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Parker

      Is this a joke? Couldn't have said it better. Last thing we need is a bullying war monger. Dean, Kucinich, Sanders, Grayson, Feingold........someone from the democratic wing of the democratic party, please. Remember it was the Clintonistas who brought us deregulation and the " rising tide lifts all boats" trade agreements. Unacceptable in '08, just as unacceptable in '16. I can only hope that the dems don't go with the safe choice who will perpetuate the evils of her husband and those of Obama (not to deny that O has done many good things, but NDAA, war expansion, Bradly Manning, etc are serious stains on his record).

      December 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill McLaughlin

      Tom: Despite our differences in the past, I was ready to make another donation to the PJRC. But after reading this post, I am seriously reconsidering. What has happened to you my friend? Did you read "Atlas Shrugged" one too many times? Or are you just getting too old for the fight? Please put the fire back in your belly and stop being just another Democratic Troll.-Your friend and admirer Rev. Pheary Watkins

      December 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRev. Pheary Watkins

      Tom is right in principle. We have lived through these contradictions before----it is sometimes forgotten that the left of the party preferred Humphrey or Stevenson to Kennedy, but it is unclear that either would have resisted the miitary and the war party the way JFK had learned to do by the time of the missile crisis (1962) and before that during the crisis over the erection of the Berlin Wall (61). Under Johnson we had great social progress in the second Reconstruction--and the Vietnam disaster. (JFK may have been killed on account of the ideas pf thre 10 June 63 speech at American University and plans to withdraw troops from Vietnam.) It is corrrect to blame Clinton for the Third Way and the mainmise of Wall Street on economic governance---but we were not strong enough either to stop it or to make it a central matter of debate. Everyone in the discussion is exquisitely discreet---the Secretary of State is hardly the voice of Protestant American conscience when it comes to the issue of Palestine she behaves as her wealthy backers, less visible and vulgar than Adelson many of them (Saban excepted) , but still insistent on unconditional compliance or toleration o whatever self destructive ijmbecility the Israelis, dominated by a Masada complex, pursue. For the rest, there is not much evidence of her as Secretary of State overtly fighting the militarization of our foreign policy, Tom's strategy has to involve more than a numerical presence in the party's councils, it has to involve a step by step project to alter the warfare state---and serious moves toward us by Clinton en route as a price of support. It will be nteresting to see if she publishes a memoir or prefers discretion.As for candidacies by Grayson,Kucinich, Sanders, Dean that would be possible had we a propoortional system and a multi party which the successful group's twenty or thirty percent made it eligible for government. I recollect the summer of 62 when the late H Stuart Hughes, then teaching at Harvard, ran as a peace candidate for the Senate, declaring his opponent unfit for office and bereft of ideas. It was the young Ted Kennedy....

      December 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNorman Birnbaum

      Hillary Clinton? What a dispiriting thought.

      December 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

      Whoa! Hillary was impressive in the early years of Bill's presidency, but exactly what mark has she made as Secretary of State? She kisses up to Israeli extremists at every opportunity and has brought little if any intellectual rigor or creativity to a confused Obama foreign policy characterized by neat words but neo-con behavior. Hillary seems tired. Compare her, for example, to Elizabeth Warren, whose rock-solid intellectual contribution marks her as a real leader. Warren should be the focus of all Democrats who want their party to create an image for itself and prepare itself for the future. I do not see that Hillary offers anything remotely comparable in terms of inspiration. Let's keep our options open and see what Warren can do.

      December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam deB. Mills
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