Who the hell if not the Hill?
"inevitable" Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is looking a tad less inevitable, thanks largely to the e-mail flap. And some Democrats are thinking they need a replacement. But who?
- Thanks but no thanks: Mass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the dream candidate, particularly for liberals, early on but firmly rejected the idea of running. Lacking much by way of foreign affairs experience and probably more effective in the Senate; she'll probably stick with her original decision.
- The three amigoes: From the Democrats' undercard are Martin O'Malley, Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb. None of them are currently gaining much by way of traction and don't seem likely to even in the event of a Hillary collapse and/or withdrawal.
- The challenger: He's rising fast in the polls, attracting phenomenally large crowds and even beats Hillary in one poll of New Hampshire voters. But does Bernie Sanders have the money and resources to go the distance, not to mention broad enough appeal? More significantly, party leaders may not feel comfortable with an unorthodox, self-defined Socialist and a fear that electorally, he may be another George McGovern.
- The also ran: After losing his '04 bid for the presidency, John Kerry got a pretty decent consolation prize as Secretary of State. Looking at the numbers, Kerry actually did surprisingly well running against an incumbent war time president. But does he still have the fire in his belly? Stay tuned.
- Biden time: His dying son urged Vice President Joe Biden to run and current actions suggest he's thinking about it. He tried once before and lost the nomination to Mike Dukakis and is somewhat gaffe prone. Sources say Pres. Obama opposes the idea of his vice president running. Nevertheless, he is almost universally beloved among Democrats, and Obama may come around if the alternative is a potential Democrat defeat.
- We wuz robbed: Perhaps the most intriguing possibility is former Vice President Al Gore. He won he popular vote against George W. Bush in '00 and quite possibly the Electoral College vote as well, had that have been properly counted. He may be the one candidate that can bridge the gap between the Sanders/Warren wing of the party and the more traditional, moderate wing.