The Great Race for 2016

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 7 2012 8:39 AM

The Great Race for 2016

CHARLOTTE -- Bless you, Jonathan Martin and Emily Shultheis, for starting the clock on the 2016 Democratic primary. Do not judge Politico. In less than two years, we'll be discussing the various moves and hires Democrats are making in Iowa and New Hampshire. In less than three years, they'll be onstage debating each other.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

The takeaway from this piece is the takeaway I got when I asked delegates to look Forward. Everybody loves Hillary.

“I was for Barack in 2008 and I’ll wait on her,” said South Carolina Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian, an early Obama supporter who memorably compared Bill Clinton to the late GOP operative Lee Atwater in the last Democratic primary in South Carolina. “The only buzz I hear is Hillary.”

This was a practically universal sentiment. Delegates hadn't much thought about 2016, so gripped were they with fear that Barack Obama could lose. (It's a sound fear! Lose the presidency this time, and in 2016 either you're running to replace a Republican who's already moved the Supreme Court right, or you're running against an economic recovery, and out of power until 2020 at least.) But when I mentioned the next primary, Hillary Clinton was the universal placeholder. After Gov. Deval Patrick's Tuesday night speech, I heard just a little chatter about him. Less of that on Thursday, though. Who else does Politico put on the list?

Joe Biden. The power moves described in the Martin/Shultheis piece have Biden moving around Iowa's players at his whim. But he'll be 73 in 2016, and 74 after election day. We're just talking about him to be nice, aren't we?

Gov. Martin O'Malley. He began the week with a too-nuanced Sunday show hit that inspired every other reporter to ask Democrats if we were really "better off than we were four years ago." He continued it with a call-and-response speech that got at most 71 percent of the stadium chanting along, and that the Heathers in the press stand compared unfavorably to Patrick's.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She was everywhere -- Women's caucuses, delegate breakfasts, any dangerously empty-looking interview chairs -- which gets her Mentioned in these stories. She's up for re-election this year but lucked out when the Ron Paul-ified Minnesota GOP nominated one of their own to run against her.

Gov. John Hickenlooper. I don't think many people took notice of his speech -- he has an affable speaking style that informs but does not overwhelm. But he's from Colorado, and in post-convention chats last night, he sounded like he'd at least considered it.

Sen. Mark Warner. Again? We went through this in 2006, when the Democrats' narrow loss to George W. Bush convinced the pundit class that a Moderate would save the party. To believe in the Warner boomlet you have to believe that the party will lose in 2012 and become so depressed that it's willing to embraces Bowles-Simpson-ism.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.