The majority of Americans currently disapprove of president Obama and will surely be seeking a strong alternative at the next election, yet Republicans have mistakenly assumed the next president will be a member of their party, no matter who they decide to trot out.
This was evidenced at the recent Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, when the GOP proudly showcased Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson as a featured speaker. The irony about Robertson is he's a dinosaur who doesn't believe in evolution and urged those at the conference to re-evaluate the current separation of church and state. This tragic myopia is astounding to me, because the GOP should be poised to take back the White House but are instead paving the way for Hillary Clinton, a candidate they loathe.
In October 2013, I wrote about The Nantucket Project, where Larry Summers spoke of a dormant political center being awakened and drawing new members from both the left and right. Although I find Summers's manner arrogant and condescending, I also happen to agree with him wholeheartedly. I believe Hillary Clinton will seize this opportunity (along with her existing base) and draw a huge centrist voting block eager to reject foolish extremes of both the left and right for prudent leadership.
I voted for Bill Clinton twice. My personal and professional lives thrived during his presidency and there are many other people who echo these sentiments. One of them is my friend Jim, who I joined for lunch in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, where we talked about Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate as well as our mutual disdain for Barack Obama. Jim has his own storied political history, which involves successfully picking a high percentage of election winners.
"We need to stop our country's downward slide," said Jim, "and Hillary has an understanding of bi-partisanship necessary to manage both houses." He went on to add that the country is "thirsty" for leadership and craves a president who can provide a steady hand. "People remember prosperity under Bill Clinton and they believe that Hillary can deliver the same."
The country thrived under Bill Clinton's presidency, and there was an economic surplus when he left office. What Republicans don't seem to grasp is this is part of Hillary's legacy as well. Bill Clinton will function as a uniquely powerful campaign asset that will roll over opposition like a juggernaut, and the GOP is committing political suicide by continuing to bad-mouth Hillary's health and her involvement with Benghazi. Republicans are correct to focus on the fact that the country has been polarized by Obama's divisive leadership, yet the laughable alternative they offer is Ted Cruz.
The Republicans are at a loss for a candidate of substance, which is what the American people will demand after Barack Obama. It may be early, but so far Hillary Clinton is the only viable candidate.