New Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is open to having Hillary Clinton run again in 2020. The former first lady was featured in a DNC ad, where she said, “let resistance plus persistence equal progress for our party and our country.”
ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked Perez “So, Hillary Clinton is staying engaged, are you open to see her run again in 2020?”
“Well, everyone who wants to run should run. And I’m confident that we’re going to have a robust field of candidates. What I am also confident about is as we invest in our state party infrastructures, we are going to build strong capacity to elect Democrats up and down the ticket,” replied Perez.
For starters, Mr. Perez—please give it a try. Please nominate (again) one of the worst candidates ever who will probably give you the same result: a presidential defeat. The email fiasco and the issues relating to trust and honesty will be rehashed. Her flaws will be visible again. And if Donald Trump keeps his promises (for the most part)—and so far he’s doing that, then the other question will arise: She thought she could beat Donald before and didn’t, what makes her think she can this time?
In the modern era, once you lose a national election, you can be the party elder, a key spokesperson, or an adviser. For the Clintons, they’re always going to be heavyweights, but Hillary as the 2020 nominee, or even someone who will b considered as one—is not going to happen. It’s wishful thinking, though I am confident that Trump would beat her again should this contest be reloaded in three years. Also, there’s the question about age. Clinton is old. Trump isn’t young either, but it became abundantly clear that he simply outworked and out-rallied his Democratic rival, especially in the remaining days of the campaign. If Democrats also need to think that the renewed progressive energy seen at Republican town halls could also be directed towards their more establishment members, like Clinton Democrats.
Perez is right to refocus his energy on state parties, and there appears to be a rehashing of some of Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy in the talk about more money and resources going to these organizations to build capacity for Democratic wins at the state level. Yet, after an eight-year slaughter, it’s going to be hard to make a comeback. The rural areas are solidly Republican. The progressive temper tantrums post-2016 have only made counties redder and are starting to push moderates into the Trump/GOP camps. Most of the local Democratic Party structure in Middle America has withered to the point where it will take a lot longer than three years for them to be a fighting force. In Appalachia, which used to be a bastion for Democrats, the party has been virtually wiped out. With the GOP’s hold on the working class and the rural areas, state legislature gains will be tough. No state legislature pickups through a rural offensive means there’s no chance at redrawing congressional district lines at the next census. The House remains tilted towards Republicans. Not reaching out the working class that dot these areas means the GOP could have a stranglehold in the Electoral College could frustrate Democrats in future elections.
Perez may have some good ideas, like his state party initiative, but the time and money that will need to be spent on siphoning off white working class voter support from Republicans might not sit well with the more left wing, urban-based elements of the party who shun white voters for the more diverse electorate that dominates their backyards. We’ve seen that before in 2016—the cities didn’t deliver for Democrats. Also, we need to talk candidates. With GOP dominance at the state level, who can mount a challenge for State representative, senator, secretary of state, attorney general, or even governor? Money is a lot in politics, but without good candidates, you might just as well remained benched. Right now, the Democrats have no good candidates…anywhere.