Archive for Saturday, January 26, 2013

Simons’ Saturday Column: Democratic presidential race is already under way

January 26, 2013


The 2016 Democratic presidential nomination race is under way, with the public seeing two top contenders, Vice President Joe Biden and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, making it clear earlier this week they have a deep interest in the nomination.

Clinton finally appeared before both Senate and House committees and displayed her expertise in following Muhammed Ali’s famous “rope-a-dope” boxing tactics. She tiptoed and danced around most every question she was asked, making sure she didn’t say anything that might damage her at some future date when she may be seeking the Democratic nomination for the White House.

Republican Senate and House members tried to get Clinton to give specific answers to their questions, but she was adept at shucking any blame for what went wrong at Benghazi by saying she wasn’t directly involved and that she played no role in the administration’s explanation of the disaster. She said, as secretary of state, she was in charge of everything, but, at the same time, the way she explained it, she wasn’t actually in charge. Others were responsible and, actually, according to Clinton, Republican legislators were responsible because they had not approved substantially larger appropriations to the State Department to provide greater security for outposts such as Benghazi.

Clinton had four months to prepare her defense and design her answers to any critics who questioned what happened at Benghazi. She prepared very well while Republican senators and House members didn’t perform well in asking penetrating questions, demanding specific answers and preparing for the hearings.

In one way, the hearings didn’t accomplish much because the public still is left questioning and wondering why President Obama, Clinton and other spokespeople for the administration didn’t shoot straight with the public about the murder of four Americans.

If they could get by with lying about this situation, is there reason for the public to wonder whether they fudge the truth or outright lie about other important matters?

As Clinton said in her testimony, “We had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because guys out for a walk one night decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”

It should matter to every American. Do the president, the secretary of state and others in the administration all believe it is all right to lie and mislead the public?

Or do they operate under a policy of only telling the truth when it will not reflect poorly on them and make them and their policies look good?

As for Biden, he has been hungry for the presidency for the past 25 years and now he thinks there may be a real opening. The 2016 elections appear to be his last opportunity, and he has four years to polish his image and strengthen his position within the Democratic Party — with elected officials, as well as the general public.

There have been many occasions since the November elections where Biden was able to grab attention, but when the president named him to lead the effort to investigate and propose legislation to curb gun sales and stop the use of guns in violent attacks, he was in the national spotlight.

However, the inauguration parade gave him the best opportunity to showcase and demonstrate his long, deep desire to move into the Oval Office.

The parade was slow and long, and Biden and his wife must have felt cooped up as they were in the second limo with all the attention focused on the super-fortified Obama limo.

But when the procession reached a point where Obama got out of the car and started to walk, hand-in-hand, with his wife, Michelle, Biden had the chance to show how much he wants to gain the party’s nomination and eventually move into the White House.

His enthusiasm was immense, and, if possible, it would not have been surprising if, as soon as he got out of his limo, he had raced around the car, popped the trunk, brought out a tall unicycle and started pedaling in circles and waving to the crowd.

As it was, he waved and waved, pointing to individuals he supposedly recognized, often racing over to the barricades to personally greet and say hello to those cheering the procession and even hugging some children and often shaking hands. His security detail must have been puzzled and perplexed as he darted back and forth to show his enthusiasm and to work the crowd.

There’s nothing wrong with this, and he had every reason to be happy and enthused. But observers could not remember any other vice president behaving in such a manner during an inaugural parade. It is no secret he wants the Democratic nomination.

It will be interesting to see how Obama handles this situation. If both Clinton and Biden make it clear they want the party’s nomination, how will he react and how will he decide to support one or the other?

The “Obama organization” probably is more extensive than that of any past U.S. president. Its information and fundraising bank is unsurpassed, and it could be, and would be, a huge edge for whoever was given access to this information.

Would Obama favor his vice president or his former secretary of state who fought Obama for the party’s nomination in 2008? What will make the difference? Who he likes the best, who he thinks will fight to carry on the Obama agenda or who would be the best president for this country?

Republicans have a battle of their own relative to who will be leading their party for the 2016 election, but the public will be watching an intriguing and terribly important struggle within the Democratic Party during the next few years to see if either Clinton or Biden makes it into the finals.


overplayedhistory 1 year, 2 months ago

Thats right people are more interested in the Democratic struggle, and Dems are the only ones already running. Thats rich!

Hey Grandpa maybe you should have written 2 editorials, one about Benghazi hearings, and one about Hillary vs Biden 2016.


Trumbull 1 year, 2 months ago

There was no cover-up in Benghazi. There were several rescue attempts fom bases in the Mediteranean and US. The problem was that we could not get there in time for those who perished tragically. What about those who were rescued. The heroisim there?

As far as transperacy, the lack of has been explained of as being sensitive in the early stages as intelligence was tracking down the bad guys and gathering evidence. This is what intelligence it or not.


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 2 months ago

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 2 months ago

Rubio and Christie are liberal republicans and would never make it through the right wing voters in the primary. Run 'em. Let's see.


akrt 1 year, 2 months ago

2 to 1, Obama will not abdicate.


Armstrong 1 year, 2 months ago

jayhawklawrence - "The Democrats need to demonstrate over the next 4 years that they can manage the country and cut the deficit or the next President will not be a Democrat."

Probably the truest statement on the site


jayhawklawrence 1 year, 2 months ago

4 people killed in a literal war zone. A week or so later 4 people killed in a mall in Wisconsin. Many more killed in work place accidents, car wrecks and in military accidents and combat around the world.

Most of the American people are starting to believe that our beloved John McCain is senile and he may well be.

Benghazi is and always has been about desperate Republicans not understanding that most Americans have become smarter and wiser than the high paid political consultants are letting on.

We are not buying the BS anymore. Maybe there is a God after all but he prefers the Democratic Party.

I see no evidence yet that the Republican Party understands basic American values.

The Democrats need to demonstrate over the next 4 years that they can manage the country and cut the deficit or the next President will not be a Democrat.


beatrice 1 year, 2 months ago

And even before the Democrats won in 2012, Dolph had already decided that the LJWorld will back the Republican candidate in 2016.


msezdsit 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh geese, yet another fact-less cry baby piece of demagoguery from adolph o. To bad he has a monopoly on the newspaper scene in larryville. Hillary answered the questions factually and didn't parrot all the crap the right wing fanatic wacko's have made the story into. To bad American lives are of no value to the pubs. They prefer to exploit the lives of these 4 Americans for their political posturing. Can anyone say, lose another election!!!!

ho hum


notaubermime 1 year, 2 months ago

With Hillary's past statements and health issues, it seems very unlikely that she will run. While Biden may run, his extensive history of bizarre quotes will likely keep him from wrapping up a nomination.

If you want a name that undoubtedly will make a strong push for nomination, Andrew Cuomo will almost certainly put his name in. Anyone who doesn't think that he has been positioning himself since before this last election... Successful candidates have everything in place one or two election cycles ahead of time. Candidates who come second in the general presidential elections don't get a second chance.

Likewise, it doesn't take a genius to see that Christie in New Jersey and Rubio from Florida have been conducting similar positioning maneuvers for a while now.


voevoda 1 year, 2 months ago

To borrow a phrase from Hillary Clinton, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" As a country, we continue to face serious, pressing issues: the economy, poverty, environmental degradation, gun violence, and, yes, anti-American violence in too many places in the world. And you, like the Republicans grilling Hillary Clinton in Congress, want to avoid dealing with the big picture by playing partisan politics, that is, by attempting to make leaders of the rival party look bad.

Face it, Mr. Simon, you wouldn't support any Democratic candidate who is running in 2016. Instead of sniping at Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, why aren't you trying to promote the visibility of some sensible Republicans, so that they can take back their party from the radical right wing?


WristTwister 1 year, 2 months ago

Hilary (Bosnia, hail of bullets) is a proven liar. She and Obama lied about Benghazi-gate to get past the November election after Obama lied about radical extremists being subdued and "on their heels". Hilary was the perfect choice to cover for Obama lies. After all, her husband/mentor was Bill (Slick Willy - "I did not have sex with that woman") Clinton. Not enough space here to list all of the lies over the last 4 years. Why does the press provide cover for these miscreants and why does the electorate keep electing these hucksters? Probably because they promise more handouts. When the checks stop coming, takers will discover that they have once again been lied-to, but it will be too late.


Stop_the_Madness 1 year, 2 months ago

What a waste of time. Let's work on the economic issues. Biden and Hillary are losers so bring on some different people.


Paul R Getto 1 year, 2 months ago

Zzzzzz... As if the R's aren't doing the same?


Armstrong 1 year, 2 months ago

It was kind of shocking to watch Hilly have a mini meltdown in front of the House and Senate. She must really hate being held accountable


jhawkinsf 1 year, 2 months ago

Months before this past election, I stated in this forum that the election of 2016 would begin the day after election day. Stating that was nothing but observing the obvious. So, LJW, let's just go ahead and do it again. The election of 2020 will begin the day after election day in 2016. And the election of 2024 will begin the day after the election of 2020.

Now that we got the obvious out of the way, got any news?


democrats_are_lame 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't despair Mr. Simons. By 2015 or 2016, Americans will be so fed up with Democrats, they may never hold power again, or at least for a very, very long time. Hillary and Biden are both about as big a joke as they get. And then there are the John Kerrys and the Al Frankens and a whole host of lying, unpatriotic chumps in the Democratic Socialist Party.

(Flag displayed for effect)


Hardhawk1 1 year, 2 months ago

Mr. Simons: Why are you so worked up over the confusion in the aftermath of the unfortunate deaths of 4 Americans when Bush and his ilk sent thousands of American soldiers to their death and maiming all based on lies? One American death is too many yet Bush and the GOP have far more blood on their hands. Where is your outrage over that?


Steve Jacob 1 year, 2 months ago

Let's face it, my money is on the Republicans in 2016. They will have a deep line-up that is young, compared to Biden and Clinton, who will be 73 and 68 in 2016.


Bob Forer 1 year, 2 months ago

Get over it Dolph. You lost the last election. And nothing you do or say can change that.


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