Just how desperate are the Democrats about their empty bench? This desperate!
The conventional quantitative measure of the fall of the Democrats – over a thousand elective officials defeated by the GOP in the eight Obama years – doesn’t fully capture the seriousness of the problems the party faces. The party is in the hands of ancient leaders: Nancy Pelosi is 76 years old, Chuck Schumer is 66, and Hillary Clinton is 69. Bernie Sanders, the only Democrat to ignite genuine enthusiasm in the grassroots, is 75. Add four years to each, and you get the ages these leaders will be the next time the country inaugurates a new president.
So what are the Dems to do?
One option, the one I suspect they will take, is to find an African-American candidate who can ignite the black turnout the way Barack Obama did. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, both now in the Senate, are obviously positioning themselves for a run. Both are of a younger generation.
Nobody wants to talk about it, but the Democrats are in serious danger of becoming quietly identified in the minds of many voters as the Black Political Party. All of the identity politics pandering, and the leftward drift of rhetoric play into the hands of racialism – igniting angry anti-white rhetoric: “…we don't need white people leading the Democratic Party…”
While such sentiments may juice black turnout, they also send a message to whites, who still remain the overwhelming majority of voters, and whose support the party has been losing for years, in the hope that nonwhites will soon outnumber Caucasians.
This is not a winning strategy.
But the Democrats, despite their pretensions of being the party of the people, love dynasties. And when it comes to Democrat dynasties, nothing comes close to the Kennedys, the family that combines glamour, money, and the heartbreak of assassination. But as the old saying goes, “the blood thins over the generations.”
What are the Democrats left with? This (via Jerry Oppenheimer of the New York Post):
After three years as US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy is coming home to New York and has big plans: a political run and penning a memoir, Kennedy insiders tell The Post.
“Caroline had a successful ambassadorial run in Japan and feels really very confident about putting her hat in the ring for a New York congressional or Senate seat, with even possibly bigger political objectives down the road,” said a source familiar with Kennedy’s plans.
And another close source revealed, “Caroline is seen in some quarters as the next Hillary Clinton. She has the Kennedy name but no Clinton baggage.”
The sources maintain that Kennedy’s “dream” is to become a US senator from New York, following in the footsteps of her late uncle, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
While the sources declined to reveal Kennedy’s precise political plans — when and which race she might enter — 2018 is the earliest she could do it. She could target the seat of New York’s junior Democratic senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, or Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the liberal Democrat representing Kennedy’s 12th District.
While I relish the thought of Caroline Kennedy engaging in an ugly intra-party struggle with either female solon, I am afraid she is not presidential material despite her last name. She dropped her previous bid for the Senate when her inability to string together words without “ya know” liberally sprinkled throughout became painfully self-evident. Have her years in Tokyo enhanced her speaking ability?
How will she hype her track record in Japan, her only government experience? Our trade deficit did not reverse itself, and in the age of Trump, that is going to be where the spotlight shines.
I also wonder if the power of the Kennedy brand, anchored as it is in events more than 60 years in the past, is still powerful outside Democrat loyalist circles.
I don’t wish Caroline Kennedy ill. She suffered the loss of her father at a very young age and has lived in the public spotlight her entire conscious existence. She should instead find other ways to use her ample inherited resources, which include a “net worth estimated to be between $80 million and $500 million, according to Bloomberg and CNN. The Post has reported that she receives $12 million to $30 million a year from Kennedy trust funds.