David Frum Offers Advice to Democrats: Nominating Hillary in 2016 Would Be “A Mistake”

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According to Republican David Frum, it would be a huge mistake for Democrats to nominate Hillary Clinton for President in 2016, because 1) she’s the obvious choice and picking her would be doing what Republicans have done–nominating the next person in line; 2) she’s too old, 3) Her husband has made speeches in foreign countries and has “ethics problems,” and 4) she would prevent the party from reassessing and renewing itself.

Here’s a little of Frum’s post at CNN.

Obviously, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Democrats chose the next guy in line in 2000 — Vice President Al Gore — and they may well do so again. But speaking from across the aisle, it’s just this one observer’s opinion that Democrats would be poorly served by following the Republican example when President Obama’s term ends.

Hillary Clinton is 14 years older than Barack Obama. A party has never nominated a leader that much older than his immediate predecessor. (The previous record-holder was James Buchanan, 13 years older than Franklin Pierce when the Democrats chose him in 1856. Runner-up: Dwight Eisenhower, 12 years older than his predecessor, Thomas Dewey.)

I have no idea why Frum thinks that’s a serious argument against a Clinton nomination.

Relying on Hillary Clinton’s annual financial disclosure reports, CNN reported last year that former President Bill Clinton had earned $89 million in speaking fees since leaving the White House in 2001. Many of these earnings came from foreign sources. In 2011 alone, the former president earned $6.1 million from 16 speeches in 11 foreign countries.

Is it an ethical problem for the husband of the person charged with the foreign affairs of the United States to earn so much foreign-sourced income? Let’s rephrase that question: How much time do Democrats wish to spend arguing the ethics of Bill Clinton’s foreign earnings over the 2016 political cycle?

Um…Bill Clinton is not in the running for the nomination.

The rest of Frum’s post is so ludicrous that you need to go read it for yourself to get a sense of how out of touch he is. Basically, he argues that nominating Hillary would “shut down” any discussion of where the Democratic party is going. Instead, it would be “a debt long owed, now collected. If successful, it would arrive in office without a platform and without much of a mandate.”

I wonder why Frum supposedly cares about what happens to the Democratic Party? His “advice” is useless, primarily because he doesn’t even begin to understand that nominating the first woman to lead a U.S. presidential ticket would electrify the world and a woman president would radically change U.S. politics.

Here’s Taylor Marsh:

That Frum completely misses any reference to women, girls, the tapping of an economic stream that could ricochet around the globe through the activism of more women rising to lead, none of this makes a dent.

Republicans never cease to amaze me when it comes to underestimating the importance of women’s leadership and what the Hillary Effect’s continued reverberation could mean to the world, especially if she became the first female Democratic nominee in American history.

If Hillary Clinton became president, the impact on women’s rights and the ability for women of every culture to take a step forward would rebound exponentially.

Nothing is a bigger nightmare for Republicans than Hillary Clinton as the 2016 Democratic nominee.

Furthermore, as Ed Kilgore points out: Hillary Clinton Is No Mitt Romney.

I’ve always thought the “next-in-line” explanation for Republican presidential politics was a considerable over-simplification, and actually wrong if it was used to suggest ideology matters less to conservatives than we’ve been led to believe. But even if you buy it entirely, comparing HRC to such next-in-line Republican pols as Poppy Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012 just doesn’t pass the smell test.

The three Republicans just mentioned never had overwhelming grassroots support in their own party and eventually prevailed over weak fields after relentlessly repositioning themselves to the Right. Both McCain and Romney, in particular, survived what can only be described as demolition derbies, and had to spend precious general-election resources pandering to the party “base.”

HRC’s immensely popular among grass-roots Democrats, not just because she is the last candidate not named Barack Obama who ran an effective presidential nomination contest, but because of the personal capital she’s built up over the years, her performance as a very popular Secretary of State, and the widely shared belief among progressives that it’s far past time for a woman to serve as president. Plus she is crushing every named Republican in early general-election trial heats.

Even if Frum means well, which I seriously doubt, I think we can confidently ignore anyone who can’t see America’s changing public attitudes and demographics. Just look at the polls showing support for marriage equality, immigration reform, and gun control. Women represent 51% of the population. Meanwhile Republicans are working overtime to limit women’s rights and individual freedoms. David Frum and his clueless party just don’t get it.

14 Comments on “David Frum Offers Advice to Democrats: Nominating Hillary in 2016 Would Be “A Mistake””

  1. NW Luna says:

    Frum is effin’ clueless.

  2. NW Luna says:

    Hillary would “shut down” any discussion of where the Democratic party is going.

    A damn good thing. Hillary would yank the Dems away from giving up to the Rs and head it right back to work for the average American, and not the bonus class.

    She’s probably texting Frum: “Thanks for the advice. I’ll get back to you right after the landslide election.”

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Day one of Chris Hayes, new show just started. He’s talking about the oil spill in Arkansas.

  4. roofingbird says:

    Men-imagining women as men.

    Women live longer, a 14 year gap may not be enough of a test and is such a piddily argument as to show it for the ageist mantra it is.

    People do get tired though, of the same old shit and I just don’t know if she wants to. She has plenty of time to figure it out, and she may have more important things to do.

    How many SOS’s Have become POTUS?

  5. roofingbird says:

    And.. of course we are all past fed up with the idea that women are simply dopplegangers of their husbands.

  6. Fannie says:

    Words, that’s what Frum has, just words……….wonder how much he is paid, and what he will make later to go after her with all the “repeated words”………..There is a mountain of madness with the GOP, and their words are cheap, and all the damage they have done in regards to human rights, will set them back. Time will not heal what they have done in the war against women.

  7. ANonOMouse says:

    Frum is just the front man for a bunch of worn-out old white male republican hand wringers that want to preempt a Hillary run by calling her too old, too burdened by bill, too familiar to be a successful candidate for POTUS (They’ve tried to work the Benghazi angle against Hillary for so long it’s lost it’s fuse). So why should Frum care if the Dems nominate Hillary? Because Frum is scared shitless of Hillary because he knows HRC will kick the ass of any GOP/TP POTUS candidate they put forward and that the Dems will then go on to hold the oval office for 8 MORE YEARS. The thought of 3 ass whippings, inflicted on their GOP POTUS candidate in the past 8-9 years. is more than they can handle. They can’t put forth a female candidate, because they don’t have any female candidates to offer up for the Presidency who aren’t as anti-gay, anti-woman as their male counterparts. My advice to FRUM is PLEASE let another tight assed homophobic, mysoginistic, old, rich, white man, who fears Hispanics, Muslims, immigration, birth control, gay marriage, raising taxes on the rich and a most importantly a ella who wants to teach the Bible in the public schools, have your nomination.PLEASE David, Please!!!!!

  8. peggysue22 says:

    There’s no way Frum means well. He’s dragging out the weary reasons why Hillary Clinton should not run because the GOP is terrified of the prospect. Recent polls have Clinton beating Jeb Bush and Rubio in their own state of Florida by 11 points. And she hasn’t even given a nod yet.

    Lots of things can happen but Frum’s arguments are positively lame. They’re all trying to figure out a decent line of attack. Just in case. The age thingy doesn’t work because most of the DC elite are a bunch of old men. And the young ones [Ryan, Cruz, Rubio] are not in HRC’s league. Not even close. The one thing Frum wants to avoid is the ‘woman’ thing. OMG, a woman at the helm. How can we stop this runaway train???

    They can’t. If she runs she’ll blow them all down. And they know it. But I lo-o-ove the concern over the Dems missing out on their chance to reform itself. And which national party felt compelled to run an autopsy??? And which party is trying to jury-rig the national elections because they know they’re losing the electorate. Save Democracy!

    Do the Dems need change? Oh yes. Breaking the love bonds to corporate America would be a good place to start. But let’s not pretend the dying political machine at the moment has an elephant’s head. With google eyes!

    Crazy is as crazy does.

    Good article, BB. I always read the Hillary news :0).

  9. List of X says:

    Frum is supposedly one of those “sane” Republicans (he’s been pretty much excommunicated from GOP a few years ago). He’s making some valid points, in theory. In practice, any candidate will have at least a few skeletons in the closet, and as far as skeletons go, having a husband who makes speeches abroad isn’t so bad.
    Hillary will be a few years younger in 2016 than John McCain was in 2008, she’ll have name recognition better than any rival, and her approval rating, high as it is, is unlikely to go down, since she’s no longer involved with the Administration.