Thursday, January 29, 2015

Between O’Malley and Warren: trying to visualize an unthinkable in 2016 Democratic Party Nomination?

Keywords or Terms: 2016 Democratic Party Nomination; Martin O’Malley; Elizabeth Warren; Secretary Clinton; Unknown Variables; Doug Duncan; Bob Ehelich; Roger Freeman; Jack Dovey;  Perceptions; Wage Stagnation; Income Inequality; Middle Class Earnings; Immigration; Social Welfare Programs

Would political contest for 2016 Democratic Party Nomination boil down to a contest between Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts? Does that possibility require us [Democrats] to subordinate the ambition of the former US Secretary of State and to dismiss the front-runner status of the former first lady of the United States – or at least, believe that this scenario is a possibility? Anyone whose memory stretches back to the early sixties, can tell you there have been a couple of political heavy weights who were initially projected as front runners for party nomination, who eventually chose not to run for reason of health or the demands of a national campaign and family schedules. Campaigning for Party nomination is a serious business, both physically and financially; and, if one contemplates going into this venture, one has to be put together as my wife always says about tasks that needs to be accomplished around the home and office. The question at any rate is not unforeseeable. It is implicit in this nightmare vision, like, Secretary Clinton choosing for other reasons unrelated to political contest to throw in the towel. The horror of a health issue cropping up; or, a secretly kept tape about an embarrassing event that may derail a presidential bid; consider a Benghazi unknown event that Republicans can handily exploit, which calls for the secretary to review her intentions to run.

As Governor O’Malley surmised, "It's really not about any horse race aspect of this. I've been full-time governing and helping a whole lot of people in the midterms. It's very essential that if you were to offer yourself in this sort of service that you do so after a lot of reflection and proper preparation…; and, [I am not going to wait on Hillary Clinton to make a declaration]." This last statement is reminiscent of the current hypothesis. Martin O’Malley became a beneficiary of the choice of his main opponent in 2006 race for the office of Governor of Maryland, Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, who abruptly dropped out a few days to the Democratic Party primary due to a diagnosis of clinical depression. Doug Duncan threw his support behind O’Malley and he went head to head against Governor Bob Ehelich and won the governorship of the State of Maryland in that year.

The dramatic choice of a candidate dropping out or refusing to declare clear intentions is hardly a fallacy or in-feasible. A favored candidate, not opposed and with enviable credentials have gone into an election bid and three days before the voting, passed away. Not ready to be called a Prophet of doom, the Democratic Party nominee and incumbent of Washington State 30th district legislature, Roger Freedman, passed away a little less than a week before last November mid-term election. He won the election against his opponent, a Republican Jack Dovey, who was determined to be a tax dodger based on filed papers in the courts. It seems far from contemplation; however, these events do happen and the expectations of supporters must not be sacrosanct as not to envisage a possibility.

To this hypothetical contest: O’Malley versus Warren; the contest will end up being a good fight between two progressives that hardly any Democrat, will find it easy to cast his or her vote. The formidable governor of Maryland, in 2011 signed a law that made certain undocumented immigrants eligible for in-state college tuition on conditions; and in 2012, legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland. To her credit, apart from stirring up a lot of progressive ideas in legislation, Senator Warren, a former Harvard law professor of Bankruptcy and hypothetical O’Malley’s competition, have advanced consumer relief initiatives and fought hard in US Congress against those crooks who brought the nation to its knees during the financial crisis. Her questioning of top corporations’ financial brasses during congressional inquests or hearings into the financial mess has been hailed as profound and very outstanding.

Senator Lizzy Warren other repertories include: 1) Foresighted - She slammed the sequestration that President Obama is currently advancing to retire; and co-sponsored the Job Preservation and Sequester Replacement Act, which was meant to repeal the sequester and increase revenue generation by taxing corporations and the super-wealthy; 2) Defends Democratic values, fighting for ordinary people and not Banks – She said from the get-go in Senate, Corporations are not people and introduced as first bill, Students Loan Fairness Act ; 3) Hardly afraid to confront and stir down regulators; 4) open-minded and critical of half way legislations – when US Senate passed a mild filibuster reform deal, she raised her disappointment and objections; and 5) proposed legislations with both Democrats and Republicans on the government-sponsored enterprise initiatives, a legislation designed to prevent government from using guaranteed fee hikes from Fannie May and Freddie Mac to pay for spending initiatives or selling GSE US Treasury preferred shares without formal reforms.

If the objectives for Democrats and our Party are to advance coherent vision of the economy and build a bridge to further financial reforms and rapid information and technology development, thereby addressing the problem of wage stagnation, our new focus must not be limited to humane and functional economic advances as suspected avocations of the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Further, we must see beyond economic, immigration and financial reforms; and, if we are to subscribe to Nation’s magazine John Nichols’ take on Clinton’s campaign: “[It] cannot be about nostalgia for the 1990’s or even continuity with the Obama’s presidency.” The inherent danger of us losing the White House in 2016 is our failure to offer more revolutionary policies that voters will identify with and our supporters are ready to stand up and go vote for on Election Day. Our domestic and foreign policy initiatives must promote cohesive vision which Americans will vote in support; and, no more complacency among our supporters, where they are tempted to sit back in their recliners on November 8, 2016, as they did in the mid-terms.

The notion that economic progress has brought on more income inequality because of great wage slowdown is untenable under our (Democratic Party) stewardship. The Republican Party has attempted to squeeze our message off the front page; that when we occupy the White House, we have sometimes failed to ring our own bell or accomplishments. President Obama has been successful in his administration no matter what Republicans insinuate; however, some of us have maintained that current White House failed in casting or urgently re-casting its successes on time in the media ecosystem, electronic and print. Our position is that, we must have message driven arm of the Democratic Party, working closely in telling and re-telling our accomplishments, immediately success is in the offing. Sometimes, it is not the accomplishments alone that matters; rather, it is how you put the message surrounding the accomplishments out there. Is it timely, is it broad-based and is it coming in real time in the 24/7 information cycle. One good lesson I have learnt in politics is this: Never allow your opponent(s) to tell your story and or message!

Recent Calculations of the Republican Party leadership is that they can usurp some of our established stomping grounds on public and social welfare programs. Mitt Romney’s and Marco Rubio’s rebranding of wage stagnation and eradication of poverty as campaign messages in forthcoming election cycle are probably the grimmest usurpation. The probability that American voters can defer to their recast is feasible, only if Democrats allow this. Therefore, we must now get on our earnest definition of our vision for 2016 and broadcast the potentials for the American voters; or, suffer the repercussions. Leading Democrats have expressed concerns regarding how current White House handled some messages regarding our recent successes; we must recognize this slackness, even if this is not true. You know the story about how perception is everything!

Thus, whether Hillary, Martin or Lizzy, we must get out there and make our vision and message large and loud!
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