Brent Budowsky: Clinton by acclamation!

Brent Budowsky: Clinton by acclamation!
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As a populist, progressive, liberal, Kennedy and FDR Democrat, who is a long-term champion of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and a devout believer in the teachings of Pope Francis, I support Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton backs Shontel Brown in Ohio congressional race Hillary Clinton: Casting doubt on 2020 election is 'doing Putin's work' Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE for president and hope she is nominated in 2016 without a major primary challenge.

The suggestion that Clinton should be nominated by acclamation will be met by some with concerns, which I also share, but Democrats urgently need a strategy to win the presidency, regain control of the Senate and House, and achieve a liberal Supreme Court majority to advance equal justice for a generation.


We live in an age of big challenges, small politics and trite media. Voters crave leaders with the experience to govern and a politics that offers high calls to action for the common good. Hillary Clinton stands four-square in this tradition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.

Several Democrats are said to be considering a run for the presidency in 2016. They are superb leaders with great achievements and bright futures who have every right to run if they so choose. So why Hillary Clinton? Why by acclamation?

Clinton brings to the table attributes of experience and electability that extend far beyond the important and exciting fact that she would be the first woman president. In the unlikely event Clinton chooses not to run, I would support Secretary of State John Kerry, a great man with vast experience, for the 2016 nomination.

For the eight years in which Bill Clinton was a highly successful, and now fondly remembered, president, Hillary was his full partner, closest confidante and highly trusted adviser. She would begin a campaign proposing her vision for the future while benefiting from the power of nostalgia for a time when jobs were plentiful and Americans believed tomorrow would be better than today.

No other candidate — in either party — can campaign with the eight years of proximity to the presidency and the experience, knowledge and personal relationships essential to governing that Clinton possesses after being first lady, senator and secretary of State.

Because Clinton brings an extraordinary and unmatched readiness to be president, she is the only candidate — in either party — who enjoys the prospect of being competitive in virtually every state, and could potentially win in a landslide that would lift every Democrat running for office at every level.

The political stakes in 2016 will be enormous and historic. From 2006 until 2014, every national election has left one party a big winner and the other a big loser. The presidential winner in 2016 could well determine which party controls the presidency, the Senate and the House, and whether there will be a liberal or conservative majority on the Supreme Court for a generation. 2016 will bring an epic political war of the worlds that progressives must be determined to win.

In 2016, voters will witness a bloody GOP civil war with Republicans attacking Republicans, while Washington is embroiled in the gridlocked combat that makes politics so distasteful.

If Democrats avoid a nomination imbroglio, they can offer voters a powerful contrast to a bitterly divided GOP and the repellant infighting in Washington. They can set the stage for a unified and coherent message and campaign for the presidency and Congress —which Democrats catastrophically failed to do in 2014 — to create a progressive majority in all three branches of government.

Democratic workers, donors, intellectuals, officeholders and potential primary candidates should consider that Clinton provides, by far, the best prospect for the next great era of progressive Democratic leadership.

With Warren playing a central role as a Senate Democratic leader, and Clinton poised to become the Democratic nominee for president, when the pope arrives in Philadelphia in September, his teachings about economic justice will take center stage in American political discourse as the 2016 campaign begins in earnest.

The moment could be a launching pad for Democrats to tell the nation a powerful and inspiring story about full employment with fair wages in a just economy. This message will resonate across America while Republicans are throwing dirt against one another.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors Blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.