The mid-term 2014 post-mortems are in full swing. The analyses range from those who believe the Democrats are dead/long live the Republicans to those who see a GOP-run Congress and possible Republican effort to impeach President Obama as the gateway to a Hillary Clinton White House.
Thinking that the outcome of Election Night 2014 is actually a good one for any Democrat is a serious stretch. The more likely scenario is that the Ready for Hillary folks and those at Priorities USA PAC are pondering a whole lot of things at this very moment, including the following:
1.) Whether true or not, it appears that on the morning after the midterms, the Democratic Party is in shambles or fractured at best. Democrats lost the U.S. Senate, governorships in Democratic states and stormed statehouses. Sure, it’s a long road to 2016, but it’s paved with a lot of down-and-out Democrats.
2.) Bill Clinton’s charisma couldn’t woo his native Arkansas, a state that Clintonites have long controlled in one way or another. Republicans will hammer Clinton fatigue and weakness for the next two years, using Arkansas as a prime example. Don’t think that Arkansas Republicans won’t use the anti-Clinton message to further their own agenda and national political careers. (There’s already chatter that newly-elected Arkansas GOP U.S. Senator wants to a run at the White House.)
3.) Democrats no longer have a firm grip on female candidates. Thirty-year-old New York Republican Elise Stefanik became the youngest woman elected to Congress in history when she won her race against Aaron Woolf, a millionaire filmmaker. She’s the first-ever Republican to win the district. In West Virginia, there’s Saira Blair, a fiscally conservative 18-year-old, who will represent a small district in her state. In Iowa, Joni Ernst became the state’s first female Senator when she won the Democratic Senator Tom Harkin’s long-held seat of nearly 30 years. Then there’s Utah rising star Mia Love, 38, who becomes the GOP’s first African-American female in the House of Representatives.
4.) Hillary, already a target of Republicans, becomes a bigger one after this week. Case in point: Rand Paul. There’s no love lost already between these two and after Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell’s win Tuesday night, expect Paul to never let go of the Hillary attacks. He started a campaign Wednesday morning with the hashtag #HillarysLosers. “Tuesday’s biggest loser is Hillary Clinton,” Paul posted on social media.
5.) Pundits say a Senate takeover by Republicans is good for Hillary because their agenda can better help her define her 2016 presidential campaign and break away from comparing herself to Obama. That’s true. But Bill and Hillary Clinton have spent the last 25 years running against Republicans. Will that tactic work one last time to land her in the White House?
Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt” and “1000 Best Bartender’s Recipes.” She writes frequently for Reuters, TakePart, and numerous other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker.