THE LATEST THINKING
The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.
Hillary Was Indeed Strong Last Night
Electability will be mentioned more and more on both sides.
I watched CNN's "town hall" last night among Democratic candidates for president, and all three were eloquent and persuasive.
But Hillary had something else going for her, as well: She seemed really strong, in command, presidential.
She spent a lot of time on foreign affairs. O'Malley and Sanders did not. And, with the rising threat of ISIS, a presidential candidate must look and sound like a real commander in chief.
Just a week or so ago I said it felt like there was an opening for a third, centrist party. Bernie Sanders was grabbing everything on the left, Donald Trump now has a commanding lead on the right. The middle seemed weak, tired, compromised.
Then Michael Bloomberg let it be known he was considering a run as an independent. Now that would be interesting. Bloomberg blends the "best of" the Republicans and the Democrats. He's a business savvy leader who believes in bipartisanship; he's also pro-gun control and pro-abortion.
And now Hillary seems to have found her voice. It has often been noted that she does best when in danger of losing. Bernie's enthusiastic following has surely spooked Team Clinton.
So there's a "surge" taking place in the middle. We are a centrist country; people in the middle deserve representation.
I don't think Bloomberg should be under-rated, but if it appears Hillary is going to be a strong contender, maybe he'll decide not to run after all.
The Republicans and Democrats both want to win, that is clear. The desire to win will make Trump and Clinton more palatable. That might leave Sanders behind at some point, which would leave many sad. He has done a terrific job raising issues people actually care about.
If centrist candidates can tap into "the silent majority" in the same way Trump and Sanders have lit a fire beneath their bases, then this will be one of the best elections ever, with every voter having a real choice to make -- and a candidate to he or she can happily back.
It's still too early to make predictions. One or more of the current candidates could still stumble; at least one new candidate might still jump in. In most elections, people complain about how all the candidates seem the same -- Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
But that's clearly not the case this year. There is a candidate for everyone. This is perhaps the most interesting race I can recall, and my memory goes back to Nixon-Kennedy.
As a journalist, I rarely wrote about politics, but I don't think it takes a pro to see that Hillary Clinton could lose in...