Draft Hillary…for 2016

hillary clintonWe progressives have a dream: to elect leaders who inspire and mobilize men and women, throughout America and around the world, to realize the great aspirations of the two historical waves of our time: the Female Century and the Populist Century.

My suggestion is this: Reelect Barack Obama in 2012 and draft Hillary Clinton for 2016 to achieve an era of reform and realignment that will powerfully change history.

If perchance any of the three relevant Clintons read this note, I would bring to their attention (and yours) the monumental new album by Bruce Springsteen, “Wrecking Ball,” a powerful, passionate, populist, patriotic protest against inequity and a tribute to America.

My vision of a Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016 would be a continuation of the passion and conviction of Robert Kennedy in 1968 when he rallied working-class whites, blacks and Hispanics to the cause of his campaign based on the interests they shared.

American politics must never be limited to a choice between Karl Rove and Mark Penn, the mirror images of a politics gone bad, in which smart people no longer come to Washington to make a difference, as they did under FDR and JFK, but to make a buck, as far too many do today.

If Hillary runs in 2016 and “does a Robert Kennedy” and “does a Bruce Springsteen” and wins: The Obama-Hillary years could look like the FDR-Truman years, and the JFK-LBJ years, which were eras of great social and economic progress.

There is political risk for Hillary or anyone else to defy the conventional politics of the moment, the crony capitalism of the revolving door that corrupts both parties, in favor of the transforming politics of a movement, but it is the imperative of a movement that meets the historical moment we live in:

The Female Century is real. The Populist Century is equally real. They are bound together, inseparable, transcendent and global:

There is a profound commonality between women who seek the equal pay that is a trademark of the Female Century, and working-class men and women of all races who seek the jobs, equity and dignity for all that is the hallmark of the Populist Century.

There is a profound commonality between the Occupy Wall Street movement and heartland Americans who are disgusted when Washington is bought and sold by those with money.

There is a profound commonality between them and the idealistic young of the Arab Spring, the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who march for economic betterment, the multitudes who marched for Walesa and Havel and Kennedy and King and Mandela, the young and noble heroes (crony capitalism notwithstanding) who carried Lady Liberty across Tiananmen Square, the courageous young woman Neda who ascended to heaven from Tehran, the workers who fight for collective bargaining in Ohio and Wisconsin and the heroic freedom fighters who might perish today, though their cause will ultimately prevail, on the bloodstained streets of Damascus.

Hillary Clinton stands at the intersection of the Female Century and the Populist Century. She speaks for the yearnings of women everywhere but also for the great truth, as RFK understood in 1968, after years of existential experiences and growth similar to that of Hillary Clinton today, that the real magic of politics that matter is the unity of vastly different people with profoundly common interests behind what is, in truth, a movement.

Brent BudowskyOn “Wrecking Ball,” Springsteen sings with a passionate dose of outrage about what is wrong and offers a tribute to an America he loves and calls the “Land of Hope and Dreams,” a flag that promises we take care of our own, and the country he brilliantly calls an “American Land,” in which immigrants come from everywhere to build and share the dream that must be the right of all -— which is why I propose the movement of our moment should be:

Reelect Obama in 2012. Draft Hillary for 2016.

Brent Budowsky
The Hill 


  1. martaz says

    You say (and I agree): “American politics must never be limited to a
    choice between Karl Rove and Mark Penn, the mirror images of a politics
    gone bad.”

    Yet, despite Hillary’s disgraceful cheerleading of the Iraq war under Bush and her incredibly aggressive war stance under Obama you are not only ready to vote for Hillary you are PROMOTING her! If you think (like I do) that Obama has not only continued but escalated Bush’s right wing agenda, wait till Hillary gets in office.

    Hillary’s husband was a centrist who seemed to have a heart for the poor. I won’t deny Hillary is extremely bright and knowledgeable, but she’s as ruthless, heartless, narcissistic and as far to the right as Sarah Palin. If she thought she could do it without retaliation, she’d drop nuclear weapons without blinking, if only to prove she’s got as much cojones as the next guy.

    And you consider yourself a progressive? That sounds more like: It’s MY Party Right or Wrong. A real progressive is above party lines, and makes decisions based on the ethics of the politician.

  2. JoeWeinstein says

    In 2008 I preferred Barack over Hillary because Senator Hillary’s self-adopted role – contra the Constitution’s intent for the Congress – was to be a rubber-stamp for a warmongering president: at least Senator Barack rejected that mistake.  Ever since, Hillary’s simply added to a record of being mainly a toady and go-fer for whoever’s in the White House. 

    But Brent raises – and demands rebuttal – on an issue far larger than anyone’s take on Hillary or on how suitable Hillary might be for prez in 2016. 

    In our republic all political factions would prefer to have candidates who are more rather than less attractive to the great mass.  But Brent goes fatally further. 

    He starts and bases his entire article on the claim that “We progressives have a dream: to elect leaders who inspire and mobilize men and women …”.    In effect he appeals to an allegedly ‘progressive’ dream that we want – and should want – to be pawns and instruments of charismatic good-guy super-leaders.  For Brent here politics is not about us as free and equal people making our own decisions but about finding special superior people to make decisions for us, and getting swept up in their personality cults.  In short, his dream is one of Platonic oligarchy and autarchy, not democracy.  

    The dream is decidedly NOT a ‘progressive’ dream.  In fact, it’s not even the Bible’s dream either:  Samuel memorably and pointedly warned the Hebrews against their clamor for a king, and the psalmist warned everyone to trust in the Lord, but not in mortal princes.    

  3. Julia Russell says

    I’m wondering where your faith in Hillary’s progressive beliefs and values comes from, Brent.  I’ve never seen any sign that she’s anything but centrist with more than a tinge of right.  Her performance as Sec. of State hasn’t been anything but the usual, run of the mill assertion of the right of USA to dictate to world what they can and can’t do.  Her husband signed NAFTA and I’ve never heard her question that decision or any other decision he made, including supporting financial deregulation and we know where that took us!

     As progressives, I don’t see how we can consider supporting Hillary or Obama.  Our only real choice, I think, is Jill Stein, the Green Presidential candidate, who has been virtually ignored by everyone, even KPFK, for some reason!

  4. Gene says

    The fucking war monger who has allowed an illegal coup to exist in Honduras causing the deaths of thousand, who made deal with the Saudi’s to crush the revolution in Barhami This this is the bitch you want as President. Not to mention all the economic crimes that her husband committed as President including NAFT and the bombing or Iraq

  5. Jay Levenberg, Esq. says

    To Mr. Buidowsky- You are too late. Hillary should have been elected in 2008. It was her time and not Obama’s. The press swept Obama into the nomination. They swooned all over him like new puppies. Hillary would have been a much better President. She will not run in 2016 because, I think the way it looks, she will not be running for an open seat. Romney just may win this year and I doubt she would go up against an incumbent.

  6. Chuck Comisky says

    I guess it might “look like FDR/Truman” if we overlook this admin’s trampling on civil rights, militarizing our police forces, selling out to banks and wall street, being anything but ‘transparent’, and letting home owners, seniors, and the middle class sink. It is hard to vote a 2nd time for Obama since he is so disappointing as the pres.  Maybe we should turn the govt over to Romney et al and if things get really bad maybe Dems, liberals, and progressives might wake up and actually do something.
    Oh well….

    • Tedrad says

       Yes Chuck, electing Hilary would just continue Obama/Bush policies of imperial domination and endless war.

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