If we’re lucky, we’ll get a contest between Republican Jeb Bush and Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Both are responsible adults, relative moderates in their respective parties. Either could get elected.
Clinton faces the easier path to nomination. Her party is united. Bush faces warring clans. Sure, Clinton will face some opposition on the left, which is critical of her hawkish record on Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. But most Democrats will see her as a good contrast with President Barack Obama. She’s the tough guy. She won’t get rolled by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Or by House Republicans.
In a CNN poll taken in February, only 10 percent of Democrats said they would prefer a Democrat who is “more liberal than Clinton.” Fifteen percent wanted someone more conservative. Seventy percent of Democrats said she’s fine.
Bush’s prospects are more difficult. For one thing, there’s the problem of his name. The minute voters hear the name “Bush,” they say, “Oh no! Not another one!” It brings back all the bad memories — the war in Iraq, the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina.
Most people who remember the Clinton years remember good times. We were making lots of money, and no one seemed to threaten us. When CNN asked voters earlier this year how they would vote if the choice were Clinton versus Bush, Clinton won by a landslide — 57 percent to 37 percent.