Today we again suspend our policy that orange cats should not be political pundits, in part because the real pundits are hitting about .037. Breaking news … Hillary Rodham Clinton will not be the 45th president, because she won’t be running. The upcoming California primary could seal her fate.
If Bernie Sanders beats her in California, the people who run the Democratic party seem likely to turn to Plan B – a late entry into the race by VP Joe Biden. This possibility has been acknowledged by Donald Trump on Twitter and by longtime Clinton adviser Doug Schoen in The Wall Street Journal:
Data from mid-May show that there were nearly 1.5 million newly registered voters in California since Jan. 1. That includes a 218% increase in Democratic voter registrations compared with the same period in 2012, a strongly encouraging sign for [Bernie] Sanders. A Sanders win in California would powerfully underscore Mrs. Clinton’s weakness as a candidate in the general election. Democratic superdelegates – chosen by the party establishment and overwhelmingly backing Mrs. Clinton, 543-44 – would seriously question whether they should continue to stand behind her candidacy. … Then there is that other crack in the argument for Mrs. Clinton’s inevitability: Bernie Sanders consistently runs stronger than she does against Mr. Trump nationally, beating him by about 10 points in a number of recent surveys.
It’s not hard to see how this would play out, because things in the Obama administration can be done on a half a day’s notice if deemed politically expedient. Mrs. Clinton would be indicted on the eve of the party convention, maybe even after she had secured the nomination. She would leave the race for “health reasons” (basically consisting of saving her skin with a blanket presidential pardon). The Democratic leadership would turn to the sitting VP, who has considerably less baggage than anyone else. Again, Mr. Schoen:
Mr. Biden would be cast as the white knight rescuing the party, and the nation, from a possible Trump presidency. To win over Sanders supporters, he would likely choose as his running mate someone like Sen. Elizabeth Warren who is respected by the party’s left wing.
Long-faced loser John Kerry doesn’t figure into this scenario. Mr. Biden ran for the presidency in 2008; he lost to you-know-who. His potential running mate this time (also known as Fauxcahontas) spouts rhetoric that terrorizes Wall Street. She would be the darling of the Washington press corps, members of which know that Mr. Biden is an amiable dunce (never top-of-the-ticket material; perhaps the perfect VP).
The footnote to history is that Mrs. Clinton also tried to win the Democratic nomination in 2008. She ran a strong race, but the media anointed you-know-who to run against the Republicans’ designated loser, John McCain. The country is poorer for that slobbering admiration of Barack Obama. But Hillary’s time came. Soon it might be gone.