Republicans Are Afraid Of Hillary
Reporting from the RNC’s meeting in California, Zeke Miller notes that Republican insiders are dreading the prospect of another Hillary for President campaign:
HOLLYWOOD — Republican leaders plotted their party’s political comeback on Thursday with plans to court minority voters and modernize their political operations. But some wondered if one person could make it all for naught: Hillary Clinton.
As attendees of the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting debated party rules and a refurbished GOP brand capable of winning back the White House, more than two dozen operatives and officials expressed worry that none of their party’s potential 2016 candidates can take her down.
One early primary state RNC member put it simply: “If she gets in, we’re toast.”
The Clinton fears have Republicans gearing up early for the 2016 campaign. America Rising, the new GOP super PAC founded by former RNC and Romney aides, has already begun digging up opposition research on Clinton, along with other potential Democratic candidates.
Overhearing discussions about Clinton in the hallway outside the RNC meeting, Jorge Landivar, a Ron Paul-backing delegate to the 2012 Republican convention from Texas, chimed in: “All the polls say she will destroy anyone that we put up — it’s [f—ng] terrifying.” National polling from Quinnipiac University finds that Clinton, the most popular national political figure, would defeat New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 45 – 37 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 50 – 34 percent and Rep. Paul Ryan 50 – 38 percent.
Ron Kaufman, the RNC committeeman from Massachusetts and a senior Romney campaign advisor, acknowledged that Clinton looks as powerful as a sitting president. But he cautioned Republicans to remember how quickly the political winds can shift. “Right now she is the closest thing you’ll get to an incumbent in an open race,” said Kaufman, who served as George H. W. Bush’s White House political director. “But at this time in the cycle, Bush 41 was unbeatable.”
It’s understandable why Republicans are somewhat fearful of a Hillary candidacy. While it’s still very early in the 2016 cycle, her lead in the polls is incredible at the moment and it’s hard to see anything happening that is going to bring those numbers down over the next several years. At the same time, it’s blindingly clear that the GOP still has not dealt with the problems that led to their losses in the last two Presidential election. Until that happens, the prospect of facing a politician on the level of Hillary Clinton must just be terrifying.