On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” panelists Mark Halperin and Chuck Todd speculated about possible challengers to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s potential 2016 run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
Halperin touted former Vice President Al Gore as someone who could fill that void, explaining he offers strengths where vulnerabilities exist in a Clinton run.
“There’s a huge vacuum,” Halperin said. “The Republican Party right now doesn’t have a candidate, I think, who could beat her. That could change over time. There’s clearly some unhappiness with her. There’s huge, in the political community, there’s huge recognition as strong as she is in so many ways — she has not showed herself without vulnerability during this book tour. I don’t know that Al Gore will run against her but I do know of all the other people talking about running against her I don’t think anybody has his strengths and I think Al Gore would like to be president and I think if he decided to do it, it would be a matchup worth watching. Again, I think he has got a better chance of beating her in the primary today than any Republican does to beat her in a general election.”
“I’m not saying he is going to do it,” Halperin added. “I’m just saying if he did he brings enormous strengths within the Democratic Party to capture the anybody but Hillary support, if she is dinged and continues to be dinged you start with a pretty big percentage of the vote and he’d come in as an underdog. He wouldn’t have to do very well against her in order to be seen as a victor. He has won the Iowa caucuses, she hasn’t.”
Later in the segment, Todd acknowledged the vacuum but raised the possibility of a different name in Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA). According to NBC’s chief White House correspondent, Brown is strong with populist movement in the United States, which would make him formidable.
“Well, I would say two things,” Todd said. “I think we can’t ignore the fact Hillary Clinton is stronger with Democrats today than she ever was in ’05, ’06, ’07 and any part of ’08. That is something that is different now than it was eight years ago and I think we can’t ignore that. I think we in this Acela corridor are believing she is more vulnerable than she actually looks when you actually look at the way Democrats are responding to her and look at the way women are responding to the idea of her candidacy. We shouldn’t ignore that.”
“That said, this conversation alone shows you why I do believe somebody will get in that is serious, that will challenge her because of the whole politics abhors a vacuum,” he continued. “This person will get a launching pad, will get an opportunity to prove themselves, will get an opportunity to be a challenger to her. And it’s something, if you’re her, you actually need that. You can’t just go unchallenged until the general election. Now, I still think the person that is most likely to do this is going to be Jerry Brown. And he equally is a nemesis to the Clintons in a way that is different from Al Gore but also possesses every one of those attributes that mark was talking about al gore other than winning Iowa and the popular vote, Jerry Brown’s resume with the left and populist movement is as strong if not stronger.”
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