On Tuesday, former Congresswomen Marjorie Margolies, mother of Chelsea Clinton’s husband was clobbered in her bid for a comeback in Pennsylvania’s Democrat primary. Despite active campaigning by Bill and Hillary and aggressive support from the money-rich Emily’s List, Margolies lost to 37-year old state Rep. Brendan Boyle by a margin of 47-21 (marginal candidates rounded out the vote). The results raise questions about the Clintons’ political juice ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Margolies career looms large in Clinton folk-lore. The one-term Congresswoman lost reelection largely for her deciding vote to enact Clinton tax hikes early in his first-term. Clinton and hard-core Democrat partisans still see this vote as a profile in courage, one that, in their view, set in motion a long economic rebound. Your mileage may vary on this analysis, but that is what they believe.
Margolies is also a member of the Clinton family. Her son married Chelsea Clinton and, even prior to this, she had long been a close associate of the Clinton’s. They pulled out all the stops to campaign for her. Both Bill and Hillary hosted fundraisers for her. Bill appeared in ads and recorded robo-calls in support of her campaign. On the ballot, Margolies was close to a proxy for the Clintons.
Yet, she was crushed in a Democrat primary in an overwhelming Democrat district. President Obama won 66% of the vote here in his reelection in 2012.
More interesting, Margolies’ opponent, Brendan Boyle was vigorously attacked for his “pro-life” views. He had voted for restrictions on abortion clinics in the wake of the Gosnell scandal that gripped Pennsylvania. He also had enjoyed support in previous campaigns from pro-charter school and pro-school choice organizations. In other words, he was more of a centrist candidate in the primary.
In summary, a moderate Democrat racked up a 2-1 victory in a Democrat primary in an overwhelming Democrat district against the Clinton legacy and a full-engaged Clinton machine.
Elsewhere in the state, outside businessman Tom Wolf crushed his opponents in the Democrat primary for Governor. He bested powerful Congresswoman, and Emily’s List favorite, Allyson Schwartz, the Democrat state Auditor and a former Clinton Official.
It seems even Democrats are getting restless with their own permanent political class.