As America looks forward to the 2016 presidential election, the focus on Iowa, where the first caucus will take place, has revealed a Democratic party that seems less than enthused about the idea of Hillary Clinton as the nominee, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Interviews with at least half of the Democratic leaders in Iowa’s counties “show a state leadership so far reluctant to coalesce behind Mrs. Clinton,” expressing concerns about her ability to win in the general election and her seemingly endless ties to Wall Street and big corporations.
Many of these top Democrats said they would rather see more progressive candidates, like Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA) or Bernie Sanders (I-VT), even though they’re aware that either of those candidates would have a hard-fought road against Clinton, especially in the fundraising department.
“My heart wouldn’t be in it for Hillary to the extent that it might be if it was a different candidate,” said the chair of the Page County Democrats Jennifer Herrington. “I admire Hillary, she’d be a great president, but you know, she isn’t my first choice I guess.”
In 2008, Clinton was actually the front of the pack in terms of Democratic nominees, but that lead dwindled as the caucus flocked towards future-President Obama. Polling data once again gives Clinton a huge lead, about 50 points, over other possible nominees. But the state’s party leaders said they “fear what several called a Clinton ‘coronation’ that would deprive the party of a discussion about its direction on economic issues,” as the party is becoming more divided between centrists and progressives.
“The Hillary Clinton inevitability talk is the same thing we heard in 2008, and the cacusgoers in Iowa chose a different route,” Monroe County Democratic Party chair Joe Judge told the WSJ. “The field is wide open for that again.”
And while most of those interviewed said they would support Clinton if she were to win the nomination, they spoke more highly of Sen. Warren as a candidate — one person interviewed bought and donated a copy of Warren’s book to her local public library; another said, “Elizabeth Warren, I would enjoy going out to lunch with her. Hillary, less.”
The concerns the Democrats in Iowa have about Clinton aren’t unfounded. She has numerous ties to Wall Street and corporate America. The party needs a candidate — and the country needs a president — who will stand up and fight for the middle class and the poor, not bow down to every whim of the one percent.