Republicans have got double trouble as Democrats will be deploying both Bill and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in 2014.
Roll Call spoke to Democrat strategists who detailed how the Clintons will be deployed to help Democrats in 2014:
Democratic operatives say each half of the Clinton duo appeals to different segments of the electorate — so assignments to races must be deliberate and strategic.
North of the Mason-Dixon Line and east of the Mississippi River is former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton territory — replete with voters who have already warmed to electing women to Congress. Former President Bill Clinton, party officials say, plays better in the South and Midwest, where he performed well with traditional Yellow Dog Democrats who relate to the party’s economic message but tend to be more conservative on social issues.
Together, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate say there are few areas where the Clinton duo wouldn’t have a positive impact.
The reason for the Clintons being very active on the 2014 campaign trail is simple. The more the former president and secretary of state help Democratic candidates in 2014, the more likely Democrats will be to return the favor when she runs in 2016.
Bill and Hillary Clinton learned in 2008 that they can’t rely on the goodwill and owed favors that they generated in the 1990s to carry them to the White House. As a candidate, Barack Obama was able to devastate Hillary’s campaign by moving high-profile Democrats like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy into his camp.
Mrs. Clinton isn’t going to face the same quality of primary opposition in 2016 that she faced eight years ago, but the fundamental principle behind building up a base of party support and endorsements remains the same.
President Obama remains popular with the base, and he is already raising tons of money while getting Democrats fired up to vote in 2016. Where the Clintons are helpful is in places where the president isn’t very popular. Bill and Hillary Clinton can go into red House districts and have an immediate impact on voters. Former President Clinton should be especially valuable in Senate races in Kentucky, where he has already campaigned, Louisiana, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Georgia.
Republicans thought they were going to get to run against President Obama in 2014. It doesn’t seem like they anticipated both barrels of the Clinton big gun unloading on them this year.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association