Paul Begala is a Democratic strategist who worked for Bill Clinton during his administration
Hillary Clinton is the presumptive front-runner for the Democrats in 2016
Begala argued other Democratic hopefuls don't have the 'electoral prospects' Clinton has
If presumptive Democratic 2016 front-runner Hillary Clinton decides not to run, at least one party strategist and CNN contributor thinks the Democrats’ presidential bench isn’t that deep.
“No one,” said Paul Begala, a longtime Clinton ally, when asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if there were other party leaders who could lead the party in 2016. “No one.”
While Republicans have a full bench of presidential hopefuls, Begala, who worked for President Bill Clinton and was an early Hillary Clinton supporter in 2008, said Clinton is the Democrats’ best and perhaps only hope to capture the White House in 2016.
“It’s not fair,” Begala said. “There are impressive people who I think could be good presidents, but they don’t have I think the electoral prospects that Hillary does.”
Vice President Joe Biden has said he’ll consider a run for the presidency after sitting in the No. 2 spot for six years, and parts of the party’s progressive wing is clamoring for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run.
CNN political commentator Van Jones, who served in the Obama administration, said Clinton hasn’t yet proven that she can excite the Democratic base.
“We have to have a nominee that can excite our base and I don’t know if Hillary Clinton can do that,” Jones said. “I know one person can, it’s Elizabeth Warren.”
While Clinton was a favorite surrogate for Democrats running in the midterms, Warren also took her high-energy persona and populist message on the campaign trail.
Warren has said earlier this year that she “hopes” Clinton will seek the presidency and she was reportedly one of all sitting Democratic female Senators who signed a letter last year urging Clinton to run.
Amid the speculation, Clinton has sought to make nice, praising Warren on the stump in Massachusetts as “a passionate champion for working people and middle class families.”
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick have also been floated as potential contenders. But their prospects might have dimmed after the Democratic candidates to succeed them in both states lost their bids in blue state upsets.