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Richard Connor: Sayin’ it makes it so – three Dems take on Hillary

🕐 3 min read

It’s hard to quibble with those who doubt the power of the press when it comes to politics – local politics in Fort Worth, anyway. After all, the two candidates our newspaper endorsed in the recent water board election racked up a combined 18 percent of the vote.

There are signs, though, that we are making a comeback as a political power broker.

Just last week I lamented the paucity of candidates challenging front-runner Hillary Clinton for the Democrats’ presidential nomination. And just like that we now have three: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; and former Republican Lincoln Chafee, who served as governor of Rhode Island and as a U.S. senator from the Ocean State. After he was a Republican and before he was a Democrat, Chafee was an Independent.

Although Clinton figures to be impossible to beat, at least now we can look forward to some fireworks in the Democratic race. Then, too, Hillary looked like a sure winner in 2008 before Barack Obama crashed her expected coronation.

To show how ridiculous it’s become to announce you are running for president, here’s a quote prior to the Chafee announcement on June 3.

“Governor Chafee is a good and gracious man and certainly has every right to run for this office,” said Joseph McNamara, chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, who noted that Clinton has strong support in the state. “And although it is a little late for him to get into this race, we only wish him well.”

A little late? It’s 17 months before the election!

Chafee has already raised questions about Clinton’s 2002 vote in favor of the war in Iraq. He was a Republican then and the only one who voted no on the invasion. He will attack her on questionable donations to the Clinton family foundation. Foreign policy is one of Chafee’s specialties and he will criticize the quality of her work as secretary of state.

Sanders, a self-described socialist, might be easy to dismiss as a serious challenger but he is smart, outspoken, and articulate. He is drawing big crowds in Iowa and that has caught political observers (aren’t we all?) by surprise.

These candidates and their campaigns will force Clinton to defend her record and that can only be a positive development in a campaign where the leading candidate has turned lack of accountability into an art form.

Whatever her vulnerabilities in some areas, of course, Hillary remains strong with that all-important segment of the voting public: women.

And that is both significant and “right.” Women in business continue to fight bias and they are not treated equally, especially in terms of pay.

While the addition of candidates on the Democratic side was a good thing, we dare not suggest a need for more entrants in the GOP contest. Too many folks appear to be listening to us – and with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally entering the race June 4 and Jeb Bush due in June 15, the Republican field has already mushroomed to 11.

Richard Connor is chairman of the parent company of Fort Worth Business, DRC Media. Contact him at rconnor@bizpress.net.

Richard Connor
Richard Connor is the owner and CEO/Publisher of DRC Media, the parent company of the Fort Worth Business Press. he also owns newspapers in Virginia. Mr. Connor held a number of corporate media executive positions before founding his own company. He is an award-winning columnist and at one time wrote a weekly column on national politics for CQ Politics, the online version of Washington, D.C.-based Congressional Quarterly.

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