Today's entry in the "Gee, ya think?" file:
Far too often, political coverage is based on the thinking of consultants and donors, and doesn't pay enough attention to what the voters are actually thinking. It's why we focus on presidential horse-race numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire, which couldn't be less predictive, and are often slow to pick up on the issues driving grassroots anger, like Common Core. It's why immigration reform rates as a top legislative priority in the minds of strategists over proposing an economic agenda to assuage voter anxieties.
And it's why pundits and donors alike are vastly overrating the prospects of two brand-name candidates for 2016—Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush—and undervaluing the reality that the current political environment is as toxic as it's ever been for lifelong politicians. At the most fundamental level, the next presidential election is shaping up to be a battle of which party can best conquer its demons—whether Republicans can improve their beaten brand, and whether Clinton (or any other Democrat) can present herself as the candidate of change, given the high level of voter dissatisfaction.
Certainly the bases don't want those two candidates. The Democratic base wants someone a lot more liberal, and the GOP base wants someone more conservative. I think the voters aren't thrilled at the prospect of another Bush or Clinton in the White House, either. For God's sake, let's get over this whole dynasty thing and get some new blood in the race. Thank God the Republicans don't have someone whose turn it is this time around.