Frum claims that Democrats, having realized how polarized Obama’s presidency has made the country, will want a firebrand like Hillary Clinton:
In this mood, Democrats may care a lot more about toughness and combativeness than about minute gradations of progressiveness. And about Hillary Clinton’s combativeness, nobody has ever had any doubts. Maybe she voted for the Iraq War when Barack Obama opposed it. Maybe her husband’s administration lightened regulation of the financial industry and cut capital gains taxes. So what? “You know you can count on me to stand up strong for you,” Hillary Clinton told supporters in Pennsylvania on the night she won that state’s primary in 2008. “Standing up strong” is what Democrats will be looking for in 2016. Affect will matter more than policy, and Hillary Clinton has the affect of the tough and decisive leader.
To woo progressive Democrats, Hillary Clinton does not need to deploy a radical policy platform. She needs to go toe-to-toe with Republicans. She needs to breathe fire. She needs to reassure her party that she doesn’t believe that discredited old junk about “no red states and no blue states.” Democrats now accept that the divide is real, and in their politicians as in their preferred cable channel, they are looking for champions willing to take heat and return fire. The details of each candidate’s health care platform will matter a lot less than the candidate’s eagerness for the fight.