The Clinton machine threatens Martin O'Malley. Note the choice of subject noun.

This passage is even more revealing than it appears:

Recently, a representative from the Hillary Clinton camp delivered a message to Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor preparing to challenge Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

I have some good news and some bad news, the messenger said.

What’s the good news? asked O’Malley.

The good news is we’re taking you seriously, the messenger answered. And the bad news is … we’re taking you seriously.

…because it suggests that the central paradox of the Democratic primary is that the current front-runner (Hillary Clinton) is probably the least motivated person in her campaign. I mean, perhaps I am reading too much into the fact that that passage would still make perfect sense if Hillary Clinton had had a stroke last month and was currently on a respirator in a private hospital room somewhere. Perhaps.  But history is full of examples where the titular head of a group actually had nothing to do with the actions of said group, and certainly the people around Hillary Clinton have a vested interest in keeping everything going.  I mean, it’s not like people love them, or anything.

So, what does this mean in practical terms? Oddly enough, under slightly different circumstances this might actually have been good news for the Democratic party.  If President Obama had just been more energetic – or more competent – at helping his fellow Democrats then they might have had a charismatic candidate or two that could mount a true insurgency primary campaign*.  As it stands, they have… Martin O’Malley, apparently: a man with the charisma of a rock.

And yes, that matters. Every Democratic path to victory assumes that their candidate will perform at least 95% as well as Obama did, in every demographic.  This is… not supportable.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Amusing – oh, so amusingly – if the Democratic party leadership had actually picked Hillary Clinton in 2008 then they’d probably be in a ridiculously good position to win three times running.  A Hillary win would have muted Democratic gains enough to allow Republicans to retain the filibuster: hence, no Obamacare, and a danged sight better economy to boot. Which means, paradoxically, that the American people wouldn’t have spent the last five years purging Democrats from various state and federal legislatures – and possibly not governor’s mansions, either.  And imagine how you’d feel right now if you knew that Senator Barack Obama was gearing up to get the nomination in 2016 that his acolytes insisted he had been cheated out of in 2008.

Well.  As the man once said: oft evil will evil mar.