Two Democrats – Senator Bernie Sanders and former Mayor-then-Governor Martin O\’Malley – have declared their candidacy for the 2016 Democrat presidential nomination.

So how are they doing at this early stage of their battle to overcome the Hillary Clinton juggernaut? 

From Kay Henderson\’s article for Radio Iowa:

The two Democrats who have formally emerged to challenge HillaryClinton for their party’s 2016 presidential nomination visited Iowa thisweekend. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders attracted overflow crowds in Ames andDavenport, then Sanders capped his three-day trip with a Saturday night stop inKensett, where more than 300 people greeted him.

“People are extremely frustrated with status quo economics, thegreed of the top one percent, establishment politics,” Sanders told reporterson his way into Kensett\’s community center. “…People want a movement, to bepart of a movement that takes on the billionaire class. Let me be as blunt as Ican be: you have a handful of people in this country with enormous economic andpolitical power who are getting it all.”

Sixty-eight-year-old Tom Reid of Northwood was there in Kensett. Heis hoping Sanders “yanks” Hillary Clinton “to the left.”

“I thought I was voting for a liberal when I voted for Obama and weended up with Bush Lite and I don\’t want any more of it,” Reid said during aninterview. “I want a Democrat from the Democratic Party with Democratic valuesand I just don\’t think Hillary is committed to that. I think she\’s acorporatist. She\’s a globalist.”

George Appleby, a long-time political activist in Des Moines whobacked Barack Obama in 2008, is backing former Maryland Governor MartinO\’Malley this time around.

“I personally have Clinton fatigue,” Appleby said Saturday. “Ithink I\’ve found my guy. I think he\’s going to do really well.”

See that comment from Tom Reid, where he says he hopes Sanders yanks Clinton to the left?

That is Hillary Clinton\’s single biggest headache. 

Without Mr. Sanders and Mr. O\’Malley in the race, Clinton could run what, by her standards (such as they are) would be a more or less centrist campaign, knowing that the people to her left, no matter how disgusted this might make them, would have nowhere else to go, and would have to hold their noses and vote for her over a Republican.  In other words, she could have her cake and eat it.

But now there are two alternatives whose politics are far more palatable to this not inconsiderable segment of the Democrat base.  And, just as you have to walk before you can run, Hillary Clinton has to win the primaries before she runs against a Republican.

That means she may have to satisfy the Tom Reids of the party and lurch leftward. 

But assuming it works and she overcomes Sanders and O\’Malley to win the nomination (a very big assumption), what happens to the center – the moderate/independent voters – who then have to be convinced that she lied to them during the primaries and is really not as far left as she presented herself  at that time.  while some people will vote for Hillary Clinton regardless of what she says, for others there has to be some upper limit to the number of lies and reinventions she will try to sell. 

In a previous blog, I paraphrased that great quote from Bette Davis\’s Margo Channing in “All About Eve” and suggested you fasten your seat belts, because it\’s going to be a bumpy ride.

This is the first bump.

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