The Clinton family has been a prominent one in American politics for decades, but all of that is about to change. According to CNN political commentator Van Jones, the days of the Clinton family are over. The proclamation came on Sunday, ringing in the new year with the end of an era.
Hillary Clinton’s unexpected and stunning loss to Donald Trump last November could not only mean the end of her political career, but also an end of the hold the Clinton family has had on the Democratic Party for more than a generation.
Clinton, who served as secretary of state from 2009-2013, as a U.S. senator from 2001-2009, and as first lady of the United States from 1993-2001, has long been one of the most recognizable figures of the Democratic Party. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, first came to prominence in the late 1970s when he served first as Arkansas attorney general and then as governor of Arkansas.
Yet Van Jones claims that the Clinton era has, at long last, drawn to a close. In an interview with Jake Tapper on State of the Union, Van Jones explained why the Clinton hold on politics is weakening — and why this is a good thing.
“You have to understand, I think that the Clinton days are over. This idea that we’re going to be this moderate party that’s going to move in this direction, that’s going to throw blacks under the bus for criminal justice reform, and for prison expansion, that’s going to throw workers under the bus for NAFTA, those days are over.”
Jones went on to say that the Democratic Party needs to become more progressive. He spoke in favor of California Democrat Kamala Harris who was recently elected to the U.S. Senate. Harris, who is of multiracial ancestry, is the first Indian American and only the second black woman elected to the Senate, a background which could make her a viable candidate for the new face of the Democratic Party.
“She’s going to be out there defending those DREAMer kids because they’re a big part of her constituency. But she’s got African-American roots. She’s got Asian roots. She’s female. She’s tough. She’s smart. She’s going to become a big deal.”
People like Harris could very well be the future of the party. Another progressive to keep an eye on is U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to be elected to Congress. Ellison is considered to be one of the top contenders for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship.
The fact that he is progressive is “important” to the future of the party, says Jones, “because he is somebody who represents the progressive wing of the party…Keith Ellison represents that wing very, very well.”
According to Van Jones, one of the reasons that Hillary Clinton alienated voters was that she was too moderate and did not do enough to appeal to minority groups. If Clinton had chosen a more progressive running mate, such as the wildly popular Bernie Sanders, she may have gained enough popularity to win the presidency.
The Huffington Post reported that Van Jones previously appeared on The Daily Show, speaking out on the importance of liberals to reach out to those who supported President-elect Donald Trump.
“If we’re the party for the underdogs everywhere, we win,” said Jones.
As Donald Trump prepares to be sworn into office in a few weeks, the future of the Democratic Party is more uncertain than ever. Clinton’s defeat has not only lost the party the White House, but has also cost them one of their most high-profile members. The Clintons have finally run out of steam, after decades of a once seemingly unstoppable trajectory which kept them at the highest levels of American politics.
Whether or not Hillary Clinton continues her political career, the damage has been done. Her clay feet have been revealed, disillusioning those who saw her as an invincible icon.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]