To return to this state for another primary with a Clinton on the ballot is to be reminded about how much has changed in Democratic politics over the past two-plus decades and how much remains the same.
The change reflects the party’s evolution — or maybe its reversion to type — since Bill Clinton ran here in 1992. The sameness involves the Groundhog Day nature of Hillary Clinton’s challenge, selling pragmatic experience over alluring hope, against Bernie Sandersnow as against Barack Obama in 2008.
Bill Clinton’s pitch, after Democrats’ long exile from the White House, was that he represented a third-way Democrat championing streamlined government and individual responsibility.
“We offer our people a new choice based on old values. We offer opportunity. We demand responsibility,” Clinton said in his 1992 convention speech. “The choice we offer is not conservative or liberal; in many ways it’s not even Republican or Democratic.”