Sen. Angus King, Maine independent, said Monday that one of the issues of the midterms was that the Democratic party has become the party of “government itself” — and said such a perception could pose a problem for someone like former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the would-be Democratic frontrunner for the 2016 presidential nomination.
“I think one of the subtext issues of this election was that the Democratic party has become the party of government itself,” Mr. King said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And if people don’t like the government, the party that represents the government is going to have a hard time.”
“And I think that is going to be a difficulty for someone like Hillary Clinton, who has tremendous experience and background, but she’s going to have a hard time saying, ‘Oh, I’m a new person,’ ” he said.
Mr. King, who caucuses with Senate Democrats, also questioned the party strategy in the U.S. Senate in the run-up to the midterms.
“There’s no question that there was a strategy going up to the elections to protect vulnerable Democrats from difficult votes,” he said. “In retrospect, maybe it would have been better to let them vote, let things happen, let the president take some heat, veto some bills instead of having the Senate be the stopper, if you will.”
On the other hand, he said, immigration is a big piece of legislation sitting on the desk of House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican.
“So, you know, it works both ways,” he said. “I think there’s a possibility that we’re gonna have enough moderates, if you will — I don’t like to use that word; nobody wants to be labeled a moderate — centrists, where we could have a significant influence by having enough votes sort of going both ways.”