There is always a risk in going early as a political candidate, because it can result in burnout with the voters. Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump must not pull a bait-and-switch on American workers Jewish groups divided over Hanukkah party at Trump hotel Colo. AG: Electoral College lawsuit could cause 'chaos' MORE, the former first lady, former senator of New York and former secretary of State, certainly runs this risk.
Whatever she does or says, or even that others do on her behalf, is certain to make news, and the signs are there that she’s preparing to build a ground game.
In addition, Clinton will make a multi-day swing through California’s San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego areas this April — key events to watch in the run-up to the launch of the 2016 campaign.
There is also danger for the Democratic Party when there is only one candidate so far ahead of the field even this early. The coronation of Clinton, particularly because she’s running to be the first woman elected president, would light a fire under potential Democratic candidates who feel they are also qualified. This list includes governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo and Maryland’s Martin O’Malley. Though at this time there do not appear to be any other significant female candidates on the Democratic side, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats: Where the hell are You? Dodd-Frank ripe for reform, not repeal Senate Dems offer bill to curb tax break for Trump nominees MORE’s name has been floated publicly.
This is not to say that Clinton is not playing smart politics, or that she’s not careful in her public words and actions. But it’s important to always remember voter burnout.
So why would Republicans be running for the 2016 presidency already?
Right now, the reality is that Republicans don’t have a strong national candidate. The internecine fight over potential contenders — such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulSunday shows preview: Trump sits down with Fox Trump stumps for Louisiana Senate candidate ahead of runoff Giuliani won't serve in Trump administration MORE, Texas Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzSenate passes dozens of bills on way out of town Senate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown MORE, Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioSenate clears water bill with Flint aid, drought relief What Trump's Cabinet picks reveal House passes water bill with Flint aid, drought relief MORE, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan appears on Hannity's show President Obama should curb mass incarceration with clemency Senators move to protect 'Dreamers' MORE (R-Wis.) — is necessary at the appropriate time, but political bloodletting can also result in campaign failure.
Republicans need to focus on the House, Senate and state-level races in 2014, to strengthen the House majority, win the Senate and take control of Congress.
Where there are local elections such as for mayors, county commissioners, precinct captains and more, the GOP must recognize their importance and win. 2014 is not just about the federal government — more and more responsible states led by Republican governors have demonstrated fiscal responsibility and pragmatic solutions in many areas.
At the congressional level, Republicans are likely to pick up 12-15 House seats. There are key urban districts in cities like Detroit, San Jose and San Bernardino where Democratic political blight presents opportunity for Republican pick-ups. Republicans have to focus on more than numbers, and on changing the country’s view of the party’s base locations.
In the Senate the Republicans have their “Six in ’14” campaign. Arkansas Republican candidate Rep. Tom CottonTom CottonArk., Texas senators put cheese dip vs. queso to the test Overnight Defense: Debate over Mattis heats up | White House releases military force rules Senate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules MORE is taking on Democratic Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE. There are other vulnerable Democrats, like Sens. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE of Louisiana, Mark UdallMark UdallGardner's chief of staff tapped for Senate GOP campaign director The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate Colorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open MORE of Colorado and Al FrankenAl FrankenOvernight Tech: AT&T, Time Warner CEOs defend merger before Congress | More tech execs join Trump team | Republican details path to undoing net neutrality Lawmakers grill AT&T, Time Warner execs on B merger Dems press Trump to keep Obama overtime rule MORE of Minnesota. It is smart strategy for the Republicans to run against vulnerable Democrats who supported ObamaCare, but they have to run with a platform and on policy issues that matter to voters.
The voters, regardless of their definition of Republicanism or conservatism, have continued to demand solutions from elected officials. Much of the credit for this demand goes to the Tea Party movement — even voters who do not identify as Tea Partyers understand the principles of a limited, effective, efficient and constitutional government at all levels. Presenting practical and doable solutions is key to Republican success. Milquetoast and mediocre will not work as it might have in the past.
America needs, and demands, solutions of those who seek elected office. Governance is required by those who have been given the trust of our vote. We as voters must also do our due diligence. We get the government we vote in, and the one we will not vote out.
Webb is host of The David Webb Show on SiriusXM Patriot 125, is a Fox News contributor and has appeared frequently on television as a commentator. Webb co-founded TeaParty365 in New York City, and is a spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation. His column will appear twice a month in The Hill.