June 4, 2015

WASHINGTON POST: Clinton rivals pounce as her ratings fall.

A once-sleepy Democratic presidential primary contest is fast coming alive as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s poll numbers fall and a diverse array of long-shot opponents step forward to challenge her.

The recent developments mark a dramatic evolution in the 2016 sweepstakes, which until now has been shaped by the large assortment of hopefuls on the Republican side, where there is no front-runner.

The latest Democrat to enter the race is Lincoln Chafee, a onetime Republican and former Rhode Island governor and senator, who launched his campaign Wednesday in Northern Virginia. Though his candidacy is quixotic, Chafee’s sharp attacks on Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy record — and in particular her 2002 vote to authorize the war in Iraq — could nonetheless complicate her march to the nomination.

Chafee joins an underfunded and jumbled field of Clinton rivals who see the favorite’s coziness with Wall Street and political longevity as weaknesses and who think she is vulnerable to a grass-roots contender who better captures the party’s liberal soul.

It’s a diverse array of old, white, Marxists.