I am not sure where this idea has come from, but it is funny. And Jerome repeats it. As if either Hillary OR Obama has ever done a damn thing for the working class.
The bottom line is that both of these people are centrists in liberal clothing. John Edwards would be a vastly better candidate and president than either one of them. Obama gives a nice speech, and Hillary is good in debates. Who cares?
The poli sci literature shows that women are much less likely to run without being recruited (can't remember any specific cites). This reflects a whole lot of history as you allude to with the statement about broader political factors and culture. Official party organizations do a better job of recruiting all candidates than this vague, amorphous netroots, which seems to mostly rely on candidates to sort of bubble up and really doesn't recruit at all. So therefore, establishment candidates will be more likely to be female since women are more likely to need to be recruited in order to run. The good news is this can be fixed since netroots leaders (e.g. you, Kos, etc.,) as well as other less well-known netrooters can begin to actively recruit women to run for office. If you know a good potential candidate encourage HER to run.
Democrats need to take a page out of Huey Long's book when it comes to dealing with corrupt corporations that control the policy process. Huey took down Standard Oil with a relentless assault on the greed and corruption embodied in that company. In short, attack, attack, attack. Call out insurance company CEO's by name as being greedy, selfish, etc. Obviously this strategy is problematic given the Dems reliance on insurance company money. But they should be able to find new sources of money now that they are in the majority in Congress.
This is an easy argument that every American understands - healthcare is expensive because insurance companies are greedy. It also happens to be true. By all means do not get bogged down in policy details as Stoller urges.