In this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, the boss writes that nothing about Hillary Clinton's candidacy, nomination, or election to the presidency in 2016 is inevitable. Here's an excerpt:
The easiest way Hillary can be stopped is if she stops herself. She can choose not to run. Indeed, Time reports “on good authority” that “Hillary Clinton has not decided whether to run for president again.” There is a reasonable chance she’ll decide not to. She’s an intelligent woman. She remembers that her last experience of running for president wasn’t fun and didn’t end well. She knows that winning the Democratic nomination won’t be as easy as the media now pretend and that the general election will be, at best, a 50-50 proposition. Time points out that Hillary is now “able to dominate discussion of 2016 even as she sails above it.” Of course, the moment she announces, Hillary will no longer be “sailing above it.” It will be all downhill from the announcement. Why bother?
Because there’s so much she wants to accomplish as president, and only she can accomplish those things? No. Hillary has no agenda different from that of other generic Democratic candidates, or for that matter from Barack Obama, the man she would succeed. Hillary’s first term would in reality be Obama’s third. She’d be tinkering with his successes and trying to cope with his failures. Becoming president in 2009 after eight years of dastardly Republican rule, with a chance to make things anew, was an exciting prospect for a liberal. Succeeding the modern liberal president after two terms? Hillary may well decide it’s not worth the candle.
At the Washington Post, John Sides points out why the Democratic nominee, whoever it is, could have a difficult time getting to 270 electoral votes in 2016:
It is far too early to do a formal forecast for 2016. The economic and political conditions in that year will be paramount. But given that at least some in the GOP appear pessimistic as of today, it’s worth asking: If economic and political conditions in 2016 were the same as they are today, what would happen? So assume that Obama’s approval rating is about 41 percent. Assume that GDP has grown 1.6 percent in the first two quarters of 2016. And, of course, no incumbent will be running.
Based on those assumptions, the model predicts that the Republican Party has a 64 percent chance of winning the presidency. That is far from 100 percent, of course. At the same time, it doesn’t suggest much cause for GOP pessimism in January 2014 — maybe even some Democratic pessimism, in fact.
And last year, Scott Rasmussen predicted that neither Hillary nor Chris Christie will be the nominees of their respective parties in 2016.