An old friend, savvy in the ways of Washington, emails:
I saw the Fox News Sunday “Panel Plus.” Great job as usual, but one thing I think you missed: the possession arrow on the Obama-Hillary lunch. It was Obama not Hillary that needed the lunch and wanted the photo op, not for succession planning, but survival of the remainder of his term.
The more out front Hillary is in the polls, the more Clinton-land will focus on the general and, just like last time, look beyond the primary (a given in their eyes). Also, the Clintons take no risks, so the general plan will be to distance her as much as possible from Obama and Obamacare, foreign policy disasters, deficits and the era of “big government.” In effect, she will run as the independent anti-Obama. The Obama team knows this too, and so they will continue to cleave to Hillary, enlist her, praise her, embrace her as much as possible as long as they can, so that her running room away from Obama is as small as possible.
Simply put, the path to the presidency for Hillary runs right over the Obama legacy. And they know it.