Hillary ain’t inevitable.

Politico asks a question: what if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run in 2016?

“We would be at sea in a lifeboat with no food, no water, and no land in sight,” said one veteran Democratic operative who has worked on presidential campaigns, and who, like most people interviewed for this story, asked for anonymity to speak candidly about the former first lady. “There is no Plan B.”

…but I have a more interesting question: what if Hillary Clinton doesn’t get the nomination in the first place? Remember, Clinton was inevitable in 2008, too – only to be finessed out of the nomination by the Platonic Ideal of The Shiny Object. In 2016 she will not be a Shiny Object herself – Politico to the contrary. She will instead be a former Senator and Secretary of State who is approaching 70: her actual job performance ranges from ‘uninteresting’ to ‘checkered,’ and we have had eight years already of ‘historic.’  Americans periodically get tired of ‘historic,’ and prove eager for another stretch of ‘boring, yet profitable.’  2016 promises to be a year where they might express that attitude.

But Clinton’s real problem will be that the core of the same organization that did that finessing in the 2008 primary will probably be working for… Vice President Joe Biden; who has himself been doing a lot of quiet, behind the scenes negotiating and back-slapping in anticipation of the primary.  You see, Joe Biden – God help us all – still wants to be President. But if he doesn’t do it now, he doesn’t do it at all. And before you dismiss Joe… there’s that organization, which is largely comprised of people who targeted Hillary Clinton pretty viciously in 2008.  Think she’s forgotten that, let alone forgiven it? No? Me, neither.  There’s also the individual state party infrastructures themselves, which are still being generally ignored even though they were key to Barack Obama’s 2008 win.  Whether they can be used to mess up Hillary Clinton’s life again will be only determined when the Democratic party announces their nomination system for 2016, which I do not think that they have yet done.

Bottom line is: I understand why Ed Morrissey is assuming that the primary* question is whether Hillary runs; I just don’t entirely agree with him.

Moe Lane

*Sorry about that.

6 thoughts on “Hillary ain’t inevitable.”

  1. It’s far too early for anyone to be inevitable at this point. We have no idea what the issues will be two or three years from now. All kinds of things could happen. Someone who’s barely on the radar now could make a big splash. I wouldn’t bet against Clinton, but she’s far from inevitable.

    1. We have no idea what the issues will be two or three years from now. All kinds of things could happen.
      Wrap your head around this: For any of several reasons, Joe Biden might be running in 2016 as the incumbent.

  2. I can’t hear anyone use the word ‘inevitable’ without flashing to the scene in Team America: World Police where Kim Jong Il has trouble pronouncing it.

  3. It’s worth noting that the Clintons acquired the archives of the DLC.. that was Bubba’s “third way” outfit, equal to Obama’s OfA, back when he finessed his way onto the ballot and into Monica’s .. erm .. into the White House.
    Hillary has a rolodex that’s quite equal to Biden’s, if she’s prepared to use it….

  4. Slow Joe’s no prize either, of course. Just the fact that he’ll celebrate his 74th birthday November 2016 seems like pretty close to a deal-breaker. Regan was (nearly) 70 when he took office, and there were some calls that he was too old to be president.


    As for Hillary, as you suggest, there are probably at least a few ugly secrets from her time as SecState (Bengazi-related or otherwise) in the hands of those not sympathetic to her candidacy that it could get very ugly in the primaries.


    So I’m thinking it will be somebody else who ends up with the Donk nomination in 2016 (maybe one of the also-rans from 2008, like Bayh or Vislack?) There’s still 2+ years of the Obama administration to go, with an increasingly unsympathetic press to deal with. Who can say who’s going to emerge unscathed from that mess?

  5. I don’t think it will be either. They’re too old and too connected to Obama. I think it will be one of the Dem’s less than stellar Governors.
    Andrew Cuomo or O’Malley will compete for the Anti-Gun vote.
    Schweitzer will be the moderate ( like John McCain) if Obama becomes really unpopular and unlike the above two, he actually has a decent record to run on. He’s pro-gun however and will get savaged in the Primary for that alone. He also has a cowboy persona and will perhaps remind the Left too much of Bush. That being said Bush got conservatives on his side because of one issue, his tax plan. Schweitzer will get progressives because of his continual and consistent criticism of Obamacare and advocacy of Canadian Style Single Payer.

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