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.
*Sorry about that.