Like Allahpundit and Charlie Cook I agree that Hillary Clinton is likely but not guaranteed to run; unlike either I am not convinced that she’s necessarily the front-runner. Typically people who are called the front-runner in these things are not… as Hillary Clinton herself might have ruefully told people in 2008. She actually has three things working against her:
- Her health is indeed an issue. A big one; and it will only become more of one as Hillary Clinton gets older*.
- She is in fact inextricably linked to the Obama administration. This will be neutralized in the primary to a large degree if Joe Biden also runs – he’d be even more linked to the Obama administration** – but if Obama’s numbers continue on the same trajectory that they’re on now then by fall of 2016 ‘part of Barack Obama’s Cabinet’ is not going to be a resume enhancer.
- In 2008 Barack Obama was a 47 year old dude (young for a Presidential candidate) from Chicago who could hammer home a speech and who was eagerly perceived as being, to use an imprecise term, ‘cool.’ In 2016 Hillary Clinton will be a 69 year old woman (old for a Presidential candidate) who is not a particularly good public speaker and who is not cool at all. Maybe Hillary Clinton can match Barack Obama’s 2012 numbers among 18-29 year old voters (she ain’t getting his 2008 numbers). And maybe she can’t. And probably she can’t among young male voters.
None of this is to say that Hillary Clinton can’t win. But I have a whole passel of Republican governors waiting in the back room: most of them are younger, most of them are better at public speaking, and all of them have better job creation records than any member of the Obama administration (God knows it isn’t hard). I know I’m not always right about this stuff… but neither am I always wrong, either. And if the media could reliably hand off elections to Democrats, no matter what, we wouldn’t have won 2010 and we wouldn’t be in a good position to win 2014, either.
*No, that’s not an unkind observation. An unkind observation would involve mentioning the phrase ‘high-definition televisions.’
**I wrote that out originally as ‘the Obamacare administration.’ …Hell of a job with the branding there, GOP. Hell of a job.