Monday, December 10, 2012

The coronation, again

AS RONALD REAGAN would surely say, "There they go again." As you've probably noted by now, the political media has already called the 2016 presidential election: It'll be Hillary Clinton by a landslide. The sheer ridiculousness of this prediction is self-evident. What we can say is that the pressure on Hillary to run is enormous, and will only increase next year when she steps down as secretary of state. And yes, as the near certain Democratic front-runner, Clinton would probably be a formidable candidate in 2016 if -- and that's a big if -- she chooses to run. That, of course, doesn't mean she would win, let alone cruise to victory. Lest we forget, Hillary was all but coronated Madam President until a fellow named Obama flexed his ambitions. And yet, as Howard Kurtz rightly notes, the media seem to believe that all Clinton has to do now is "plan her inauguration." Kurtz outlines what's missing from these stories: "(a) She is largely insulated from partisan attacks as secretary of State. If Hillary gets in the arena, she’ll start getting pummeled and those approval ratings will come down. (b) Even if Barack Obama is popular in 2016, asking the voters for three Democratic terms in a row is going to be a heavy lift. (c) Hillary was a lousy candidate in 2008, when the press also pronounced her inevitable. (d) She will be 69 and may decide not to run. So why are so many writing and chattering about Hillary Rodham Clinton four years out? She’s good for traffic—and is a heckuva lot more interesting than the fiscal cliff." Will Hillary run? Maybe. But I'll believe it when she actually pulls the trigger.

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