Weekly Standard: Hillary Candidacy Not a Done Deal

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 01:20 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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There's a decent chance that Hillary Clinton will not run for president in 2016, according to columnist Jonathan V. Last, writing in The Weekly Standard.

"It's not at all clear that her candidacy is a foregone conclusion … For starters, what if she ran and lost? Losing a campaign for president can be hard on a person," Last says.

"If Hillary runs and gets beat by the Most Dangerous Republican in American History — and rest assured, whoever wins the GOP nomination will be so radical that he'll make Ted Cruz, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Barry Goldwater look moderate — she'll be a two-time presidential loser.

"And she'll be blamed for putting her selfishness and dynastic longings ahead of the good of the nation.''

Urgent:
Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

Should she go down in defeat, Last believes Democrats would turn on the former first lady and secretary of state, demanding to know why she "held the party hostage.''

"They'll ask why she didn't step aside to let younger, more progressive voices be heard. She'll be damaged goods," Last says. "And that assumes that she wins the nomination. Which, as the last few Democratic nominating contests show, is never a sure thing.

"If she lost the nomination, then she becomes Ted Kennedy, but without the Senate seat: just a totem from a bygone dream.''

Last says that even if Clinton captured the White House, the job comes with perils.

"By Election Day 2016, there could easily be 53 GOP senators and 240 Republicans in the House. The GOP will have a bunch of Senate seats to defend then, but unless Hillary finds herself riding an electoral wave, she'd face the prospect of governing a narrowly divided country with a hostile Congress," Last says.

"She'll be 69 year old, which isn't bad except that it means she'd be 73 when she stood for re-election. And what would she do with the presidency? Throughout her political career, there's never been much evidence that Clinton had deep, specific ideas about governing ...

"She's committed to the vague idea of women's rights. Her leanings are, for the most part, liberal, but there's no obvious driving idea behind why she would want to be president. Except for the fact that she would like to be president.''

Last also believes Clinton herself doesn't yet know whether she'll run for the Democratic nomination.

"For the moment, all that she likely knows is that it's in her best interest to at least act like she's going to run," he says.

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

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