The important aspect of Bill Clinton’s performance during the campaign was that he built up an extensive list of IOUs from Democrats — including the number one Democrat Barack Obama. This will certainly play into Hillary’s musings as she contemplates a run in 2016.
But despite the large upside to running for president that she sees, there are also compelling reasons why Hillary Clinton may eschew a run for office that also make sense and could eventually sway her decision.
What will the Democratic brand be like by 2015? If the economy plunges into another recession, the GOP may be blamed initially, but no one can predict what the political landscape might look like in a few years. Then there is the implementation of Obamacare, which is going to cause massive confusion and unhappiness among the electorate. The Democrats will not be able to blame Republicans for writing bad legislation, and the resulting chaos might poison the well for any Democratic candidate in 2016.
There is the possibility that other, more liberal candidates might emerge that would excite the party base and throw a monkey wrench into her plans — as Obama did in 2008. That would be a nightmare scenario for Hillary, and before making the plunge, she may consider who else would throw their hat in the ring. Would Andrew Cuomo be a serious rival? The New York governor currently enjoys sky-high approval ratings and is being seriously mentioned as a potential candidate. Protecting her left flank might be a priority for Clinton if she wants to make a run.
Finally, Hillary Clinton has the same problem that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has — her name. How reluctant is the electorate to revisit the acrimony and political battles of the Bush-Clinton era? By 2016, there would have been only one election in 24 years without a Bush or Clinton running for president. The impact on the party faithful as well as the general electorate would be a wild card that she may decide would be too costly to play.
Obviously, there are other variables she will have to consider; her health and the health of her husband would be one. Other personal issues may prevent her from running. But whatever she decides, Hillary Clinton is not going to fade away like an old soldier. You can bet she will maintain her position as a force in Democratic politics — and the politics of the nation — for many years to come.