Shortly after the 1988 presidential election, pollsters asked
FOR THE RECORD:
Presidents: Doyle McManus’ column on Dec. 12 stated that
was the last president to have also been secretary of State. The last president to have held that position was
Eight years ago, after another election, the pollsters tried again. The front-runners for the 2008 Democratic nomination, they found, were Sens.
It's clear that handicapping a presidential campaign four years in advance is just plain foolish. But will that stop the pollsters? No such luck.
With the dust barely settled from this year's election, voters are already being asked whom they like for 2016, and on the Democratic side, it's a landslide for Clinton, with 61% of Democratic voters favoring her.
And that has produced a wave of predictions from people who ought to know better.
"Every Democrat I know says, 'God, I hope she runs,'"
At least one Republican sounds as if he's ready to throw in the towel.
Gingrich's judgment, unsteady at the best of times, may be colored by his resentment that the GOP didn't make him its nominee. And Carville has been an unabashed Hillary fan ever since he arrived in Little Rock in 1991 to run Bill Clinton's campaign. During her presidential run in 2008, he said, all too memorably, "If she gave [Obama] one of her cojones, they'd both have two."
That doesn't mean the rest of us have to fall for Hillarymania. Yes, she's done a generally estimable job as secretary of State, but the last president to ascend from that springboard was
Besides, it's not clear that Clinton wants to run. Democrats say it's clear that her husband wants her to do it, but she doesn't owe him much deference on a choice like that. She'll be 69 years old on election day 2016, and she has told aides that the two things she wants most at this point are a rest and a grandchild.
And even if she does run, there's no reason to think she'd be unopposed. Here, for what little it's worth, is a list of some possible other contenders:
• Vice President
• At 58 in 2016, New York Gov.
• Two Democratic governors have mused openly about running:
All of them bear watching — but not yet. It's far too early to be thinking about 2016. You'd never catch me doing it.