Of course it's too early to talk about 2016. Now that we've gotten that out of the way....
The most interesting dynamic so far is that the Democrats are behaving like Republicans — and vice versa.
Since 1940, with the arguable exception of Barry Goldwater, Republicans have nominated the guy next in line. Thomas Dewey almost beat Wendell Willkie for the nomination in 1940, so in 1944 — and 1948 — it was his turn. Dwight Eisenhower, whom both parties wanted as their nominee, was a special case, given that whole invading-Europe-and-defeating-Hitler thing.
Richard Nixon was Ike's vice president in 1960, and in 1968 Republicans believed he had been the victim of
In 1988, Reagan's VP,
Meanwhile, Democrats tend to favor outsiders: George McGovern in 1972,
On the Democratic side for 2016, the two top-tier candidates are both next-in-liners,
The contrast between the two parties is amazing.
To say that the GOP base has soured on this next-in-line thing is an understatement on par with "Dennis Rodman wouldn't make an ideal baby sitter." Talk to a conservative audience about the "next-in-line" habit and you'll likely hear the sorts of boos and hisses you'd expect at a sports bar when you change the channel to a
Republicans want an outsider, which is why the senators aiming for the nomination —
Meanwhile, it's not clear what the Democrats actually want. They certainly expect Clinton to be the nominee. But should they? She's easily one of the most overrated political talents of the last quarter-century. Both McCain and Romney were hobbled by the fact they couldn't distance themselves from an unpopular GOP president. Having served as Obama's secretary of State (never mind being the "grandmother" of
But given where the country is — and likely will be in 2016 — I'd put my money on the real thing.