I suspect that no one–possibly even Hillary herself–has any idea whether or not she’s actually going to run for president. 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. (Also, as Mickey Kaus points out, this is kind of what Clintons do.)
But it’s worth thinking through the motivations and logistics of running from her side of the equation. Because when you do, it’s not at all clear that her candidacy is a foregone conclusion.
So if you’re Hillary Clinton, what do you get out of running?
[specific reasons why Hillary won’t run: She might win…but then; She could lose; she might not get the nomination, humiliated again, etc.]
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. (Indeed, at 69, the presidency would be her first job as an executive.) 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.
Finally there’s this: Even if Hillary were to become president, it seems likely that her chief task would be fighting a rearguard action to defend Obamacare. And this would be decidedly not nifty. And not just because it’s a policy she had nothing to do with–but because as the de facto champion of Obamacare, she’ll become the locus of all opposition while her predecessor–for whom she never seems to have had any affection–rides off into the sunset and embarks on his post-presidential career of public love.
Some journalist, in a lapsed moment, might ask, “Mrs. Clinton, why you want to be president?” That was the question that killed Ted Kennedy’s chances of ever being president.
Read the whole thing.