Even nearly three years out, it’s become “common knowledge” which has been repeated by more folks than you can count. (Including yours truly) Hillary Clinton is going to run for President. How could she not? And assuming she does, she will most certainly win the Democrat nomination. On top of that, she will present a daunting challenge to the GOP candidate, no matter whether the nominee is “establishment” or “grassroots” or from the Planet Ork. But I’m seeing an increasing amount of speculation that perhaps the conventional wisdom is neither. Does she want to spend two more years on the campaign trail to win at least four – if not eight – years in the most stressful job in the world? She’d be around 80 years old when it was over. What if Hillary Clinton just chucks it all and walks away from the American Game of Thrones? And who would rise to fill the Democrats’ power vacuum?

Jim Geraghty shares some conversations he’s had on the subject at the Campaign Spot.

Frankly, I can’t see Beshear mounting any serious, national effort. (Though we did talk about his need to find a new job last week.) He doesn’t exactly have much in the way of the national name recognition beyond the borders of his state he’d need to raise that kind of money. I also don’t see any sort of outcry for him. Besides, he’s a center left Democrat – assuming such still exist – and yet another old white guy… precisely the opposite image the Democrats seem to be hankering for since the hard Left began feeling their oats.

Deval Patrick is an interesting option, though he has the same problem with national identity. Joe Biden would almost certainly be in the mix, but it just feels like he would almost as surely be blown off the stage during the debates (Again). Cory Booker’s name also bubbled up in Geraghty’s conversation, and he does get a lot of face time in the national media, but at this point that looks like a suicide move for the Democrats.

The only person mentioned who seems like a natural fit is Elizabeth Warren. She’s out of the mix by her own declaration, but it’s a fair bet that they only reason she said that was to not step on Clinton’s toes and toss herself into a buzzsaw by challenging the next inevitable candidate. If Hillary were to vanish from the picture, she might be right back in the headlines the next day. And as I mentioned before, that would be pretty good news for the GOP.

Hey… I can dream, can’t I?