Is Hillary too old to run?

posted at 6:41 pm on February 14, 2014 by Allahpundit

What better way to spend a slow Friday afternoon than with some uninformed 2016 navel-gazing?

To answer the question: No, she’s not too old. But that’s not the relevant question.

Is Hillary Clinton really a 100 percent lock to run? I think it is a pretty good bet, maybe 70 percent chance or so; but that also means there is an approximately 30 percent chance that she doesn’t throw her hat in the ring. The current political environment certainly argues on behalf of a Clinton run, and it would be very difficult—but not impossible—for anyone to beat her for the nomination. However, these choices can never be considered 100 percent political decisions. Clinton turns 67 this October. At that age, she will likely be making her candidacy decision, and if nominated Clinton would turn 69 two weeks before the 2016 general election, notably the same age Ronald Reagan was when he was first elected in 1980. The choice to run for president is effectively a nine-year commitment: one year to run, another four years if she wins a first term—finishing up that term at age 73—and then, assuming she runs for reelection and wins, serving four more years to end a second term at 77 years of age. None of this is to say that the age issue could successfully be used against her. After all, Reagan won the presidency at the same age. But how many 67-year-olds make nine-year commitments, and what concerns have to be addressed if they do?…

A law school friend of the Clintons’ put it to me this way to me last year: “If Bill and Hillary are healthy, she will run,” a subtle reminder to me that her husband will be 70 by Election Day 2016, having already gone through quadruple cardiac bypass surgery and two heart stents. He looks healthy, as she now does, but it does remind us that these are team efforts, and how they both are doing is relevant to the equation. When the 30 percent guestimate of her chance of passing up a race was run by a former senior Clinton staffer, the response was something to the effect of, “That sounds about right.”

Age won’t hurt her. If anything, it buoys up her core campaign pitch: She’s been around Washington for 25 years, she knows where the bodies are buried, and she’ll advance her agenda more effectively than the political parvenu who beat her in 2008 ever did. Are you an independent who mostly agrees with Democrats but got tired of Obama leading his initiatives into oblivion? Then the Clintons have just the candidate for you. If she can do another two years on the famously grueling presidential campaign trail, she’ll defeat all doubt that she’s physically up to the job.

And even if her health is poorer than we know, she might go for it anyway. A possibility that no one’s considering, including Charlie Cook in the excerpt above: What if she runs resolved (privately, not publicly) to serve only one term? Hillary doesn’t have some long policy wishlist that she’s burning to enact; even now, more than 20 years after the fact and despite her constant presence in the upper tiers of government, the only policy she’s closely associated with is the HillaryCare failure in Bill’s first term. She’s an icon not because of her ideas but because her public life is a sort of album of post-war feminist advances — accomplished lawyer stifled by the traditional trophy-ish role of First Lady runs for office and proves herself the equal of America’s most powerful legislators and diplomats. She won’t be running to kickstart some sort of new liberal revolution, nor do Democrats necessarily want her to. She’ll be running to become the first woman president and Democrats will back her because she’s their best chance to extend the party’s grip on the presidency for four more years, a would-be Bush 41 to Obama’s Reagan. Bill ended George H.W. Bush’s dream of four consecutive presidential terms for Republicans; if Hillary wins in 2016, she may see a lesson in that and decide not to press her luck by trying again in 2020. She wants to be a historical figure and she’s well positioned to do it. Why not do it then quit while you’re on top? Mission accomplished.


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Age won’t hurt her. If anything, it buoys up her core campaign pitch: She’s been around Washington for 25 years, she knows where the bodies are buried,

That is only because she did the burying.

Theophile on February 15, 2014 at 5:06 AM

accomplished lawyer stifled by the traditional trophy-ish role of First Lady

An “accomplished” lawyer? What did Hillary ever accomplish as a lawyer? She was fired from her first job as a lawyer for a congressman, for being dishonest and unethical. Then she flunked the D.C. bar exam. And the only reason she was considered “influential” as a lawyer in Arkansas was because she was able to use her husband’s position and power as governor to steer state business to her firm’s clients.

Hillary was about as “accomplished” a woman lawyer as Michelle Obama (also fired from her first lawyer job) was. IOW, the stories about both of them being great lawyers is pure MSM-generated bull$hit.

AZCoyote on February 15, 2014 at 6:05 AM

Liberals often badmouth about conservatives by derisively calling them a bunch of “old, white men.”

bluegill on February 14, 2014 at 7:07 PM

I think many that do this think it’s ‘cute’–a way to show that the speaker is ‘ahead of the curve’ and not passé. But all they are really doing is acting out their own petty bigotries.

zoyclem on February 15, 2014 at 6:24 AM

Hillary is ageless. She doesn’t look like she’s aged a day since she was Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. If anybody has the ability to transform us into an empire, it’s Palpa… uh her.
I’d keep the hood up though. For photo ops anywho.
Sith b#tch.

onomo on February 15, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Is Hillary too old to run?

The “press” would certainly think so if she were a Republican.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 15, 2014 at 8:32 AM

I would like to see her in the 100yd dash against any repub candidate.

tim c on February 15, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Lots of smart people don’t spend their time getting into the weeds on politics like you and me. Our side has a formula to reach those voters. We lie through our teeth to them.

HonestLib on February 14, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Edited to reflect reality.

Del Dolemonte on February 15, 2014 at 10:54 AM

accomplished lawyer stifled by the traditional trophy-ish role of First Lady

An “accomplished” lawyer? What did Hillary ever accomplish as a lawyer? She was fired from her first job as a lawyer for a congressman, for being dishonest and unethical. Then she flunked the D.C. bar exam. And the only reason she was considered “influential” as a lawyer in Arkansas was because she was able to use her husband’s position and power as governor to steer state business to her firm’s clients.

Hillary was about as “accomplished” a woman lawyer as Michelle Obama (also fired from her first lawyer job) was. IOW, the stories about both of them being great lawyers is pure MSM-generated bull$hit.

AZCoyote on February 15, 2014 at 6:05 AM

Very well said, AZCoyote.

Hillary Clinton’s — and largely also Michelle Obama’s — alleged “popularity” based upon (fill in the blank here with any Leftwing cultish favoritism adjective) — is manufactured by spokesources (Leftmedia, press releases, otherwise known as “hype”).

Notice the reality of their character/s is never addressed by Leftmedia. Not a peep about the reality of who these two are.

Lourdes on February 15, 2014 at 2:20 PM

No one can beat her…

TheReasonableLiberal on February 15, 2014 at 1:37 AM

In other words, she’s a giant lizard attacking port cities and no amount of objection by the population can stop her?

Lourdes on February 15, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Hillary Clinton’s — and largely also Michelle Obama’s — alleged “popularity” based upon (fill in the blank here with any Leftwing cultish favoritism adjective) — is manufactured by spokesources (Leftmedia, press releases, otherwise known as “hype”).

Notice the reality of their character/s is never addressed by Leftmedia. Not a peep about the reality of who these two are.

Lourdes on February 15, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Devastating takedown yesterday of the Democrat Media by the conservative outlet that published the Hillary Papers last week…

The Hillary Papers and the Death of the Mainstream Media

When the Free Beacon published “The Hillary Papers” last Sunday night, we knew the story would have to cross a high bar. The piece was scrupulously fact-checked. All of the documents we cited were loaded onto the Internet. Every effort was made to present as straightforwardly as possible the contents of the papers, which show Hillary Clinton as hardheaded, calculating, and, yes, ruthless. (Re-read the part where she axes a Supreme Court appointment out of spite.)

What I did not expect was that the media would undergo such a tortured and dramatic breakdown, would struggle so laboriously to acknowledge the scoop while schizophrenically downplaying its importance. That a conservative online newspaper could have understood the significance of the archive, and actually examined its public contents, seemed too much an embarrassment for the staffs of the major newspapers and networks and magazines to bear. By being the first to report on the papers, the Free Beacon exposed the inanity and irrelevance of the mainstream media. We beat them. And they are sore losers.

The very fact that the story appeared on the Free Beacon prompted journalists to append elaborate, silly, and inaccurate qualifiers to their reporting on our findings. In various outlets the WFB was called “relatively obscure,” “conservative,” “ultra-conservative,” and an “anti-Clinton website,” in order to make it easier for liberals to dismiss the story altogether. The case of CNN is demonstrative. The network wrote that a “conservative website”—guilty as charged—was “claiming” to have found documents shedding new light on Hillary Clinton’s years as first lady. “Claim” was an unusual choice of words, since the documents in the story were all on FreeBeacon.com. Then CNN reduced the fascinating and novelistic details contained in our 3,408-word article to a slug-line: Clinton once called Monica Lewinsky a “narcissistic loony toon.” Later CNN “authenticated” the WFB story, giving it, one assumes, a stamp of approval—which CNN is free to have back.

Read the whole thing.

Del Dolemonte on February 15, 2014 at 4:26 PM

what about those “seizures” and fainting spells
she had and delayed her Benghazi testimony

or her ptsd over Bosnian snipers.

or her paranoia over vast right wing conspiracy

or her STRESS over slick willies adventures in the secretarial pool

sniffles1999 on February 15, 2014 at 6:00 PM

She wants to be a historical figure and she’s well positioned to do it. Why not do it then quit while you’re on top? Mission accomplished.

Because no President quits voluntarily just because they want to leave on top. That’s just silly. If you have the most powerful job in the world, why would you want to give that up? Plus, Hilary has wanted to be President her whole life so there is no way that she would just quit half way through.

SoulGlo on February 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Fugly.

thejackal on February 17, 2014 at 2:41 AM

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