Anthony Weiner will almost certainly be long gone, forgotten, or irrelevant when and if Hillary Clinton runs for president. But even if the Weiner problem doesn’t’ linger, the episode highlights two challenges that Hillary Clinton 2016 will face. The first is how she will dispel the drama question that attends her family name and present herself afresh, and the second is whether the drama of the kind kicked up by Weiner gives her pause about running again.
The issue lurking behind Clinton drama is really one of Clinton fatigue. Presidential campaigns, like Christmas, seem to come earlier every year. With Hillary Clinton as a possible candidate, this has exacerbated the trend. She is a popular subject and she would be the most viable female candidate ever. So CNN just announced that it has contracted a documentary of her life. NBC has a miniseries in the works. Both ventures are literally banking that Clinton will run for president. Sure, it’s 90 degrees outside, but might as well put up the lights. The problem with this trend is that by the time a candidacy actually rolls around, everyone will be thoroughly sick of the enterprise. The tree will be a collection of needles at the base of some scrawny branches.
President Obama was the most fresh-faced candidate in modern times. He was biracial, had an unfamiliar background, and said interesting things. Now Democrats are lining up to nominate the most encrusted candidate in a long time. Hillary Clinton has been at the center of two political trends: the feeding frenzy media that cares less and less about substance and the rise in partisanship that has targeted the Clinton, Bush, and Obama presidencies with a special intensity. That can be wearying as the press obsesses over familiar ground and as new episodes like the Weiner unpleasantness allow the press and elites to indulge their Hillary obsessions.