"Brilliant people get away with a lot in the Clinton world"

What the profile of the Clinton Foundation clarified is that Hillary Clinton would enter the White House with all the complications of a two-term president — at the end of her eight years. Ponder the trajectory of recent two-termers: early popularity, signature achievements, scandals, and fatigued voters ready to see them go. Plus a whole universe of orbiting loyalists with long memories.

As first lady, Hillary Clinton went through it all. It’s especially easy to see why she would now place a high value on loyalty. But is it healthy for a new president to be so surrounded by battle-hardened loyalists? Would the surfeit of loyalists she’s accumulated displace the hiring of staffers who would bring needed outside perspectives and also the newbie’s focus on advancing the country rather than Team Hillary?

She’d also enter the White House knowing how to manipulate the levers of power. Experience was part of the case she made for herself in 2008, and after Foggy Bottom, she has even more of it. In many ways, that’s a good thing, but one needn’t look very far back to see its dark side. Dick Cheney’s familiarity with the levers of power enabled him to sneakily exercise too much of it. The problem wasn’t just that he was vice president. Long experience taught him how to aggregate maximum power in the executive branch. Is that the sort of vice that would temp Hillary Clinton?