To the extent there’s any policy issue with the potential to actually scramble the 2016 primary season for Democrats, it’s probably the one that’s scrambling 2014 for them right now: Obamacare. That’s because if the law still isn’t working out as promised in two years time, and if President Obama ends up locked in some sort of agonized struggle with a Republican Congress over various controversial “fixes,” it isn’t clear exactly what the sweet spot for a Democratic candidate in 2016 will be. In Bill Clinton’s recent comments on how the law should be amended to let more people keep their plans, you can see a hint of one tack that his wife might take — essentially focusing on whatever looks like the least popular aspect of the fully-implemented law and promising to fix that. But what if there isn’t an obvious, plausible fix for whatever might still be going wrong? And what if a piecemeal critique of the law from candidate Clinton ends up echoing whatever the G.O.P. talking points of 2015 happen to be? Could she then be attacked effectively as a sellout and a compromiser by a left-wing challenger who essentially campaigns against the insurance industry, and promises that the solution to Obamacare’s faults is the single-payer plan of liberal fantasy?
I still think the answer is, “no, probably not.” But if I were tasked with planning an anti-Hillary insurgency right now, I’d be thinking a lot more about how to pitch Medicare For All than about the exact details of my plan to blow up Wall Street.