What should Hillary fear?

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.

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