Sen. John McCain floated a theory last week about the bromance. The Arizona Republican, in a conference call for the Romney campaign Tuesday, told reporters that there are “some that think this may have a lot to do with 2016 and the president’s wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Of course, I would never suspicion such a thing, but there are some real jerks around who think that might be the case.”

I am one of those jerks. I don’t subscribe to the prevailing theory that Clinton’s efforts to boost Obama are about solidifying his own legacy. Clinton is a shrewd strategist, and he surely must have grasped that it is highly unlikely that Hillary Clinton, or any other Democrat, will win in 2016 if Obama does not win in 2012.

This is, as Obama likes to say in another context, just a matter of math. By just about all accounts, the U.S. economy will be dramatically stronger in 2016 than it is today, and an economy growing at a healthy clip almost always means victory for the incumbent party — whichever party that is…

Her campaign theme is already being prepared by her husband, who is establishing that the expansion of the next four years will be attributable to Clintonian methods. “We created 22 million new jobs and turned deficits into surpluses,” Clinton says in his new ad for Obama. “President Obama’s got it right. We should invest in the middle class, education and innovation, and pay down our debt with spending restraint and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. Sound familiar?”