That Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016 is to some extent a foregone conclusion, her supporters long ago having closed their eyes to her gigantic flaws as they click their heels together hoping that it will someday again be 1993. As much as I am buoyed by the possibility of Joe Biden getting in the race and by Bernie Sanders' picking Hillary apart from the left, the answer seems baked in at this point from the Democratic side, leaving us with the now 17 strong Republican field to provide any real mystery for the politically news-starved.
It is the size of that field that interests me today, and its "free market" connotations. Here's what I mean. In the 1992 election, George H.W. Bush looked like a sure thing, riding high from ridiculous numbers gained as a result of the victory in Iraq and what appeared to be his able stewardship of the country. The free market--as expressed by the Democrat field in that year--judged him as too strong a candidate to take on, and some of the lions of the party sat out the election, including Cuomo and Kennedy. This opened the way for a talented young Governor from Arkansas who made the most of an economy that went into the tank and an "inevitable" opponent caught flat-footed by the events of the day.
As I look at 2016 developing and see 17 intelligent Republicans vying for the nomination (and whatever you think of them, they are at the very least, intelligent), I am reminded of that "free market" again. Only this time, the market is responding against the prevailing wisdom of Hillary's inevitability, at least where the general election is concerned. The "market" is speaking, and it is saying--no, screaming--that Hillary is beatable. Very beatable. Which is something I have been saying about Hillary for some time now.
Watch her CNN interview from yesterday. Having hand-selected this first real interviewer from among the wedding guests at a senior aide's nuptials two weeks ago, Mrs. Clinton was handed a series of un-followed-up softballs and STILL managed to come off as untrustworthy and evasive. She has absolutely none of the likability of her husband and all of his untrustworthiness. This is not a formula for great electoral success.
Democrats have hitched their wagons to this breathing offense to truth and honesty, who lies to us with a straight face and expects the willing press corps to act as co-conspirators. So far, with success. It will be interesting to see the extent to which the press is able to sublimate its professional duties and interests to serve its aggregated individual political preferences.