The truly ironic storyline of 2016 is that the fate of President Obama’s legacy may now be in the hands of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Great Presidents yield electoral victory to their Party after their tenure is complete. Think of the popular 20th century Presidents or consider those we have cut into granite, each have safely delivered the Presidency to a political friend. This is as much causal as it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, since a successor can cement gains (Obamacare) the other party strives to undo. Hillary Clinton is not simply in the best position to do this; she may be only one who can keep the White House in Democratic hands.
The story of the Clintons is not one of a linear path, rather a series of recoveries marked by a steady diet of crippling defeats. I say the Clintons, because they have been and very much are a political team (the Abigail and John Adams of our era). Hillary’s strength in 2016 greatly exceeds her early advantage in 2008, but can she successfully reengage the white blue-collar Democrats of the rust belt and Appalachia without the disillusionment of Obama’s coalition of moderate-liberals, millennials, and socially conservative black Americans? Her support runs the risk of being an inch deep and a mile wide.
It is important to state that no one procures the Presidency prior to their campaign; like a heavy favorite on the gridiron, the game must still be won. And no one fumbles on the one as reliably as the Clintons. The Clintons’ strategy of when to play strong Hillary and/or compassionate Hillary will set the tone for the Democratic primaries. The choice of when to release the Big Dog to stave off the inevitable scandal may be the political play that defines the entire election. Bill Clinton is like the Ring of Power; he can help you elude your problems and keep you alive, but you’ll feel cold and alone afterwards.