Three reasons why Hillary shouldn’t run in 2016

Brandon J. Gaylord Editor-in-Chief, HorseRacePolitics.com
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If the next Presidential Election were held tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would be the clear favorite. She holds modest, yet consistent leads over the best polling Republican candidate, Chris Christie, and often posts double digit leads over other potential Republican candidates such as Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. On the other hand, if Vice President Joe Biden were the Democratic nominee, Republicans would be favored to win the White House.

Given Clinton’s lifelong political ambition, it would be shocking if she were to pass up the opportunity to become president. That being said, if she were to sit down and make a list of pros and cons, there are some convincing reasons that might make her think twice before running.

Her legacy is intact

Clinton has come a long way since the Hillarycare debacle. After finishing her tenure as first lady, Hillary put together eight years of solid service as the United States senator from New York. She handled her disappointing 2008 presidential run with class and was rewarded with an appointment as Secretary of State.

The one recent blemish on Clinton’s record is Benghazi, yet, her favorability ratings are still solidly over 50% despite months of negative stories. If she were to ride off into the sunset at this point in her career, history would likely treat her favorably. Traditional media would applaud her as the most successful female politician in American history. The glowing miniseries is already underway.

The next decade will be rough

The American electorate is hesitant to elect the same political party to three consecutive terms as President. Despite Clinton’s current lead in the polls, it could be a different story after America sits through three more years of a Democratic administration.

If winning three straight terms for a party is difficult, then getting two members of the same party elected to consecutive four-year terms is virtually impossible. The last time it happened? James Monroe in 1820.

As post-World War II recessions tend to occur roughly every five years, Ms. Clinton is looking at a high likelihood that the economy will begin contracting either at the end of President Obama’s second term – which would significantly hurt her ability to get elected – or sometime during her first term. Neither is good news. Either way she will face a tough economic situation and voters will be less likely to cut her slack because her party has already had eight years to turn the economy around.

Other issues such as the increasing debt, administration of the new healthcare law, and Medicare’s impending insolvency could derail her administration. Due to redistricting in the house, and the natural Republican advantage in the Senate, she would likely face these issues with a divided government.

Quality of life:

While the Clintons have never shied away from political opportunities, age will certainly be a factor in 2016. Hillary will be 69 years and 3 months old on inauguration day and Bill will be 70 years and 5 months old. Another eight years will take them through the better part of their seventies. Given Hillary’s recent heath issues and Bill’s earlier heart problems, it’s not inconceivable that they may just want to finally start enjoying life after politics.

Retirement for Hillary would be a good gig. She could serve on blue ribbon bipartisan panels of her choosing, while being seen as the respected elder voice of the party. The workload would go down significantly and her reputation would only go up.

Ultimately, the decision will come down to Hillary’s confidence in herself. Hillarycare failed for a reason, as did her campaign in 2008. If she truly believes she can be elected in 2016 and win re-election in 2020 — all while being seen by history as an effective President — she will very likely run. If the stress of another campaign, a weak economy, and the thought of spending her seventies working 24/7 are too much, then she may decide to withdraw from the field as a winner.