Soon, no Clintons for President
There’s been a Clinton running for the White House or living in it for approximately forever. Bill, it could be said, was born to run. Running became Hillary’s destiny, too.
One quarter of Americans have never known life without a Clinton trying for or having the presidency. Millions have gone from diapers to diplomas in the time of the Clintons.
When Hillary finally exits the 2008 Democratic presidential race, she will end a decades-long, power-couple streak of unique political energy, savvy ideas, colossal policy flops and raw ambition dressed in pants suits and briefs, not boxers.
“Every day is an adventure,” Bill said cheerfully at the start of it all. And how.
By now, the Clintons have been assigned mystical qualities of perseverance. The notion that the adventure is over is almost beyond comprehension.
“I never quit,” she says. “I never give up.”
Even in defeat, Hillary has made history as the first woman favoured for a major party presidential nomination the first with a real shot at the presidency.
She’s gotten more than 17 million votes in her own right this year, enticingly close to the number won by Barack Obama, who is making history, too, because he’s black.
With her cachet, not to mention her job in the Senate, Hillary won’t drift far from the nation’s consciousness. (Nor is Bill likely to get out of the country’s face.)
“Whatever else you might say about them, they have contributed to substantive dialogue and policy,” says Mary Matalin, a Clinton-era Republican strategist. “Hats off to them substantively.
“They’re really kind of giants in this world.”
In the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaign years, Hillary, now 60, will still be younger than the Republican candidate, John McCain, is now. Meantime, she could become a powerhouse senator in the manner of the stricken Edward M. Kennedy. Or a Supreme Court justice. Or Obama’s running mate.
Soon, though, there will be no Clinton running for president or about to. Imagine that.