Say Goodbye to Hillary 2

    Sitting here contemplating the future as I was told I can't predict, and that those premonitions of 2016 are ageist and sexist.

    Will Hugo Chavez die before his inauguration 6 days away? Well, he's had an amazing journey, and he's only 58, so it would be wrong of me to predict. Just because he had cancer & 4 major operations in the last 2 years and is now clinging on in a respirator after severe lung infection - well, who knows?

    Obama's turned quite gray in his 4 years in office, as did Bill Clinton & George Bush, but it's not the stress and demands of the office - it's just happenstance and coincidence, and actually he started turning grey on the campaign trail 2008 - but shouldn't be mistaken as an issue for those running for president.

    Meanwhile, Hillary's out of the hospital and at home, seems to be recovering fine, and can focus on not running for president


    But when pressed on whether that her future includes a widely-speculated 2016 run for president, Clinton maintains that she still does not plan to run.

    "I've said I really don't believe that that's something I will do again," she said. "I am so grateful I had the experience of doing it before."

    That of course was before she went into the hospital, and nothing focuses your energy on a presidential run like a month-long bout with medical issues. Ready to give up those half a million globetrotting frequent flyer miles and focus on an easier 2 years of hopping from town to town, greasy diner to Kiwanis Club to baby's butt to 8am talk show to cross-country flight, all while cameras are waiting for a sign of a tear or fatigue or Sarajevo screwup or just a goofy face.

    So who knows - McCain only came in 7 points behind as a 72-year-old, and Raul Castro is still ruling Cuba - probably running laps around Chavez as I write this, but then again, he may become the only president sworn in via coma - so whatever's in the cards, lay 'em all out.

    Only thing is, just in case Hillary doesn't run, do we have any idea of another Democrat worth electing? After this last bout of fiscal cliff diving, I'm just curious whether getting a clear-cut victory and practical benefit in any political bout is just a thing of my nostalgic past or whether there's some hope for the future. Guess I'm getting old.

    [PS - while I was rather enthusiastic about Hillary in 2008, the idea that she's still the best there is in 2016, when I can't figure out anything truly remarkable she did in the last 4 years aside from opening up Burma and getting a blind dissident out of China.... I guess once we've decided to stay the anti-terror Mideast-only course, there's not a lot of leeway for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.]

    [PPS - and it seems the less Hillary runs, the more popular she gets. Who knows, she may become Mother Theresa yet, or can start her own popular "Where the Hell is Hillary"]


    Only thing is, just in case Hillary doesn't run, do we have any idea of another Democrat worth electing?

    Maybe Barney Frank wants the interim Senate seat to jumpstart a run for the presidency.

    Frank would be 76 at the start of his presidency. In his case, age would be a valid issue. (Yeah, I know you were joking.)

    I know some people will say its too soon to discuss this when we've just had an election and Obama hasn't even been sworn in. But assuming Hillary runs, wins and is re-elected, isn't this the time for us to begin considering who will run in 2024?

    Subtle difference between who can run and who can hide. Maybe we can have a Democratic model backbone by 2024...

    Alan Grayson looks good to me for '24.

    He'll be a bit gray as well - 67 a month after inauguration. You guys seem to like old leaders. Thought this was the domain of the Supreme Court & a few Senators-for-life.

    Name somebody young who looks good.

    I'd go for Sherrod Brown, but he's 60 and a grandpa.  Terribly unqualified.

    If he/she starts to look frazzled and makes trips to the hospital, I tend to be concerned. Typically afflictions in one's 60's are much more serious than in one's 40's or 50's. Back in WWII it was considered okay to cover up serious presidential illness. So FDR made it 2 1/2 months into his 4th term, even though he was only 63. Guess it's ageist of me to point that out.

    Hillary was in and out of the hospital; FDR had serious chronic health problems.

    But again, name somebody young who fits the bill for you.  Who should it be?

    For 2016? Grayson, Al Franken, Sherrod Brown as you note. Not a terribly diverse gang, but in the end, only need 1 decent candidate.

    We'll see what Hillary's updated health prospectus looks by early 2015 when the real decision point happens.

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