Clinton for president 2016. I thought this up during a bout of insomnia last night. The question was, “What’s Bill Clinton up to?” That question has been raised by any number of pundits in the wake of several comments made by the former president during the recent campaign season. In one case Mr. Clinton apparently praised Mitt Romney, stating that Mr. Romney had a “stellar business career.” Next he suggested that extending the Bush tax cuts beyond the end of this year would be a good idea. Both these statements are off message to the Obama campaign. Mr. Clinton backed off a bit the following day, but the question remains: what the heck is going on?
Some people believe Bill is getting ready to promote a run by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016. But Ms. Clinton has stated repeatedly that she intends to retire from politics after the 2012 election. And a run in 2016 is problematic no matter which way this November’s election goes. If Mr. Romney wins, Ms. Clinton would face him while he’s running for a second term. Challengers in situations like this are at a significant disadvantage, especially since Republicans are notoriously adept at winning second terms. (Since 1932, two Democratic presidents have won second terms: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. Republicans have four two-term presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon (won second term, then resigned), Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.) If President Obama wins, the Democratic nomination will be up for grabs in 2016, meaning Ms. Clinton would have to endure another round of primary fights. After 2008, she may not have the stomach for that grueling activity.
But here’s an interesting idea. Chelsea Clinton was born on February 27, 1980. She will be 35 in 2015, just in time for the 2016 election cycle. The Constitution says you have to be 35 years old to hold the office. But there’s no age limit on running for the office. Can you see a Clinton – Clinton ticket in 2016? My wife thinks it would be Hillary for president and Chelsea for vice-president. But I believe there’s an even more interesting possibility: Chelsea for president and Bill for veep.