I've yet to meet a Republican in Washington who doesn't believe that Hillary Clinton is already the Democratic nominee. Why, I wonder? My thoughts in the Sunday Times today:
The more cynical Republicans even believe that a third Clinton term if you count the two in the 1990s would be good for their party. They don’t believe Clinton would lead to a major shift from the status quo. She’s far too cautious, they think, to pull out of Iraq and stigmatise the Republican occupation as unnecessary and a mistake. She’s too conventional to do anything but tinker with climate change. They know some kind of expansion of the healthcare welfare state is inevitable and with Clinton they can score more political capital off it if it leads to unintended consequences...
And in opposition to Clinton and a Democratic Congress the Republicans could engage in some healthy bloodletting, debate and regrouping, all the while confident that a Clinton presidency would mean a torrent of money into the party machine, a boon to conservative publishing and media, and a handy, reliable target against whom to direct all their ire. They can barely wait. Traffic for Drudge would soar. Ratings for Fox News would go through the roof. And it would be over soon, they assume.
Wishful thinking? That's possible too. The Clintons tend to be lucky in their enemies. And they haven't lost an election in a very long time.