No one wants to say with certainty who the next president will be. The election is too far away, too much can happen between now and then, and, most importantly, the identity of the Republican nominee hasn't even been determined yet.
Alas, those considerations, as valid as they may be, don't really apply here. The next president will be Hillary Clinton. Despite all the concerns about her "secret" emails, her alleged complicity in the Libyan fiasco, and the huge and possibly rancid amount of money the Clinton Foundation has amassed, it will still be Hillary. Here are five reasons.
TIMING. The allegations about Libya (How do you say "Whitewater" in Arabic? "Benghazi") were first raised years ago and have lost whatever traction they may have had. The same with Hillary's emails. Lots of smoke but little if any fire.
As for the Foundation mess, it won't hurt her, because it's being raised in April 2015. Even if they persist for a while (even if they hang on for a few more months), by the time the November 2016 election rolls around, all of that stuff will be "old news."
CYNICISM. People now have such a low opinion of politicians that finding out that one of them may have been unduly influenced by money isn't even going to move the needle. A sex scandal, a drug addiction, a falsified résumé, or naked plagiarism might undermine a candidate's chances, but wallowing in other people's money ain't going to do it. We've simply become too jaded.
CHOICES. Even in the unlikely event that Mitt Romney comes to the rescue, the Republican field is extremely thin. Truth be told (and as unfair as it is to say), Rand Paul doesn't even look like a president. Moreover, the further these potential candidates go into primary season, the more vicious their infighting will become, the more negative their campaigns will become, and the more ammunition Hillary will be given to fight with.
TACTICS. Hillary's formidable team simply won't allow her to lose. They won't allow anything negative to stain her for long. Her rebuttals will be sharp and crisp and, most importantly, instantaneous. Yes, her team "allowed" her to lose to Barack Obama, but that was the 2008 primary, which was a whole other deal. This will be the general election, and Hillary will emerge from the primary virtually unscathed.
INERTIA. People who like Hillary will vote for her no matter what, and people who strongly dislike her will vote against her no matter what. And because more people now tend to like her than hate her, that small slice of people still wavering in the middle won't decide this thing.
Yes, her choice for VP could make a difference, and yes, a categorically stupid remark during the campaign could hurt her, but she's going to be too cautious and well-rehearsed to make such a remark. Her response to questions about the TPP was a good indication. Very circumspect and noncommittal. Say hello to the country's first woman president.
David Macaray is a playwright and author.