The 2016 presidential campaign is going to be fantastic.
It will be "the Republicans' turn" to take over the presidency, so competition in the GOP primaries will be fierce. Since political strategists are always fighting the last war, chances are they'll be looking hard for a conservative version of Barack Obama -- somebody fresh-faced and new, with bold ideas, or at least bold rhetoric, or maybe just decent public speaking skills.
But this person will have to fight a batch of boring old people to get the nod: people like Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and whatever Southern governors or senators have managed to avoid getting caught having affairs.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, it looks like we may see two familiar faces: Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.Biden refuses to "rule ... out" the possibility of another presidential bid, and Clinton recently told a Thai television station that "I doubt very much" that she'd be running for president again. Obviously that means she's well on her way to kicking off her campaign.
If this all sounds like it's going to be a dull rehash of the '08 election, take heart: that election was many things, but it was never dull, thanks in large part to the likes of Hillary Clinton.
Clinton was a fantastic performer in the zillion debates that Democratic candidates were forced to endure; she wore insane yellow jackets; she won working-class hearts as she boozed her way through Appalachia; and she very nearly managed to make the normally dry and uncompelling annual meeting of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee into a bloody fistfight.
In the end she lost the nomination, and the Obama-McCain matchup turned into a tawdry propaganda war quickly enough. But just imagine if it had been Clinton-McCain! Imagine how much seedier it all could have been.
So while 2012 will likely be a desultory trudge for both parties, with a weary President Obama halfheartedly stomping whatever sacrificial lamb the Republicans decide to lead to the slaughter, 2016 will be one to watch. And we'll have Hillary Clinton to thank for it.