From New Statesman:
The 2012 presidential election is over; let the 2016 election begin! Without skipping a beat, the endless electoral process in the US has started over. It is the American equivalent of: “The king is dead. Long live the king.” It is why political junkies across the world love American politics. It never ends. So what do we know about the next race? With Barack Obama still in the White House and unable to run again due to term limits, both parties are looking for a new candidate. In the Republican Party, it used to be that if you didn’t win the presidency one year, you could put yourself forward the next. Richard Nixon lost to John F Kennedy in 1960 but bounced back in 1968 to beat Hubert Humphrey. Now voters are so fickle and campaigns so punishing that you only get one shot. Americans don’t like losers and the electoral battlefield is strewn with the corpses of failed presidential candidates who overnight became unpersons. So bye-bye, Mitt. Missing you already. As F Scott Fitzgerald observed, there are no second acts in American lives.
Yet politicians who merely fail to win their party’s nomination can keep plugging away. Hillary Clinton was beaten to the punch by Obama in 2008 but is expected to run in 2016. That explains why Bill Clinton has been going hoarse urging voters to back Obama. With Romney in the White House, Hillary would find it hard to unseat him. So, she needed Romney to lose and there was no better way to ensure that than to set her husband on to him. Having loyally served Obama as secretary of state, Hillary expects the president to repay the compliment and back her bid. The general view among Democrats is that if Hillary wants the nomination, it’s hers. They feel that her impeccable performance as senator for New York, then at the state department, has repaired the reputation for divisiveness and aggression that she acquired when she was first lady. She will be 69 in 2016.