Bill Clinton told CBS' Face the Nation that he doesn't know if his wife and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016. "She wants to take some time off," and "kind of regroup, write a book." He said that when it comes to Hillary's intentions on the presidential election, he has "no earthly idea" whether she will run. Of course, that's really the only appropriate response to such questions. Bill could be forgiven for being evasive even if he knows Hillary is planning a run in four years, since no good can come out of revealing plans to run for president four years in advance. (Regardless of whether President Obama wins reelection, Hillary has said she will not remain on as Secretary of State beyond his first term.)
As big as the question of whether Hillary will be a presidential candidate in 2016 is, equally as important is whether she can win. By the time Election Day 2016 rolls around, Hillary will be 69 years old, and, if she were to win, would make her the second oldest person to be elected president in U.S. history. Ronald Reagan was also 69 when he was elected in 1980, and turned 70 after less than a month in office. A President Hillary Clinton would turn 70 in October 2016, ten months after her inauguration.
Would Americans elect a 69 year old to the presidency? If Hillary's favorability ratings are any indication, the answer is yes. According to a Gallup poll conducted last year, she is one of the more popular figures in American politics:
Of course, the 66% rating she presently enjoys would no doubt recede were she to once again declare herself a presidential candidate. As indicated above, Clinton's favorability reached a nadir during the 2008 presidential campaign that had not been seen since she was First Lady. Such is the nature of running for public office. Not only does it open one up to political and personal attacks from opponents, but the very act of running office indicates a desire for power that makes Americans uncomfortable. Nonetheless, Hillary appears to be the most logical choice for many Democrats when it comes to the 2016 race.