Here is my take on the speculation about Hillary Clinton for President in 2016, a groundswell that already has begun, prompted by one blogger's flat declaration that she is not or will not be the leading candidate:
Journalists (so-called) who try to raise all the crap from Bill and the 1990s will be pilloried and made to shut up. Women will band together and shun misogynists -- they better be forewarned if they want to keep their careers intact. That means you, Chris Matthews. Nobody cares what Fox says anymore anyway.
Hillary has more than earned the right to be treated with respect. She is, without question, the most qualified candidate for President in at least a century -- maybe forever. She has seen it all, from an inside view at the state level in the South, an inside view of the Presidency, a prominent member of the Senate for eight years, and Secretary of State. She is very, very, very smart. There is no more of that old "baggage" now, even though it was the residue of that baggage still there in 2008 that was a major reason -- fear among Democrats that it would dominate media coverage -- Obama passed her in the primaries. I know very few Obama voters who did not also like Hillary at the time. They just thought the mainstream media would trot out all the old crap, and that Obama would be able to escape that Big Media treatment. (The crazies are another matter, but they are of marginal importance, as the election showed). We were generally correct.
The only baggage she may carry is resentment held by progressive Democrats over the 2002 vote that (allegedly) authorized George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. I used allegedly with a purpose there, because I always thought that was something of a canard. If you read her comments carefully, I would say that Bush clearly violated the spirit of what she said and the text of the resolution by launching the invasion before Hand Blix, the UN's inspector, had completed his search for the weapons of mass destruction that were never there. I do not see that vote in any case as a serious deterrent to her election, either in the primary or the general.
A 68-year-old woman in good shape has a life expectancy of 25 years or more. To the extent anyone tries to make her age an issue, it will be dismissed with a shrug. Women will vote overwhelmingly for a Democratic candidate who will be the country's first woman President and the most qualified candidate more or less ever. She's one of four superstar Democrats better known by first name only -- along with Barack, Michelle and Bill -- than any fully-named Republican, not one of whom now has nor will have in the foreseeable future a positive reputation.
It's up to her. If we have even modest economic improvement, she will win both the primary and the general election if she wants to take on the job. I certainly hope she does, in large part because, as I think I noted above, she will be the most qualified candidate in a 100 years or even our history.
What she needs to do is rest and decompress for a year, get in fighting shape, decide whether she wants to do it or not -- considering carefully that women and girls worldwide most certainly will be begging for it -- devote the second year to speeches in battleground states and supporting Democratic Congressional candidates who need to hold onto or can take seats, and then start the campaign in earnest when she needs to. Given her name recognition, she can delay that much longer than most candidates.