Hillary Rodham Clinton has a sparkling résumé but she is also captive to that biography. Experience is her greatest asset but she is constrained by her longevity in the public arena. She knows plenty — but perhaps too much to become an aspirational presidential candidate offering unlimited possibilities. She can evoke realism but can she seize the future?
Through countless interviews over the past few weeks, the prospective White House candidate has demonstrated the value of experience. Her command of issues, her knowledge of global hot spots, her familiarity with world leaders, her understanding of the presidency, her recognition of the challenges of gridlocked politics — all of these set her apart from virtually everyone else who may run in 2016, with the possible exception of Vice President Biden.
Those public appearances also have reinforced just how difficult it is for someone who has been in the political maelstrom for a quarter of a century to reinvent herself or to suddenly appear (or be viewed) as fresh and forward-looking. There is simply too much history in the minds of most Americans, except the very young, for the presentation of someone other than the familiar Hillary Clinton. Her book tour is a reminder that no candidate, or president, is as good as his or her advance billing.