Undeterred by his famously spotty track record — and by every public poll showing Clinton miles ahead of her prospective Democratic rivals — Kristol is skeptical of the former secretary of state's prospects in her party's primary.
Hillary is very likely to be out of step with the Democratic primary electorate in 2016—too close to Wall Street, too establishment, a prominent part of an administration that employed drone strikes and used the NSA in all sorts of dastardly ways. For Democrats in 2016, Hillary Clinton might be too much of a . . . Clinton Democrat. She’ll have a tougher nomination fight than everyone now expects.
But even if Clinton somehow manages to triumph over Martin O'Malley, Kristol thinks she's a goner in the general election.
It’s more likely that Hillary goes down in the general election, a representative of the old order losing to a younger, fresher Republican face. Time claims, “One widespread forecast holds that Clinton is poised for a cakewalk of historic proportions.” One would like to see what analysis that forecast is based on, and whether it’s “widespread” among anyone other than Clinton loyalists.
It's all moot, anyway, as Kristol explains in the column's kicker.
Hillary likely won’t run. If she does, she likely won’t win.
Kristol sounded similarly pessimistic about Barack Obama's chances in 2008, just one of the conservative pundit's many errant predictions.