Oct 4th 2007
From The Economist print edition
The American presidency is Hillary Clinton's to lose. But that doesn't make her a shoo-in just yet
IF GREAT writers have a special insight into the souls of their countrymen, Hillary Clinton ought to be pleased. Philip Roth, one of the grandest old men of American letters, said last year that if anyone could lose 50 states for the Democrats, she could. This week he said he is no longer sure.
Mr Roth is hardly alone, either in his previous hatred for the former first lady or in his grudging new acceptance of her. It is still more than three months until the votes are cast in the first primaries, and over a year until the election. With no incumbent president or vice-president running, this should be the most open race for 80 years—but it certainly doesn't feel that way. Never mind the oddness, in a republic, of having Bushes and Clintons in charge for, possibly, 28 years on the trot: at the moment, the return of Hillary and Bill Clinton to the White House looks likelier than any alternative (see article).continued