OK, I promise this will be my last post of the day that’s even indirectly about the HRC email “scandal,” unless actual news breaks. But just to close the loop, I’ve been talking about the various people with a big vested interest in taking HRC down a peg and luring competitors into the 2016 Democratic presidential nominating contest. I mentioned “lazy journalists,” but as Jonathan Bernstein points out (alluding to a Matt Bai column begging Joe Biden to save us all from a Hillary cakewalk), perhaps I should have said “lazy or hungry journalists,” who won’t have as much to write about if there’s no Democratic battle for the nomination.

Expect more press support for a Clinton challenger. And expect the same on the Republican side if Jeb Bush or Scott Walker or one of the others wraps up the nomination early but hasn’t formally clinched it. It’s what happened to George W. Bush in 2000, when the entire press corps became John McCain’s cheering section for a couple of months. The rest of us don’t have to play along.

Huh. I really hadn’t thought of HRC’s situation as being like W.’s in 2000. It’s not exactly apposite, since there were several active candidates, including McCain, in the field early on. But it’s similar in the sense that Bush had locked up all the Republican interest and constituency groups and all the big donors long before Iowa. And yeah, without a question, the MSM went entirely gaga for the Straight Talk Express.

I can’t quite see the Fourth Estate falling in love entirely with Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley–or the even less likely Joe Biden–this year. Jim Webb’s the kind of guy that might inspire such adulation, but he’d have to, you know, act like he wants people to support him. But in any event, you can tentatively add this to your list of Bush/Clinton parallels.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.