Can HRC’s Revival Be Used to Discipline Republicans?

So Joe Biden’s withdrawal from the 2016 presidential campaign is a second bit of very good news for Hillary Clinton in a short period of time, the first being positive assessments of her performance in the first Democratic debate. The third could well come tomorrow if she does well in her testimony before the Benghazi! Committee, which is the best bet unless Trey Gowdy has some previously undisclosed chunk of evidence.

If she also starts getting some better polling numbers in general election trial heats–which could be accomplished by something so simple as a firm other than Quinnipiac polling battleground states–the entire “Clinton is sinking” dynamic that’s been just under the surface throughout 2015 could fade.

One sign the worm is already turning is that Republicans are begining to tout Clinton’s strength in urging their party colleagues to be smart about their choices. Today a new piece from National Review‘s Ramesh Ponnuru (presumably written before the Biden announcement) warned readers that Clinton should probably enter the general election favored to win. And this afternoon a post-Biden missive from WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin sorts the GOP field into candidates who look weak against HRC (Trump, Carson, Cruz and Paul, predictably) and those who don’t (Bush and Rubio).

This is understandable given the recent evidence that Republican voters think the GOP is a lead-pipe cinch to win next year. But it’s as good an indication of HRC’s recovery from the slough of despond as you’ll find.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.