Hillarywatch: The First Presidential Heir Apparent Since 1980

There are very few similarities between Ronald Reagan and Hillary Clinton, not least of which is how I feel about them personally: Reagan is my favorite president, and Clinton is someone who – if she were to be elected – I imagine I would consider tolerable at best.

But Reagan and Clinton have something far greater in common than how I – or countless others- feel about them: they are the only two politicians in the last 50 years to hold the de facto distinction of “presidential heir apparent.”

After Reagan received a thunderous ovation at the 1976 Republican Convention – having been cast aside by the Party’s powers-that-be in favor of the comparatively listless incumbent, Gerald Ford, exhibiting the GOP’s oft-self-destructive penchant for protocol over electability – Reagan was dubbed the inevitable favorite to win the nomination in 1980.

Similarly, Clinton is all-but-guaranteed the Democratic nomination in 2016. The only caveat – and it certainly is a plausible one – is that she found herself in the exact same situation in 2008. And then, two words turned political punditry on its ear: Barack Obama.  Virtually no one – not even Clinton’s political guru husband and former president Bill – could have foreseen the Obama phenomenon.

But, how often does a Barack Obama come around? Someone who emerges from virtual obscurity to upset a heavy favorite in a major party primary? (The general election victory in November was a given: the real political “Super Bowl” that year was the Obama-Clinton Democratic showdown. Virtually any Democrat  would have beaten Bush apologist John McCain once the mortgage bubble burst.)  The last time something like that happened was in 1976, when virtual unknown Jimmy Carter shocked the world by besting the heavily-favored Ted Kennedy for the 1976 Democratic nomination.  Even then, however, there were some differences: Carter, as Governor of Georgia, had a stronger political portfolio than Obama, a freshman senator. And Kennedy had to endure the scandal of Chappaquidick, a far more damaging skeleton than Hillary’s Whitewatergate.  Nonetheless, even if we count Carter’s upset as a near-miracle equivalent to Obama’s those two aberrations happened 32 years apart. By that measure, the next such surprise is not due until the election of 2040.

Accordingly, if Hillary Clinton were to run, it is almost inconceivable that another Democrat could deprive her of the Democratic coronation, and rather unlikely that any Republican would match her prowess in the general election. On the other hand, if she chooses to bow out – it’s virtually anyone’s election to win.


NEW YORK  — More than 72 hours after Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny 's death in an Arctic penal colony, former President Donald Trump mentioned him by name for the first time in a post on his social media site that focused not on Navalny, but his own legal woes.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Fire Breaks Out at Apartment Building Near the Offices of TNH (Vid & Pics)

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY – A fire broke out in an apartment building about a block from the offices of The National Herald in Long Island City on February 21.

NEW YORK - Charles H. Dallara, the former Managing Director of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and a central figure in the 2012 restructuring of Greece's debt, has penned what Nick Gage describes as a "riveting narrative" of those tumultuous times.

CULVER CITY, Calif — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that while a college degree was still a ticket to a better life, that ticket is often too expensive, as he announced he was canceling federal student loans for nearly 153,000 borrowers.

XINJIANG  - Chinese police are investigating an unauthorized and highly unusual online dump of documents from a private security contractor linked to the nation's top policing agency and other parts of its government — a trove that catalogs apparent hacking activity and tools to spy on both Chinese and foreigners.

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's legendary ability to raise massive sums of political cash may be on a collision course with a new and unpleasant reality.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.