If Bill was all id, Hillary is all superego. Comedians still make fun of Bill's out-of-control appetites, but with Hillary, the mockery is about how she lets nothing be out of control (except perhaps her husband). Last weekend, "Saturday Night Live" portrayed her explaining her position on the war thusly: "I think most Democrats know me. They understand that my support for the war was always insincere. Of course, knowing what we know now, that you could vote against the war and still be elected president, I would never have pretended to support it."
Even Democrats would be hard-pressed not to see truth in that skit, and that's why, even if she's a strong favorite for the nomination, it's hardly a lock. Democrats and the press yearn for the youthful freshness, the relaxed grace of another JFK, and they hope they see it in Obama. But Obama's "new politics" remain maddeningly undefined. Perhaps this means there will be an opening for John Edwards, who is consultant-driven, but still fresh-seeming, who is a JFK-wannabe but with a discernible message that Obama lacks.
All that is certain is that at some defining moment during the campaign, Hillary Clinton will face an unexpected challenge. She will have to react to it without the benefit of careful handling or a script, and that moment will determine whether or not all her calculation goes for naught.