I always thought that when the United States elected its first female president that it would be a nail biter -- a down-to-the-wire race that would keep us up late on election night before it was official, but Hillary Clinton's presidency is shaping up to be a coronation.
The Clinton candidacy is already underway, and at this point it's doubtful that anyone else will bother unless it is to get some name recognition for 2024. According to the Washington Post, Clinton is "the biggest frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination ever." That distinction doesn't even take Bill into account. Bill Clinton is the best campaigner I've ever seen and has been an incredible fundraiser for his own campaigns, for other Democrats and for causes he supports.
So, unless something incredibly dramatic happens we can just go ahead and slot Hillary in as the Democratic candidate. She'll hit the campaign trail, in the general election, with Bill and the Obamas by her side (not to mention whoever her VP pick is).
But, Hillary still has to beat the Republicans right? Sure she'll have an incredible amount of money and a political all star team (including two former two-term presidents) out campaigning for her but that doesn't guarantee anything!
The truth is that none of that guaranteed it, but Chris Christie probably did. Christie was the only republican to lead Hillary Clinton in national polling, but that isn't true anymore. Thanks to his public implosion Christie isn't even a serious contender for the Republican nomination anymore.
The favourites now are Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush. As of today, Clinton has a slight lead over all of them and a stronger national favourability. She will also have a fundraising advantage and a campaigning advantage. The GOP has very few veterans they can bring out who would be a positive on the campaign trail. Also, if the GOP nominates Jeb Bush it will be interesting to see him campaign, without reminding voters of the George W. Bush presidency.
So, Hillary will be able outspend and out-campaign the Republicans. She'll be relatively unbruised from what should be a cake walk of a primary. She'll be able to run for President while the Republicans run for, what is likely to be, a bitterly contested nomination. She'll be able to fundraise while the Republicans run ads against each other. She'll be able to effectively be in 5 states, or locations, at once with her VP, Bill Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama all criss-crossing the country rallying supporters and donations. That is not the end of her advantages though.
Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee are both popular with the Republican base (something Mitt Romney was not) but the Republican base is divided like never before. Moderate voters are fleeing the Republican Party. Those voters might have supported Christie before his implosion but it's not clear that they'll come back for Bush or Huckabee, not when Hillary can claim the "moderate" mantle without too much difficulty.
Also, the Tea Party members of the Republican base don't really like the evangelical members of the Republican base and vice versa. Catholics and young evangelicals currently seem far more interested in social and economic justice than they are in gay marriage. It is not a huge issue yet, but it will add to the difficulty of any candidate trying to navigate the landscape of the Republican base.
Whoever gets the nomination and whatever platform they settle on, there is a good chance that the Republicans (now a smaller party than they were in 2012) will be divided by the end of the primaries and some faction(s) may sit out of the general election cycle.
So, in summary, Hillary Clinton has spent most of her adult life in politics in some capacity. She has been an activist, graduate of Yale Law school, a governor's wife, the first lady, a senator and Secretary of State. Despite Republican Attempts since the early 90s to link her to scandal she hasn't committed one really serious blunder to date and in 2016 the Republicans only real hope is that Hillary Clinton will beat Hillary Clinton.