Sullivan, in declarative form, asks what the rallying is all about:
Clinton herself must have a ready answer to [the question of her career accomplishments]--an answer that can unify various elements of her career and make a coherent whole. My concern is that her name, history and gender have pushed that core question to one side. And her fiercely loyal coterie may be too much in the tank to see that these are questions non-groupies want answers to.
I am among the non-groupies, but I don't expect any answers beyond the press-secretary level of excruciating bullshit. The reality of HRC's ineluctable ascendance is indeed her name, history and gender. Still, in American politics, that's strangely OK. In 1960 President Eisenhower asked for a week to come up with some reason why Dick Nixon should replace him. Aside from toasting the Rosenbergs and delivering what was unquestionably the worst best television speech ever, Nixon possessed no real credentials.
In 2008, of course, Hillary Clinton legitimately asked why Barack Obama should succeed her Democratic husband. However by that time George W. Bush had brutally proven the old American adage: it's true, anybody really can grow up to be president of the United States. Thus did Obama's credentials mean little to voters. And, turned out, that was a rather good thing.
So I'm less concerned with Hillary's rationale for running than I am for my own sanity. For the next three years she'll play it safe on the ever-Clintonian middle ground, which for the last three years has been exhaustively played out by Obama. The reasons for the latter are many, and some are valid. My complaint about Hillary is that the exciting promise of new and aggressive management will be lacking.
After three years of safe plays, we'll get eight more. I find even the prospect maddening. By 2024, I'll be on Thorazine.