So John McCain tells Isaac Chotiner of The New Republic a match up between Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul is "gonna be a tough choice." Naturally, many of my fellow conservatives are aghast at McCain as demonstrated by our own Matt Purple.
But consider Chotiner's question, "When Hillary Clinton versus Rand Paul occurs in 2016, I guess you are going to have to decide who to vote for, huh?"
What is this "when Hillary vs. Paul in 2016" business? It's frickin' 2013.
Let's turn back the clock to December 2005. CNN, USA Today and Gallup conducted a poll which asked Democratic and Republican voters who they were most likely to support as their party's nominee in 2008.
The winners? Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.
McCain finished a distant second in that poll while Barack Obama didn't even register in the poll.
Well, so much for early polls.
Of all people, McCain should know that speculation about who will face off in a presidential election three years in the future is premature. With that said, I realize McCain wanted to take a dig at Paul. There's no love lost between the two. I also realize there are plenty of things that McCain has done which leave a great deal to be desired (i.e. when he rescued Chuck Hagel's confirmation back in February). But I wouldn't sweat it on this one.
While it is not inconceivable Hillary and Paul could face off in 2016, it is far, far from a foregone conclusion. Should that come to pass then there will be ample opportunity to pontificate. In the menatime, if a week in politics is a lifetime then there are least 150 lifetimes between now and the 2016 Democratic and Republican conventions.