Democrats know that there is an 800lb Gorilla in the room, but it’s the Republicans who don’t want to talk about it. The “Silver-back” in question is the duo of “Bill and Hillary Clinton,” arguably the most formidable team to ever run for and/or occupy the White House.
Sure Bill says he’s going to be touring Thailand or hosting Miss Hawaiian Tropic or whatever for the next few years and will have nothing to do with his wife’s campaign. Sure the public thinks Bill and Hillary don’t get along. Sure we all think Bill Clinton is a liability to her campaign rather than an asset. Yeah Right.
What’s the reality for Hillary’s Democratic and Republican opposition? The reality is that, all else -campaign staff size, strategists, war-chest - being equal, any Republican going up against Hillary is going to be battling a veritable "corporation" of two Presidential-caliber candidates, with all of its inherent synergy that said “corporation” might imply. Its just that one of the team
Let's get more specific about the Clinton strategy this election cycle. In particular, Usedcarsalesman speculates that Hillary will stay above the dirty business of campaigning and name-calling in '07 and '08. But while she runs in this apparently civilized and seemingly unstressed fashion, its Bill who will do a lot of the dirty work. He'll stealthily direct a “Sherman’s march” versus the Democratic candidates and the Republican nominee, ultimately flanking them with campaign fires (crisis) that seem to come out of nowhere and while their attention is diverted (Some rumors indicate that Bill is behind the possible Presidential candidacy of NYC Mayor Bloomberg - his third-party, independent run designed to do for Hillary what Ross Perot did for Bill in '92).
As such, it will seem to Hillary’s opponents that they are running against something much larger than just Hillary and the normal campaign apparatus - like there is some invisible Type-A Predator monster that is blind-siding them unrelentingly at every turn. An apparent beacon of civility, Hillary will then feign surprise, look at the wreckage that was her opposition's campaigns and say, “Aw, that’s too bad, you seem to be having problems.” Voters will applaud her magnanimity.
Usedcarsalesman suspects that it is not so much that Hillary - the first female U.S. Presidential candidate (and President?) - is going to win. It's that she is going to survive the campaign and probably do so with relative ease. Every other candidate is going to be made to "lose" - to fail to survive in large part thanks to the quiet, directorial endeavors of (forgive the play on dated pop-culture names) "Stealth Willy."