The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece (Monday, November 12, 2018) by Mark Penn and Andrew Stein headed “Hillary Will Run Again” with the subhead, “Reinventing herself as a liberal firebrand, Mrs. Clinton will easily capture the 2020 nomination.”

The piece is a stunt.

The WSJ editors do not believe that Sec. Clinton will “run again” nor that she will “easily” be nominated as the Democratic candidate for President in 2020. I suggest that the unlikely twosome of Penn and Stein captured the perverse imagination of WSJ editors who saw an opportunity to embarrass them and Hillary Clinton. On the merits, no one knows who will run on the Democratic ticket in 2020, not the WSJ, not Penn and not Stein.

Because the certainty of the authors’ conclusion is so batty (I mean, she could run and she could be the nominee, but that’s about it), it is interesting to see how they got there. In a few sentences for each phase: the Senate and the 2008 campaign (HC 2.0); the State Department (HC 3.0); and the 2020 primary campaign (HC 4.0), the authors have Sec. Clinton fighting “bungling amateurs” whom she will take down like “bowling pins” and “trounce.”

The crystal ball that Penn and Stein are examining relates only to a Clinton nomination.

This concentration on a nomination repeats the exclusive emphasis on elective politics that pervades the public discourse on 2020 with not a word about how Hillary Clinton would perform in office as President of the United States. I haven’t seen a word about what the dozen (if not dozens) of people seeking the presidency on the Democratic side might accomplish as president.  That’s because the press (and probably most of the candidates) consider public office as a prize to be won in political combat and not as a public trust directing  concrete governmental actions enriching the lives of Americans, the beneficiaries of that trust.

Cynics may say that the plan for America should come after the nomination. That’s putting things backward.

As it happens, Hillary Clinton would be an outstanding president. The qualities needed to excel in that office include lots of luck; hard work; experience; vision; knowledge; wisdom; and a belief in compromise.

I had a personal experience demonstrating Sen. Clinton’s standing with her Republican Senate colleagues.

I flew across the country seated next to  a Republican Senator from a western state, not a star but hard-working. I asked him what he thought of Sen. Clinton.

“I love her,” he said. He told me that he sponsored a bill exclusively of interest to western stockmen and farmers. He asked a staffer to call Clinton’s staff to ask if she would co-sponsor the bill.

To his surprise, Sen. Clinton call him back in minutes and said yes. She went further.  “I can’t even get my state papers and tv news to come to a news conference. Hillary said that she would give a joint news conference with me announcing her support.  She did. The bill passed both the Senate and the House and became law.  I will never forget what she did and I know there was nothing in it for her.”

I doubt that Hillary Clinton will run or that if she did she would be successful. I believe that she cannot overcome the allegations against her. But can’t we all for once get substantive and consider what the multitudes of candidates might do if elected and make them lay it out? Running and governing are different. Running is abut winning. Governing is about making America a better, prosperous and just place.