Hillary may end up as the new Ted Kennedy. After his brother Robert's assicination, he was the heir apparent to the Presidency and spent the time from 1968 to 1980 either running or not-yet-running for the Presidency. But after his disatourous run in 1980 it was apparant that he would never be President.
But rather than sulk, he settled into what he has been for the last almost three decades -- one of the nation's truly great Senators.
Hillary has that potential. Imagine her, for the first time in her life free from running for the Presidency. She will also, like Kennedy, have a safe Senate seat. She can be free from being poll and advisor driven.
In her first few years in the Senate -- as part of establishing herself as a candidate independent and capable apart from her husband -- she made a tremendous effort to show what an adept Senator she could be. And showed a real talent for it. She was able to work effectively even with those who made their careers opposing her and her husband. She reveled in the detail work that many lesser Senators neglect.
So assuming she is not the nominee this time, check back here in 30 years to see if she has in fact become one of history's great Senators.
I do not want to contemplate her taking the other option that her loss would present to her -- thinking campaigns mistakes were tactical ones that she could correct the next time -- ending up running less successful race after race. So her choice would be between becoming Ted Kennedy or Harold Stassen.