Douthat reflects on where Republicans went wrong in 2012. He concludes:
There won’t be an incumbent on the ballot in 2016. But Obama does have a debt to the Clintons to pay off, and bequeathing Hillary his campaign operation might settle it. That possibility alone should inspire any Republican who hopes to improve on Romney’s showing to internalize the lessons of this campaign as early as possible, leaving plenty of time to get ready for whatever surprises await.