What effect would Bill Clinton's sudden/surprising death have on Hillary's election?

I was thinking something the other day and wanted to get your thoughts. Assume for the sake of this thread that as of today, Hillary is 100% sure that she is going to run for president in 2016. Now, consider the following hypotheticals:

Bill dies tomorrow.
Bill dies shortly after Hillary makes an official announcement to run for president.
Bill dies after Hillary is nominated officially by the party.
Bill dies just a day or two before election day.

Assume the death is something natural but sudden, like a heart attack.

What effect do you think it might have on her and her campaign? I was thinking that if he died tomorrow, it wouldn’t change much. If he died shortly after making an announcement to run, it might look kind of bad if she didn’t at least suspend her campaign for a while. I can only imagine people would be calling for her to quit because she would be too emotional to run a good campaign and as a widow maybe shouldn’t even be president. However, after her official nomination, I think it becomes a boon to her. She would undoubtedly get a lot of sympathy. If he happened to die a day or two before the election, I think her victory would be all but assured.

What say you, Dopers?

Couldn’t we have a lot more fun with this if it were autoerotic asphyxiation?

I agree with you. Bill’s death (By autoerotic asphyxiation, of course), would have a positive impact on Hillary’s chances for election, and the closer the death was to the election, the more positive the effect. I don’t think anyone would think that Hillary wasn’t up to the job because Bill was dead, a) because she has held up pretty well under other difficult personal circumstances and b) I’m not sure how devastating Bill’s death would be to her anyway.

I don’t think it would be a sympathy factor as much as a nostalgia one. A lot of people look back favorably on the nineties - a time after the Cold War and before 9/11 when the economy was doing well. Bill Clinton’s death would make people think remember the times when he was President and there would be some transfer of those positive feelings to Hillary.

On the downside, some people would feel Hillary would be distracted by the death of her husband and therefore not up to the job of being President. The death of Bill due to natural causes would remind people of Hillary’s age and raise concerns about her health. And even Bill’s worst enemies have to concede he’s one hell of a campaigner and Hillary would lose that asset.

And remember, she’ll be 69 in 2016.

Not as much effect as her own sudden/surprising death would have.

It would be a net gain for her. Can’t attack her for her husband’s record…including impeachment and infidelity, if the old horndog kicks the bucket during the campaign.

Net loss for the country if it leads to her getting elected.

In this hypothetical, does Hillary have a strong alibi?

Depends on what you mean by “alibi” . . . Remember 2000, when Giuliani got prostate cancer and had to drop out of NY Senate race?

She still has two wishes left.

Need answer fast?

For the record (and for the men in the black suits who may be reading this thread), no. This is not a need answer fast question :stuck_out_tongue: I am not planning on murdering anyone, even ol’ Bill “slick willy” Clinton.

You would probably have 40% of Republicans believing she did him in.

Which frankly would mean dick as far as the election goes. 40% of Republicans wouldn’t vote for Jesus Christ if he ran with a (D) after his name.

He has had a quad bypass and a stenting. He has the history.

Well, of course not! How could he prove he was born in America?!

We’ve all seen what Bubba eats. The only thing surprising about his death from a heart attack would be that it didn’t happen years ago.

And vice-versa.

“…as a widow, maybe shouldn’t even be president.” WTH do you mean? :confused:

That wouldn’t be my point of view, but just the point of view I can imagine some pundits throwing out there, for some dumb reason.

For Bill I think we can all agree this would count as “natural causes.”

OP’s question is not exactly unprecedented. Obama lost his meemaw what, the day before the election? “Clever bastard,” thought I at the time. The Hillary that lives in my head would readily have Bill’s heart stopped on the eve of the election if it bought her some sympathy votes in a tight race. It’s not hard to believe he was just the charismatic face of her leadership from 1992 - 2000. Instead of the affable Palpatine we’d get the full-on galactic emperor. Shit would get done in her 3rd and 4th terms.