An oft-asked question these days is just how the Republican takeover of the Senate—and the GOP's now-complete occupation of Capitol Hill—will affect the 2016 presidential election. More specifically, how will it affect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should she decide to run for president? While the conventional wisdom now appears to be that the GOP takeover helps her 2016 ambitions, it seems to me the jury will be out on that question for quite some time.

One thing to keep in mind is the clear pattern that Americans have exhibited in situations where one party has held the White House for two terms. They tend to conclude that it is "time for a change," and they trade the in party for the out party. As most every reader of this column knows well, we have had a party occupy the presidency for two consecutive terms six times in the post-World War II period. Only once has that party retained the White House for a third term. Americans voted for change in 1960 after the two Eisenhower terms; again in

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Charlie "Chuck" Cook