Would Clinton have done a better job than Obama at managing the mammoth task of overseeing the implementation of health care reform?
You could argue that Clinton, with his longer steeping in policy details, relentless curiosity and constant outreach, would have been better positioned to discern the distant footsteps of the impending debacle. Then again, you could remember the disastrous, behind-closed-doors creation of the Rube Goldberg contraption that was Hillarycare.
Which is why I said near-perfect president at the start. And why, despite the fevered imaginings of columnists, no real-life president can come close to that ideal.
Ruth Marcus is an editorial writer for The Washington Post.