If you want an example of the extreme levels of crazy that media speculation can take, you only have to take a look at poor Hillary Clinton. The former First Lady has pretty much said or done nought concerning whether she is planning to run for 2016 or not, and yet everything she does or says, whether it’s releasing a new book or having lunch with Obama, is scrutinized by the media in the context of her possible presidential bid. For the past year or more, hardly a single media outlet has written anything about Hilary Clinton without referring to 2016, which is crazy considering how far away the elections still are.

It really is a lose-lose situation for Hillary in how she approaches this speculation. Keeping quiet, as she is doing, is hardly ideal; it is building a level of anticipation that she might not be able to control or live up to once she does decide to run. But announce that she is running for president this early on and the level of media scrutiny and attention will only significantly intensify. She will also be more widely scrutinized by a variety of forces on the political landscape, including other presidential candidates who, in a desire to set themselves up as her opponents (which both Republicans and Democrats may well have to do), will attack her at every given opportunity. In essence, the Clinton campaign would start early in all the wrong ways by effectively beginning a public and lengthy trial over her past and present political leanings and actions. And what about saying no? If Hillary was smart (which she is), she would have announced her decision not to run a long time ago had she been genuinely not considering a bid. But unfortunately, she is weighing it up (it’s pretty clear, even without all the speculation). Thus keeping mum is the lesser of two evil options for Hillary, making her a victim of unfortunate circumstances.

And these circumstances really are crazy. Consider all these factors which are building hype around the potential Clinton campaign. Other Democrat potentials are purportedly basing their whole choice over whether to run or not around what Hillary does. Both the media and public view her as the only female candidate with a real chance at winning, and thus becoming the first woman to ever hold the oval office. There’s also a lot of historical controversy associated with Hillary’s tenure as a Senator, First Lady and Secretary of State that is ripe for picking: Iraq, Benghazi, Monica… Republicans won’t exactly be short on material. And of course, as Nick Offerman wisely notes, if Hillary becomes president, then it will be the first time in American history that two presidents have had sexual relations with one another. On a serious note though, once Hillary does begin her campaign, we will be seeing a lot more of Bill on the political landscape (let alone if she wins and he becomes America’s First Man) which is something for political journalists to get excited about in and of itself. Then there’s the problem of the echo chamber in political journalism; it’s becoming fashionable to talk about Hillary, so even more people begin to talk about Hillary. So much has thus now been said about her that once Hillary does announce her bid, it is going to be considered a major headline event that is going to kick-start a whole new storm of journalistic buzz.

To sum up, Hillary is, for the foreseeable future at the very least, going to be a huge focus of the political media’s attention, regardless of whether she ever reaches the oval office or not.