This Clinton vs. that Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton, a 2016 Democratic presidential contender, speaks at the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Wives and husbands don’t always see eye to eye. Money and in-laws are among the typical sources of spousal dispute. And some married couples even disagree on public policy.

So don’t judge Hillary Clinton too harshly for “running against parts of her husband’s legacy,” as The Washington Post put it. From that Thursday story about Mrs. Clinton’s ongoing attempt to catch up with her party’s leftward lurch since her husband left the nation’s highest elective office early in 2001:

“On issues large and small, the Democratic presidential contender is increasingly distancing herself from — or even opposing — key policies pushed by Bill Clinton while he was in the White House, from her recent skepticism on free-trade pacts to her full embrace of gay rights.”

At Columbia University in New York City on Wednesday, the ongoing makeover included what the Post called Mrs. Clinton’s “impassioned address condemning the ‘era of incarceration’ ushered in during the 1990s in the wake of her husband’s 1994 crime bill — though she never mentioned him or the legislation by name.”

Yes, Bill Clinton has voiced concerns about the long-sentence and “three strikes you’re out” fallout of that bill. He also has expressed regret about signing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act defining that union as being between one man and one woman.

Still, this Post description of a growing ideological gap suggests that a substantial number of Americans who voted for Mr. Clinton won’t vote for Mrs. Clinton:

“Bill Clinton won two elections running as a centrist Democrat waging open war with his party’s left flank. Hillary Clinton now hopes to win the White House by running to the left, capturing a wave from the young, liberal-leaning coalition that twice propelled President Obama to victory.”

In fairness, though, Mrs. Clinton’s not the only presidential hopeful in the “distancing” game from a former commander in chief with the same last name. An ex-Florida governor with Oval Office aspirations has been doing some “distancing” of his own away from the two former Presidents Bush.

But even if those related efforts succeed, how much distance would there be between the 1992 original and a 2016 Clinton vs. Bush sequel?