Hillary Clinton’s biggest problem in 2016? Washington.

Check out this fascinating chart on how closely years spent in Washington correlates -- and not in a good way -- to winning presidential elections.


Image courtesy of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti

Of the 10 presidential races between 1976 and 2012, the candidate who spent less time spent in Washington has won all but two. (The exceptions were Barack Obama in 2012 and George H.W. Bush in 1988.)

Hillary Clinton will have spent two decades in Washington -- as First Lady, Senator from New York and Secretary of State -- if/when she runs in 2016. That's more than any of the top-tier candidates mentioned on the Republican side.  Consider:

* Jeb Bush: 0 years

* Chris Christie: 0 years

* Rick Perry: 0 years

* Scott Walker: 0 years

* Ted Cruz: 4 years

* Bobby Jindal: 4 years

* Rand Paul: 6 years

* Paul Ryan: 18 years

* John Kasich: 18 years

Clinton's years in Washington are illustrative of the fundamental challenge she will face as a candidate: How can someone who has spent decades in the public eye and is one of the most well-known people in the world present herself as "new" or "future-looking" in any meaningful way? And, at a time when service in Washington is roughly equivalent to having a scarlet "W" on your political resume in the eyes of voters, how will Clinton handle a race in which she will be the candidate who has spent the most time in the nation's capitol?

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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