In today's adventures in hypotheticals, Hillary Clinton has got the 2012 election all wrapped up according to Time. The mag revealed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was their "Smart Power" cover woman today on the website and on MSNBC's Morning Joe.  While Time's writer Massimo Calabresi gets down to real-world issues like Arab Spring, Libya (managing editor Rick Stengel was with her during her last trip), or the fact that she said that she wouldn't be running for president multiple times, the magazine couldn't help but mix the hypothetical with hindsight:

The public still finds Clinton, who turned 64 on Oct. 26, fascinating--and a potential Commander in Chief. A TIME poll in early October of 838 likely voters found that Clinton does far better than Obama in head-to-head matchups against potential 2012 opponents, beating Mitt Romney by 17 percentage points and Rick Perry by 26. 

The magazine didn't mention her chances against Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann, nor did it stack her up against hypothetical candidates like Chris Christie or Sarah Palin or Ronald Reagan.  Calabresi, notes on Time's Swampland blog, "Her closest aides strongly dismiss any 2012 ambitions and say 2016 is very unlikely: she’d be 69 the day of the vote that year. We don’t speculate on the source of her popularity."