Hillary Clinton (AP)
Though she has been released from hospital after treatment for her blood clot Hillary Clinton’s political future has changed dramatically.

At 65 she has been struck with an illness that doctors agree is a serious one and that could have caused a major stroke.

A blood clot in an area close to the brain is not good news for anyone, but especially someone who is the winter favorite for the 2016 nomination.

If this were a horse race I’d say Hillary Clinton is far more likely to scratch than to line up in the Democratic demolition derby in 2015 or so for the 2016 nomination.

She will be close to 70  then, but unlike the woman with the robust health record and seemingly tireless political persona, she is now a weakened candidate with a major health question looming over her.

Another illness of this kind between now and then will certainly rule her out and it seems certain that her opponents and the media will ensure that her health is an issue.

But for Hillary herself the illness will surely make her stand back and think.

There are few things more sobering than a glimpse of your mortality and she has certainly seen that.

Will she have the stamina and commitment to come to the races in four years time full of the same energy she expended in 2008?

That hardly seems likely. It will be her decision I know but the events of the past week will certainly shade how she decides.

Me? I’m betting it is a thumbs down, a feeling that she has done more than enough in a spectacular political life and it is time to leave the field to the next generation.

And that will set off the political scramble of a lifetime  among Democrat wannabees if and when it happens.