Scott Conroy | Republicans not exactly shaking in their boots over Mrs. Clinton

And during the RNC’s annual winter meeting in Washington last week, the specter of the woman whom one committeeman referred to as “she who must not be named” loomed over every rule change designed to give the party its best hope of defeating the Democratic frontrunner-in-waiting.

But despite occasionally granting her a Lord Voldemort level of deference, “fear” is not the right word to describe how GOP power brokers regard a prospective election battle against Clinton.

In candid conversations with state GOP chairpersons and committee members, the consensus is that Clinton would be a better-than-average — yet unquestionably beatable — Democratic foe.

As Wisconsin committeewoman Mary Buestrin put it, “Everybody’s got their warts.”

A cursory glance at current poll numbers might give one pause when considering that assessment. In the latest RealClearPolitics polling average, Clinton leads her nearest competition in a hypothetical Democratic primary by a downright ludicrous 55.5 percentage points and is beating handily all of the Republicans who have been pegged as possible opponents.

But the main reason Republicans aren’t panicking over the Clinton Express is a simple yet persistently true maxim of American politics: It’s unpredictable.

For one thing, Republicans know, the 66-year-old Clinton might not even run for president.

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