All kinds of political outlets have erupted in frenzied reaction to The Wall Street Journal’s click-baity Op-Ed, “Hillary Will Run Again,” co-authored by Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s long-time adviser, and Andrew Stein, former president of the New York City Council.
“Get ready for Hillary Clinton 4.0,” cheer the authors. “More than 30 years in the making, this new version of Mrs. Clinton, when she runs for president in 2020, will come full circle — back to the universal-health-care-promoting progressive firebrand of 1994. True to her name, Mrs. Clinton will fight it out until the last dog dies.”
I am not sure how many dogs will die, but it seems like Clinton may think of herself as of a feline that has nine lives, and she hasn’t even used half of them yet.
Although the Op-Ed is largely speculative and looks more like a trial balloon than an actual declaration, it is hard to dismiss Clinton’s ambition even though she has not confirmed her decision to run in 2020 for America’s highest office.
When asked if she wanted to run during an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher in October, Clinton reluctantly said “No,” but added, “Well, I’d like to be president.”
Clinton went on to say that “there’s going to be so much work to be done” after a Democrat “hopefully” wins the next presidential election.
“The work would be work that I feel very well-prepared for, having been in the Senate for eight years, having been a diplomat in the State Department,” she said, listing off the qualifications that she often touted in 2016.
Oh, Hillary, drop the flirtation! Of course, you want to be president! You want it so badly that you ran twice already. You were so certain that you were going to win in 2016 that you did not even write a concession speech. You wanted it so badly that you had spent loads of money on the campaign, sums comparable to the GDPs of small African countries, outraising and outspending your opponent by hundreds of millions of dollars, and had airwaves practically all for yourself.
You could imagine yourself occupying the Oval Office so vividly, you tweeted yourself a Birthday card “to this future President” a couple of weeks prior to the election. You wanted it so badly, you played dirty against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, your closest Democratic rival.
And your opponent? Donald Trump seemed like a joke — a showman, eccentric billionaire and political child, whose name and campaign triggered gleeful laughter among the pretentious experts and TV people when it began!
The pollsters — even conservative ones — and your campaign’s intense ground game, made you — and your supporters, too — convinced that the Madam President was an inevitability.
That is why when Trump won, hell was unleashed — a wave of protests swept over the country, with the acquiescence of the country’s top Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, who said that “concerned people should not be silent.”
The loss devastated you so much that you “went to the woods” — only to emerge again, reborn as “universal-health-care-promoting progressive firebrand,” like a Phoenix from the ashes.
But not everybody appears thrilled about Clinton taking another chance, not even in the establishment media that was so wholeheartedly supportive just two years ago.
“Here’s why Hillary 4.0 is a terrible idea,” wrote CNN‘s Chris Chillizza, arguing that “deep-seated negative opinion about Clinton is at the center of why she would be a very poor choice for Democrats in 2020. Clinton’s many years in the public eye … allowed Trump to make the election a referendum on her and her baggage rather than on him and his own deep flaws as a person and a politician.”
“Please, Hillary, don’t do it,” CNN added in a second opinion piece a few days later.
Then there was “A Request to Mark Penn, Andy Stein, and Other So-Called Democrats Talking Up Clinton 2020: Respectfully, Shut Up,” in The Daily Beast, basically a follow-up to last month‘s “Dear God, Hillary Clinton. Please, Just Go.”
“According to a study from American National Election Studies, the words most associated by voters with Hillary in 2016 were ‘experienced liar,’ wrote Liz Mair. “Is it logical that she’d want to rehab her image, given all this? Perhaps. Is it possible? No. Do we need to watch her try? Definitely, definitely, definitely not.”
Left-wing observers offer a long and detailed list of why Clinton should leave the stage and give way to a new generation of younger leaders. They point out numerous factors that undermine her chances. For example, how can a woman who whitewashes her husband’s womanizing and sexual misconduct champion woman’s rights and represent a #MeToo movement that Democrats trumpet so loudly? They also emphasize the necessity to develop a more positive strategy than just “anti-Trumpism.”
There are, however, optimistic voices as well.
“She is smarter than most, tougher than most, she could raise money easier than most,” believes Philippe Reines, a former Clinton adviser.
The New York Post’s Mark Goodwin sees Hillary as the only Democrat with a chance to beat Trump: “Let us run through the parade of likely applicants, starting in the Senate: Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand. Anybody stand out? While there is political talent, none strikes me as a heavyweight contender who could lead the party and go toe to toe with Trump.”
If Hillary is the best the Democrats can offer, then Kellyanne Conway is right to exclaim, “Dear God, please, yes.”
Will Hillary Clinton run in 2020? It is possible, given her lust for power. Does she have a good shot to beat Trump? Not likely — no money, no amount of TV time, no high-profile political consultants can change who she is: an aging, corrupted “nasty woman” who calls those who refuse to vote for her a “basketful of deplorables.”
Most of all, what could she, or any other Democrat, offer instead of Trump’s policies that are already proven to benefit working Americans?
The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.
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