Her emails are coming more frequently, especially in the wake of the midterm election. She is doing more interviews and being coy about whether there is another Presidential bid in her life. And before 2018 ballot counts were complete, an op ed in the Wall Street Journal by Mark Penn, for 13 years a Clinton pollster and adviser made it clear that yet another Hillary Clinton candidacy is a likelihood. She ba-ack!
I was a huge fan of Hillary Clinton, partly Wellesley College pride in the highly accomplished woman uniquely prepared for the nation’s highest office and partly because she is smart, experienced, worldly, visionary and strong. I’ve seen her charisma in person though it rarely comes through on television. She is funny and warm, though that isn’t always clear. But she was a terribly flawed candidate. The finances of the Clinton Foundation, the sources of their donations, were uncomfortably squirrelly. She had a tin ear (need I say more than “basket of deplorables?”). She was elitist and spoke in such a lawyer-like manner it seemed she had much to hide.
PBS analyst Mark Shields has put numbers on how disliked Hillary is. After the 2008 race, Obama’s favorability was 57 %; John McCain was viewed favorably by 54% by voters . ..meaning both party standard-bearers were viewed favorably by a majority of the American people. After the 2016 election, Donald Trump was viewed favorably by 41 percent of the American people; 55 percent viewed him unfavorably. Hillary’s favorability was also 41 percent, and 56 percent viewed her unfavorably. In other words, said Shields at a recent meeting of the New England Council, Donald Trump running against himself would have lost. The only reason he won was that he was running against Hillary Clinton.
As a partial explanation of the 2016 outcome, Shields went on to quote entertainer and sex symbol Mae West: “If forced to choose between two evils, I’d rather the one I haven’t tried yet.”
And then there was Bill, he of the ill-considered private meeting on the tarmac in Phoenix with Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Or the murky ethics of the Clintons in raising money for their foundation. And then there was his sexual relationship with young intern Monica Lewinsky. Hillary is still defending her husband’s behavior as between two consenting adults and refuses to publicly acknowledge his wrongdoing. Voter revulsion at returning Bill to the White House played a role in costing her the Presidency.
Would I prefer HRC to the incumbent in the White House? You bet. And yes, she did decisively win the popular vote in 2016, and she could have been a terrific President. But Hillary’s negatives remain as high as Donald Trump’s. The Clintons need to go away, or at least be quiet. They have successfully monetized their years in politics. Their minions still adore them and are willing to shell out more cash to attend the Clintons’ high-priced speaking tour across the country. Enough. The Former Firsts should settle back, enjoy their grandchildren, and not drag their weighty baggage into the 2020 campaign to rid the country of the scourge that is Donald Trump.
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