The Wall Street Journal headline was a grabber.
“Hillary Will Run Again.” The sub-headline went further: “Reinventing herself as a liberal firebrand, Mrs. Clinton will easily capture the 2020 nomination.”
And the lead was declarative:
“Get ready for Hillary Clinton 4.0. 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 this out until the last dog dies. She won’t let a little thing like two stunning defeats stand in the way of her claim to the White House.”
The piece was written by Mark Penn, a pollster and senior adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton from 1995-2008, and Andrew Stein, former Democratic Manhattan borough president and president of the New York City Council. Yes, the story took two people to write.
The article ticks through a lot of Hillary’s history, often referring to the former Democratic presidential nominee as if she’s computer software simply being updated.
“Hillary Clinton 2.0 was a moderate, building on the success of her communitarian ‘It Takes a Village’ appeals and pledging to bring home the bacon for New York. She emphasized her religious background, voiced strong support for Israel, voted for the Iraq war, and took a hard line against Iran,” the authors write.
And like Hillary herself, the writers offer lots of lame excuses.
“As Hillary 3.0 catered to the coastal elites who had eluded her in 2008, Mr. Trump stole many of the white working-class voters who might have been amenable to the previous version. Finally she had the full support of the New York Times and the other groups that had shunned her for Mr. Obama—but only at the cost of an unforeseen collapse in support in the Midwest.”
But the writers also say after “two years of brooding — including at book length — Mrs. Clinton has come unbound.”
She will not allow this humiliating loss at the hands of an amateur to end the story of her career. You can expect her to run for president once again. Maybe not at first, when the legions of Senate Democrats make their announcements, but definitely by the time the primaries are in full swing.
Mrs. Clinton has a 75% approval rating among Democrats, an unfinished mission to be the first female president, and a personal grievance against Mr. Trump, whose supporters pilloried her with chants of “Lock her up!” This must be avenged.
Expect Hillary 4.0 to come out swinging. She has decisively to win those Iowa caucus-goers who have never warmed up to her. They will see her now as strong, partisan, left-leaning and all-Democrat—the one with the guts, experience and steely-eyed determination to defeat Mr. Trump. She has had two years to go over what she did wrong and how to take him on again.
The writers say, “Don’t pay much attention to the ‘I won’t run’ declarations,” and that Hillary may not get into the race until after the Iowa caucuses. But they assert that the wannabes in the Democratic field are nothing more than “bungling amateurs” and that “she will trounce them.”
“Just as Mr. Trump cleared the field, Mrs. Clinton will take down rising Democratic stars like bowling pins. Mike Bloomberg will support her rather than run, and Joe Biden will never be able to take her on.”
But that may be wishful thinking. When she ran for president the first time, Americans decided they’d rather have a first-term senator and former “community organizer” in the White House. The second time she ran, Americans instead picked an egotistical narcissist who starred on a reality TV show and had no political experience at all. She got crushed in the Electoral College, 304-227.
But Hillary keeps stoking the barely warm embers. During an event last month, Clinton left the door open to a possible 2020 run. “Do you want to run again?” Recode’s Kara Swisher asked her during a Q&A session.”No, no,” Clinton replied, prompting laughter.
Then she added: “I’d like to be president.”
Maybe by 2020 Hillary can figure out how to win the White House without campaigning, which she truly seems to hate. But if she does run again, she might want to think about making a few stops in Wisconsin and Michigan, unlike last time.