Hillary Clinton Running for President: Hillary Clinton will run for president. Again and Here’s The Proof.
Hillary Clinton Running for President, again: No inside information informs this prediction. No argument is advanced as to whether her run is a good or a bad idea—there are many ways to make a case either way.
Instead this is just a statement of simple facts (if facts mean anything anymore, that is). And the facts are clear that the former secretary of state is doing everything she needs to do to run for the White House one more time. If she finds a path to do so, she will take it. And I can prove it.
Consider. Since Clinton’s shock-the-world, hysteria-inducing defeat last November, the Clinton Global Initiative has dramatically scaled back its operations. The CGI—the most scandal-plagued arm of the Clinton Foundation—was a ground zero of grief for the Clinton campaign. Labeled a slush fund for political operations, paid for by foreign governments, it was an endless and easy target of complaints about conflicts of interest and graft. Yet despite pleas to do so by various supporters throughout the 2016 campaign, the Clintons time and again refused to shut it down or shrink its mandate until Bill Clinton made the announcement just weeks before Election Day. Which raises the question: What advantage, other than a political one, is there to actually going through with it now?
Similarly, why did the Clintons allow rumors to circulate—rumors they still haven’t officially quashed—that the former secretary of state was/is/might be considering a run for mayor of New York City? For the thrill of it? Out of spite toward the current mayor, who supported her candidacy for the White House? Or might there be another reason to keep alive the idea that Hillary Clinton’s political fortunes aren’t in the rear-view mirror? Hillary Clinton Running for President
This month, Clinton signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster. That alone isn’t noteworthy. This, after all, would be her seventh book, if you count her campaign policy venture/insomnia cure, Stronger Together. But added to all the other activities afoot, it raises a few questions. Does she really have that much more to say? Or might there be another reason, besides money that she does not need, to go on a book tour, answer humiliating questions about losing to Donald Trump and stay in the headlines?
And just days ago, Clinton trolled Trump on Twitter over the courtroom defeat of his executive order banning citizens from seven majority-Muslim nations. She didn’t have to do that, of course. Most defeated rivals disappear after their loss. Instead, Clinton sounded very much like she was still on the campaign trail. (Because, of course, she is.)
Finally, consider last November’s concession speech to Trump. Absent in her remarks was any indication, as one might have expected, that she was going gentle into that good night, handing the baton to a new generation or even to a new leader. Instead, Clinton talked more about the future—explicitly including herself in that future—than she did about the past.
“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will,” she said, adding, “and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.” She then quoted a line of Scripture: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” And she concluded, tellingly, with this: “So my friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come. And there is more work to do.”
This was not Richard Nixon’s bitter “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” when he lost a race for governor in 1962 and thought his political career was over. This was someone looking ahead. More seasons to come.
At the moment, of course, the idea of another Clinton presidential campaign—what would be the fifth since 1992—seems outlandish, even exhausting. Who’d want to go through all that mess again? But four years is plenty of time for memories to subside.
And it’s true that in another era, a candidate Clinton’s age might have been deemed too old for the presidency. But in 2020, Hillary Clinton will be 73, one year younger than the incumbent seeking reelection.
Also in another era, her political career might have been seen as having passed its expiration date. She’s twice run for the White House—and lost. But Ronald Reagan didn’t think that way. He ran in 1968, and again in 1976, nearly beating the incumbent Gerald Ford for the GOP nomination, before his ultimate victory in 1980.
Besides, consider the alternative: having a chance to run for a third time—and squandering it. Al Gore first sought the presidency in 1988 and then again in 2000, when he won the popular vote against George W. Bush and came within a few hundred hanging chads of winning the decisive state of Florida. Anyone think Gore still doesn’t wonder what might have happened had he pursued a rematch against Bush four years later? (As it happens, Bush barely beat John Kerry in 2004, 50.7 percent to 48.3 percent.)
More recent history might well be very different today if Mitt Romney had made a third run for the presidency in 2016, which, by most accounts, he was sorely tempted to do—and on more than one occasion. Romney, too, almost assuredly is still asking himself whether he made a mistake by staying out.
Clinton is not going to want to spend the rest of her life haunted by the question of “What if?” What if I could run again—and win? Besides, seeking the White House has been her aspiration for decades. What else is there for her to do?
Yes, barring some calamity, Clinton is running. And this brave columnist will go one step further. Not only will Clinton run again, she has an excellent shot at getting the Democratic Party nomination again. But only if she approaches it quite differently. Here’s some advice for her.
LET THEM COME TO YOU
Let’s face it. Positioning herself early as the front-running inevitable juggernaut soaking up dollars like gravy on biscuits has never worked for Clinton. For whatever reason, her best political moments have always come when she appeared as the underdog, vulnerable, even fragile. In the 1990s, she was deeply unpopular until she was humiliated by the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
In 2000, during her race for a seat representing New York in the U.S. Senate, she was tied in polls against a relatively unknown Republican congressman until he appeared to physically bully her at a debate. In 2008, she was on the verge of losing Iowa and New Hampshire to Barack Obama until she started talking about all the fight left in her—and shed some tears. Vulnerable and sympathetic, she defied the polls and her candidacy was revived. In each of those cases, people were pulling for her in a way they never did in 2016.
Thus, in 2020, the best way for her to win the nomination—and potentially the White House—is not to get out front early but to hold back and let the people come to her. The genius of Texas Governor George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign was that throughout 1999, he made it so people, including some of the biggest names in the GOP, came to him begging him to run. By the time he did enter, he’d gotten the party so excited, he all but wrapped up the nomination by the end of the South Carolina primary.
In a crucial scene in “Return of the Jedi,” Han Solo pilots an imperial transport ship onto the forest moon of Endor. Trying to avoid detection by the enemy, he offers Chewbacca crucial advice: “Fly casual.” This, of course, is Clinton’s mission for the next two years—to stay visible without attracting too much attention by staying visible.
To make another run, people must remember she’s still out there and still engaged. A president-in-waiting, but crucially, without looking like a president-in-waiting. That’s why there will be another book tour, periodic op-eds on issues she care about, select speeches and media events, and the odd tweet in support of various anti-Trump activities, such as the women’s march and the airport protests over Trump’s executive order pertaining to refugees. Anything she does will attract attention, so she will have to plan her appearances very sparingly and wisely to avoid tipping her hand. Watch for her to do just that.
SUPPORT EVERYONE—AND NO ONE
In this effort, a central goal will be to provide support for Democrats who will be seeking reelection in 2018 (and who could form a phalanx of support for her in 2020).
Most importantly, she should give a boost to each and every potential presidential candidate—saying nice things about them when prompted, offering advice when asked, but not showing any favoritism. As long as there is a crowded field of contenders with various strengths and weaknesses, each having their own slice of Democratic superdelegates, it would be much easier for her to come in and take control.
ENTER LATE—AND HUMBLY
Hillary Clinton has 100 percent name ID, a personal fortune and a bastion of loyalists. She could enter the race at the last possible moment—at the behest of the people, of course—and catch her Democratic Party rivals by surprise. To soften her reputation as a programmed, overly cautious and polarizing figure, Clinton should eschew the front-runner label and run as an underdog, praising the other candidates and their proposals, opening up her campaign bus to the press corps and offering to have a freewheeling debate with any major rival, at any time, and anywhere. Hillary Clinton Running for President
So that’s what she could do—and almost certainly will do—to win the nomination. But could she beat Trump in Round 2? Well, that’s another story, for another column, altogether.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said that after the election, the Clinton Global Initiative announced plans to cease operations. According to the Clinton Foundation, the CGI announced plans to scale back its operations, not to cease them entirely. Furthermore, the announcement was made in August, not after the election. The article has been updated to reflect this.