Hillary Clinton: 'I'd like to be president'

Hillary Clinton said that she would still like to be President, but when asked if she will run in 2020, she said no.

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 7:56 AM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 7:56 AM

On Sunday, two former advisers to Hillary Clinton made a bold claim in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Here it is:

"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."

That's former Clinton pollster Mark Penn and former New York City politician Andrew Stein's view of how Clinton will run (again) and win in two years' time.

And, before you pull a muscle from rolling your eyes too hard (this is a real injury!), consider what Clinton told Recode's Kara Swisher last month about another run for the nation's top office:

"Well I'd like to be president. I think, hopefully, when we have a Democrat in the Oval Office in January of 2021, there's going to be so much work to be done. I mean we have confused everybody in the world, including ourselves. We have confused our friends and our enemies. They have no idea what the United States stands for, what we're likely to do, what we think is important, so the work would be work that I feel very well prepared for having been at the Senate for eight years, having been a diplomat in the State Department, and it's just going to be a lot of heavy lifting."

In case you are keeping track at home, that isn't a "no." Or even close to one.

You can understand why Clinton wouldn't want to totally rule out another bid. Buyer's remorse from voters who helped elect Donald Trump in 2016. The backing of an energized female base within the Democratic Party. Plus, if Joe Biden (75 years old) and Bernie Sanders (77) can run again for president, why can't she?

True enough! But here's the thing: Democrats should be rooting VERY hard against another presidential run by Clinton. That is, if they want to beat Donald Trump in 2020.

As you may remember, Clinton lost the 2016 presidential race to Trump. You might have missed it, it wasn't that big a story.

She lost that race despite these facts:

  1. She was seeking to follow a popular Democratic president in office.
  2. She drastically outraised and outspent Trump in all key battleground states.
  3. A tape emerged just weeks before the end of the race where Trump made a laundry list of misogynistic comments.
  4. Her opponent was Donald Trump.

Yes, there were mitigating factors -- most notably James Comey's decision to announce that he was re-opening the FBI investigation into her use of a private email server just days before the election. And WikiLeaks' strategic release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee designed to embarrass the Clinton team and distract them from the task at hand.

BUT, but, but. The 2016 race was still a VERY winnable one for Clinton -- and one that most experts, polls and people expected her to win, and win easily.

And then she lost.

The roots of that defeat are pretty obvious in retrospect. People didn't like Trump. But they didn't like Clinton any better. People didn't trust Trump or think he was honest. But they felt the exact same way about Clinton.

In the end, people voted for Trump -- and, yes, Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million -- because they wanted RADICAL change. And he was that change. Clinton was, well, more of the same.

Here's a number that tells the story of that election: Almost 4 in 10 voters said that the most important thing about a candidate for them was that he or she could bring about needed change in the country. Trump got 82% of the vote among that group. Clinton got 14%.

Now, ask yourself this: What's changed? I'll answer that one for you: Not a hell of a lot.

If anything, Clinton is in a worse position, politically speaking, than she was back then. According to Gallup polling in September, just 36% of people have a favorable view of Hillary Clinton. That's down 7 points from where it stood just before the 2016 election and is tied for her lowest favorable rating ever in Gallup polling.

Why? Who knows? Some of the low regard in which Clinton is held is tied to the devastating efficacy of Trump's "Crooked Hillary" attacks. Some likely has to do with her decision to remain a vocal and high-profile critic of the president after losing. Some -- much? -- of it has to do with the fact that negative feelings about Clinton are baked into the electorate and just will never change.

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 -- and the many questions raised about her time in public life -- 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.

Which, interestingly enough, Penn and Stein acknowledge right at the start of their piece arguing that Clinton will run and win in 2020. The very fact that there can be a "Clinton 4.0" suggests she may have a) been around national politics too long and/or b) changed shape as a politician too many times over that multiple decade run in the public eye.

With a field packed with fresh faces -- including California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is the new No. 1 in our 2020 rankings -- the case to give Clinton a third (or fourth) bite at the apple is a tough sell.

And, remember this: Beating Trump is harder than it might look from the outside. For all of his abnormalities in office, he has demonstrated an ability to rally the Republican base like few GOP politicians before him. And he will do absolutely anything -- literally -- to win.

Democrats would do well to try a different approach than Clinton used in 2016, which, when boiled down, amounted to this: I'm running against Donald Trump, and you're certainly not going to vote for him, are you?

And they'd be well served to try a different candidate to deliver that different message -- not someone who was rejected by voters in the last presidential election even though she was running against the weakest Republican nominee in modern memory.

The third time is rarely the charm in presidential politics. Especially when you're talking about a candidate as divisive as Hillary Clinton.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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