In the last few weeks, Hillary Clinton has been all over the media, sounding warning bells about the midterm elections and the dangers of President Trump returning to the White House in 2024. Many commentators wondered if she was positioning herself to run for president again. This author only became suspicious when the former secretary of State started asking for donations to the Clinton Foundation:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 29, 2021
The rumor mill cranking was crazy enough. Now two long-time Clintonites are advocating for it. Douglas Schoen and Andrew Stein opined for 17 paragraphs on the case for the Empress of Chappaqua to run in 2024. Their reasoning is pretty astounding. First, they note Joe Biden’s age; he will be 82 at reelection time. They also note Vice President Kamala Harris’s unpopularity, which surprised no one who watched the Democratic primary. She was the first to drop out, and black voters never flocked to her. She did not even lead in her home state of California.
Unfortunately, as Schoen and Stein note, there is not another leading Democrat burning up the national stage ahead of 2024. The attempts to make Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg a thing fizzled. The other prominent members of the administration have approval ratings hovering around 30%. Former stars have also lost their shine. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace. California Gov. Gavin Newsom faced a recall and has radical COVID policies that are unpopular nationally. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s tin pot dictator, faces reelection in 2022, and it is not clear she will be successful.
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However, the authors do not make a case for how Hillary Clinton solves these problems. In November of 2024, Hillary Clinton will be 77. This is not a significant improvement over 82. Clinton is nearly as horrible a retail candidate as Kamala Harris. Their electoral successes in lower-level races in deep blue states were never landslides. They both suffer from a severe lack of authenticity. And Clinton was defeated in 2008 by an unknown, partial-term senator.
Hilariously, the authors suggest that Clinton run as a “change candidate.” It would be the fourth time a Clinton ran for president, fifth if you count her 2008 primary. Having a Clinton on the ballot would be about as surprising as seeing a Bush. In a recent MSNBC appearance Clinton correctly noted that Democrats win a majority when they win in purple districts. In 2016, Clinton ran nearly as far to the left as Bernie Sanders. Americans are also likely to be highly suspicious of any Democrat claiming to be moderate after electing a potted plant whose handlers have made into a modern FDR.
Yet this is precisely what Schoen and Stein suggest:
Mrs. Clinton can spend the time between now and midterms doing what the Clinton administration did after the Democrats’ blowout defeat in the 1994 midterms: crafting a moderate agenda on both domestic and foreign policy. This agenda could show that Mrs. Clinton is the only credible alternative to Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris, and the entire Democratic Party establishment.
After you stop laughing because Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party establishment, remember that Democrats are in a bind. Despite President Barack Obama’s personal popularity, his agenda was not as well-liked. In the eight years he spent in the Oval Office, Democrats lost nearly 1,000 seats at the state and local levels. He destroyed their bench. When the authors say, “If Democrats want a fighting chance at winning the presidency in 2024, Mrs. Clinton is likely their best option,” they may be accurate.
The other issue Republicans need to deal with is the reality that Donald Trump will be 78 in 2024. Out of nearly 350 million Americans, is it possible we could find someone a decade or two below the average life expectancy to run? By then, America will have endured four years of President Puddin’ Cup projecting weakness and frailty onto the world stage. There are inherent risks to electing politicians who should think twice before buying green bananas, no matter how hale and hearty they seem today.
Yes, this means it would be best if President Trump became a kingmaker rather than the 2024 nominee. Vetting, mentoring, and throwing his support to America First candidates nationwide and doing rallies is how to electrify the base and change the trajectory of the Republican Party long term. We need candidates at all levels who understand the policy prescriptions that put Americans’ prosperity, safety, and security at the center. Candidates born between the late sixties and the early eighties are ready to step up. And no solid case has been made to elect a candidate to an automatic lame-duck term.
So, no. Americans do not want an election in 2024 that will feel like a twisted version of the movie Groundhog Day. The same ugly rhetoric on steroids will only accelerate the tremendous sort the country is experiencing, making our differences geographic and ideological. The last time those lines were so clearly drawn was leading up to Fort Sumter. So let’s avoid it at all costs.
Besides, no one really wants a geriatric grudge match in 2024.