Election 2020

Dear 2020: She's Ba-ack!

Hope springs eternal (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

They never stop, they never sleep, they never quit:

Hillary Clinton will run 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. Shortly after Clinton’s shock-the-world, hysteria-inducing defeat last November the Clinton Global Initiative announced plans to cease 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. Which raises the question: What advantage, other than a political one, is there to doing so 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?

I promise I won’t torture you with much more of this. But the fact is, the Clintons — like Obama — don’t really know how to do anything except run for office. Like most Democrats, they’ve spent their lives feeding at the public trough, taking advantage of the gullibility of that half of the American public who simply cannot bring themselves to believe that the modern Democrat Party is little more than a criminal organization masquerading as a political party, and using the weapons of “tolerance” and “diversity” against the country they profess to care about.

Meanwhile, Hillary’s path to the White House runs right down Victim Alley:

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.

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.

Dream on. America has been loud and clear on this subject since the 1990s: no Hillary Clinton in the White House, ever. Let’s keep it that way.