In a party struggling to define itself nationally as it seeks a standard-bearer for its 2020 challenge to an incumbent President Donald Trump, the last thing Democrats need is more Hillary Clinton. Yet that is exactly what they will be getting.
Displaying the breathtaking selfishness and self-absorption that has defined the Clinton political family for decades, Hillary Clinton has collaborated on a new “nothing-was-off-limits” four-part documentary that will air on the streaming Hulu network in March. Billed as a strikingly personal presentation, the doc will drop like the proverbial turd in the punch bowl right in the middle of Dem primary voting.
Hey, Voters, Look at Me!
After a drawn-out pre-primary winnowing season that lasted through most of 2019, Democrats head into first voting in Iowa on Feb. 3 every bit as perplexed as to the direction their party will take in 2020 as they were 12 months ago. Are the old-line establishment forces hardy enough to foist a stumbling Joe Biden on a more leftist grassroots voting base? Will a more rabble-rousing progressive candidate such as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) be able to break through and steamroll his or her way to the nomination? Does this party have anything more offer the American people than staunch and often hysterical opposition to Trump, as exemplified in the impeachment imbroglio that will sidetrack three leading senators from the presidential campaign trail?
All these questions linger and need to be answered. Rather than show respect for the clarifying process that must naturally occur, Hillary barrels into the spotlight, making it obvious once again that she refuses to let any other tree grow near her fading yet still substantial shade. Can you imagine other defeated presidential candidates from the previous election having the sheer bad taste to preen before the public as their party is in the middle of deciding who will be their captain for the next election? How much would Bill and Hillary have enjoyed dealing with a Michael Dukakis vocally declaring in 1991 that he “wasn’t going away” and would be a prominent figure throughout the 1992 campaign?
Intentional or Inadvertent Sabotage?
Hillary is fundamentally unable to see herself as the decisive 2016 loser she was, and so her ghost will continue to haunt Dems even as a thoroughly muddled nomination process threatens to last right up to the convention itself. And so a party that desperately needs to move forward, on whatever path it chooses, will be saddled with this tired baggage of the past. That her own party’s candidates will see their already flickering stars lose even more illumination as a result seems to mean nothing to her. Whether they choose to ignore, engage, or pay lip service to this 2020 primary crasher, nothing good will come from Sanders, Warren, or Biden having to address the Hillary That Won’t Go Away. She won’t add a jot of goodwill or positive momentum to their campaigns and will only highlight each aspirant’s inability up to this point to establish a strong persona capable of claiming leadership over the party and uniting it in November.
There is one other consideration to keep in mind. Hillary may very well want to see Dems head into July crippled by indecision. With no clear winner going to the convention floor, perhaps she holds out dreams of being anointed with the nomination in Milwaukee in truly old-school political-power style. Even if the Machiavellian Clintons do have this in mind, they are going about it all wrong. By constantly butting into the limelight, Hillary negates the dramatic effect of such a storyline. That role belongs to the reluctant old warrior being urged to step on the field of battle one last time. This is clearly not what we have on our hands here. Americans see a Hillary scratching and crawling to get into the game even when no one wants her to. It is, in the end, a self-defeating narrative.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.