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I’m not trying to be cruel this Wednesday, just reading the numbers: Joe Biden is the most unpopular president that the United States has had in a very long time. Voters dislike Kamala Harris even more. And that’s a problem because this is supposed to be the new administration’s honeymoon period, the part where everyone thinks they’re great. So it’s not getting better from here. This is as beloved as the Biden administration is going to get.
Smart Democrats can read the numbers. They understand this, and they’re working on a solution. This week, two of them wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal calling on the party to support Hillary Clinton for president in 2024. Hillary is the best-positioned candidate to win a national election, they argued. She’s also, they noted, younger than Joe Biden. Former President Bill Clinton agrees with this, or says he does anyway. Bill Clinton told People Magazine that his wife is, “The most qualified person to run for office in my lifetime, including me.”
In fact, failing to elect Hillary in 2016 was in Bill Clinton’s studied estimation, a historic national tragedy: “One of the most profound mistakes we’ve ever made.” Unforgivable, really. The good news is we now have a chance to correct that mistake, and you don’t get those very often in life.
Typically, when you do something rash or stupid, you’ve got to live with the consequences. It’s probably happened to you. One night you’re listening to Born to Run after too many drinks. The next thing you know, you’ve got Bruce Springsteen’s face tattooed on your lower back. It’s embarrassing. It’s also permanent. Think of Hillary Clinton as America’s National Tattoo Remover. She alone can erase the stain of our youthful, bad judgment. God bless that woman.
But wait a second, you say, Hillary can’t win, she’s yesterday’s candidate. This country’s got a short attention span. We want the new, new thing, and Hillary Clinton isn’t new. She’s been around forever. We’re bored of her. Well, if you believe that you don’t remember Hillary Clinton very well. Call her what you will, but she’s not boring. Hillary is like a box of Cracker Jacks, or you’re emotionally volatile niece who goes to art school. She’s full of surprises. You never know what you’re going to get. There are days when Hillary seems like a sensible Midwestern Methodist who grew up Republican in a suburb outside Chicago. That’s the biographically, accurate Hillary Clinton. But it’s hardly the only Hillary Clinton. During the years she spent in Arkansas, for example, Hillary often played the loyal daughter of the American South, a southern fried Dixie lady with a spunky feminist twist that was the character she was portraying when we first met her 30 years ago, this month. It was during the 1992 presidential primaries. If you watch the clip, she even has an accent.
BILL CLINTON: You’re looking at two people who love each other. This is not an arrangement or an understanding. This is a marriage. That’s a very different thing.
HILLARY CLINTON: You know, I’m not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette. I’m sitting here because I love him and I respect him and I honor what he’s been through and what we’ve been through together.
You don’t hear a hint of Park Ridge, Illinois, in her voice. It’s all bourbon and okra. Pretty impressive. But that’s hardly the only persona in Hillary’s quiver. She contains multitudes. When she feels like it, Hillary can transform herself entirely from a middle-aged rich White lady to a weary, but dignified household domestic turned civil rights protester, bruised and battered from a harrowing march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the road to freedom. Sometimes Hillary Clinton is just sick and tired of being sick and tired.
HILLARY CLINTON: I don’t feel no ways tired. I’ve come too far. From where I started from, nobody told me that the road would be easy. I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me.
It’s not a bad impression. Of course, there are other days when Hillary doesn’t talk at all, that’s in her repertoire, too. She just points her finger at you and cackles wildly like a mental patient on the subway. For the uninitiated, it can be a disconcerting experience; is she casting a spell? Is she going to bite me? You’re never sure. But her staff isn’t worried. They think it’s all part of her secret sauce. It’s one of the reasons everyone loves Hillary. Here’s the cackle routine.
PBS: Wouldn’t it be insane of you to run for office again?
HILLARY CLINTON: (Laughs)
CNN: Is she’s sitting across from me right now?
HILLARY CLINTON: (Laughs)
REPORTER: I don’t know why that’s funny. I mean, did you have any in-person briefings? I don’t find it funny at all.
HILLARY CLINTON: (Laughs)
COMEDY CENTRAL: How did you kill Jeffrey Epstein?
HILLARY CLINTON: (Laughs)
CNN: There are lot of people who are not…
HILLARY CLINTON: (Laughs)
HILLARY CLINTON: I mean, really, yes, it deserves a lot of laughter.
No, she didn’t kill Jeffrey Epstein. Remember all that? You’re starting to see how the Hillary Clinton phenomenon began in the first place and why it could so easily rekindle. Hillary’s political career was always a grassroots movement, a prairie fire if you will. She had famously broad support from top DNC officials to several billionaire Democratic donors. Ron Burkle came out for Hillary. That’s like winning every voter in the state of Ohio, at least from a fundraising perspective.
So clearly, she’s got the mechanics down. How about the issues? What’s Hillary going to run on? Come on. Think about it. Libya. She’s going to run on what she did in the North African nation of Libya. It’s the one achievement of her life that’s uniquely hers. Her husband had nothing to do with it. As Secretary of State under Obama, Hillary Clinton ordered the killing of Moammar Gadhafi. He was the bloodthirsty Libyan strongman who was also, let’s be honest, creepy and weird and therefore deserving of death. Hillary had him offed. Then she laughed about it. Watch.
CBS: That is the land of unconfirmed.
HILLARY CLINTON: Yes, we came. We saw. He died. (Hillary laughs)
CBS: Did it have anything to do with your visit.
HILLARY CLINTON: No, I’m sure it did.
“We came, we saw, he died.” Pretty funny. But then what happened? Once Hillary killed the leader of the country, how did the country do? Well, let’s see. We’ll tell the story in pictures. Here’s the capital of Libya before Hillary Clinton decided to introduce the Libyan people to a little thing we call human rights. The city looks fine. But underneath there was no freedom. There were too few Soros-backed NGOs. She changed that. Now in that same city post-Hillary, people are being sold as property in the now thriving slave markets in downtown Tripoli. No, they’re not very happy, that’s true, but at least Gadhafi’s gone. So on some level, they’re free. They’ve been liberated by Hillary Clinton, despite the fact they’re now enslaved.
That’s called progress. It’s worth something. In fact, it’s a pretty good campaign slogan. Hillary 2024: She’ll do for us what she did for Libya. You could imagine the posters and T-shirts and coffee mugs. Somebody is going to need to get those slaves to sign a consent form, put them on the list. But all of a sudden, Hillary Clinton for president starting to sound a little less crazy, isn’t it? In fact, it’s starting to sound inevitable.
There are really two questions left to answer: Why did Hillary lose last time? And who would she run against two years from now? Let’s take the first question first. It’s got the simplest, most obvious answer. Hillary Clinton was cheated out of her rightful destiny in 2016 because unseen forces of evil worked furiously to undermine her because they feared her strength and goodness. Come on, you knew that. Hillary Clinton certainly knows that.
HILLARY CLINTON: The Russians, let’s say WikiLeaks, same thing, dumped the John Podesta emails. … I have my complaints about, former Director Comey. … The use of my email account was turned into the biggest scandal since Lord knows when. … They covered it like it was Pearl Harbor. … If you look at Facebook, the vast majority of the news items posted were fake. … There’s all these stories about guys over in Macedonia who are running these fake news sites. … I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party. … I also think I was the victim of a very broad assumption I was going to win. … If the election been on October 27th, I’d be your president. And it wasn’t. It was on October 28th and there was just a lot of funny business going on around that.
So the Russians, WikiLeaks, Jim Comey, Facebook, Democratic Party, saboteurs and the citizenry of Macedonia, those are the people who did the funny business that was like Pearl Harbor that prevented Hillary from becoming president. That’s who opposed her last time. Obviously. Who’s going to oppose her this time? Well, for the answer to that question, we turn, as we always do to Mr. Tom Friedman of the New York Times, who was both the Pulitzer Prize winner and a certified moron. In that paradoxical way, that’s familiar to Washingtonians, Tom Friedman is just dumb enough to get a lot of things right. If Tom Friedman thinks it, chances are a lot of other self-important mediocrities think it, too. And those are the people who run this country. Yesterday, Tom Friedman wrote a piece calling on Joe Biden to replace Kamala Harris with Liz Cheney in the next election. Now, if you’re not Tom Friedman or his friends, this might strike you as ridiculous.
In fact, it might seem like yet another sign that our political class has reached peak decadence and exhaustion. If they’re pushing a Cheney in the next presidential cycle, maybe they’ve run out of ideas. Well, of course they have. And that’s exactly what gives Hillary such a natural opening here. As long as we’re turning our politics into a 1990s sitcom reunion, why not get George W. Bush to run? It’s not a crazy idea. He’s got the time to do it. At this stage, Bush would much rather run with Hillary than against Hillary. They’re personal friends. On most things, they agree vehemently. But having a Bush and a Clinton on the same ticket wouldn’t work. It’s just too obvious. Maybe W could be convinced to take one for the establishment and throw on the Republican jersey one last time. He’s 75, but that is a full presidential term younger than Joe Biden, which by current standards qualifies…