Is that delusional on a grand scale?
In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton was asked if she was just “waiting in the wings” for the right moment to jump into the 2020 race.
Here’s how it went:
HILLARY CLINTON: You know, I have always been a very, very slow runner. I am embarrassingly slow. I’ve tried to run races and I am so far behind that I start to walk, acting like that was what the plan was all the time. I don’t know that I’m going to take up competitive running right now, but I think you’re asking about something else, aren’t you?
Hilarious Hillary. So funny.
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: There’s been some teasing and some hinting that, maybe, you’re sitting off in the wings here and waiting for some moment.
HILLARY CLINTON: Look, I think I would have been a really good president. I think I could have been a very effective leader. We have real divides in the country over all kinds of things, but I certainly, in my time in the Senate and Secretary of State, worked really hard, as you say, to actually solve problems, not exacerbate them or ignore them. I would have done everything I could to try to get us positioned for the future. That’s what a leader is supposed to do. Elections are supposed to be about the future and leadership should be about the future.
I think I could have done a really good job. I think the last election was deeply flawed and that there were so many unprecedented problems in that election that it’s almost hard to make sense of.
Watch the full interview (if you can stomach it) here:
The responses to Hillary online were not kind:
The Guardian had more on whether Hillary will run:
A high-profile book tour. Countless TV interviews. Political combat with a Democratic primary candidate and Donald Trump. A year before the US presidential election, it looks like a campaign and it sounds like a campaign but it isn’t a campaign. At least, not as far anyone knows.
Yet a recent surge of activity by Hillary Clinton, combined with reports and columns suggesting the Democrats have not found the right candidate, have made a 2016 rematch a fun, speculative and potentially intriguing topic of Washington conversation.
The sense that something strange is going on began a few weeks ago. A book is a traditional vehicle for a candidate. The former secretary of state launched The Book of Gutsy Women, co-written with daughter Chelsea, and embarked on a tour that included events, speeches and late-night TV appearances.
Clinton, 72, whose narrow, devastating defeat by Trump was one of the greatest upsets in political history, has also become more prolific and pugnacious on Twitter. On 25 September, after revelations about Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine, she wrote: “The president of the United States has betrayed our country … He is a clear and present danger to the things that keep us strong and free. I support impeachment.”
On 30 September, Clinton tweeted: “The president is a corrupt human tornado.” On 3 October, after Trump invited China to investigate former vice-president Joe Biden: “Someone should inform the president that impeachable offenses committed on national television still count.”
Someone should inform the president that impeachable offenses committed on national television still count
And on 8 October, when Trump suggested Clinton should enter the presidential race, she retorted: “Don’t tempt me. Do your job.”
Perhaps most oddly of all, Clinton also appeared to lash out at a fellow Democrat. In a podcast interview, she said Russia had “got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate”. It was widely assumed to be a reference to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who mounted a furious response.
This week the comeback tour continued when she appearedwith the supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. As she was introduced with husband Bill, Clinton gained longer and louder applause than the former president, whose affair with a White House intern has received fresh scrutiny in the #MeToo era. Unlike his wife, he has been remarkably silent during the Democratic primary. Candidates show little appetite for his endorsement.
Addressing law students, Clinton appeared more humorous and at ease than on the campaign trail. The final question concerned whether the guests were rooting for the Washington Nationals in baseball’s World Series. Bill interjected: “I guess I should go first. I’m the only one that’s not running for anything. Ever. She may or may not ever run for anything but I can’t legally run for president again.”
The Nationals won the deciding game in Houston and Hillary managed to make a political point: “World Series champs should get statehood.” The following night, she even performed in a Halloween sketch for The Daily Show on Comedy Central, revisiting the horror of the electoral college that cost her victory in 2016.
All this could be dismissed as no more than a smart way to promote a book, were it not coinciding with mild panic in Democratic ranks. The primary has attracted a record number of candidates and record diversity yet, many argue, failed to produce a John F Kennedy, a Bill Clinton or a Barack Obama, in terms of natural political gifts or charisma.
“None of them are what you would call inspirational,” said John Zogby, a Democratic pollster, noting that few percentage points separate leading contenders Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.
Frank Bruni, a New York Times columnist, wrote of Buttigieg last month:“He’s so very strong but so crucially weak – which is the story of the Democratic primary, whose leading candidates are all agonizingly unsafe bets. Without a nanosecond’s pause, I’d vote for any of them over Trump. But will enough other Americans? The stakes are enormous and reassurance is elusive.”
The paper also published a news report headlined: “Anxious Democratic Establishment Asks, ‘Is There Anybody Else?’” It told how a recent meeting of donors discussed whether Clinton, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg or even former first lady Michelle Obama might yet enter the race.
I don’t think she would do it and I don’t think she should. It would be late and very divisive
“Mrs Clinton and Mr Bloomberg have both told people privately in recent weeks that if they thought they could win, they would consider entering the primary – but that they were skeptical there would be an opening, according to Democrats who have spoken with them,” the Times said.
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