Making much news is CNN’s White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny reporting that Hillary Clinton is telling friends that she hasn’t closed the door to running for president in 2020.
“I’m told by three people that as recently as this week, she was telling people that look, given all this news from the indictments, particularly the Roger Stone indictment, she talked to several people, saying, ‘Look, I’m not closing the doors to this,’ ” Mr. Zeleny reported on the network.
This is a classic way of floating the traditional “trial balloon” to see how people would react. The presumption is the average deplorable American won’t know this, and the messenger helps the prospect by using the media to test the idea and send a larger message to the system itself that Mrs. Clinton is still out there, looming.
Within 48 hours, new media reports were trying to tamp that down, saying that was likely just hopeful friends trying to encourage her to do it.
That’s bunk. Something like this is not moved by “several people” to the CNN White House correspondent without Mrs. Clinton’s approval. That doesn’t mean it’s not dumb.
Many outlets noted that just last year that Mrs. Clinton said she would not be running again — but you don’t even have to run for president in order to become the nominee.
Mrs. Clinton made it clear she still thinks she’s probably entitled to the nomination. Again.
In November, The New York Times reported, “During a far-ranging interview with Kara Swisher of the technology website Recode … Mrs. Clinton initially said ‘no’ when asked whether she wanted to run for president again. She then paused and repeated ‘no.’ But after Ms. Swisher noted the slight hesitation, Mrs. Clinton seemed to reconsider…”
” ‘Well, I’d like to be president. … The work would be work that I feel very well prepared for having been at the Senate for eight years, having been a diplomat in the State Department, and it’s just going to be a lot of heavy lifting.’ “
She doesn’t want to run again, but she wants to be president. That’s the mistake she made in 2016 — wanting the job without having to work for it. Is it possible for Mrs. Clinton to become the nominee again without running for it? Yes, it is.
Considering the ideological civil war inside the party now, it’s fair to say no one will emerge unscathed. In fact, it’s possible no one will emerge as a singular leader at all.
With a highly divided field, and many of those candidates touting policy that Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro would endorse, the prospects for a brokered convention are possible. So when Mrs. Clinton said she’s not interested in running again, she could be looking at the possibility of being appointed at a brokered convention.
If she did pursue this, she’s also still as deluded about the impact of Donald Trump as she was throughout the 2016 campaign. One could imagine Mrs. Clinton thinks winning in 2020 would be as much of a cakewalk as winning in 2016.
In other words, Mrs. Clinton’s new plan could be to not only not visit Wisconsin, but not visit any of the states at all.
And then there is Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, a lifelong Democrat and major supporter of Mrs. Clinton, saying he’s likely to enter the field as an independent.
Many of the people running for the Democratic nomination expected to be serving in President Hillary Clinton’s Cabinet, including Mr. Schultz.
“Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz was apparently Hillary Clinton’s pick to head the federal Department of Labor,” the Seattle Times reported in January 2017. “Schultz, who had endorsed Hillary Clinton, had also reportedly been considered for the vice presidency, along with Bill and Melinda Gates, according to a list included in a hacked email released earlier by WikiLeaks.”
Mr. Schultz is an independent? Sure, like Mrs. Clinton is a champion for women.
Mr. Schultz, the argument goes, would only be a spoiler, taking Democratic votes from the Democratic nominee in the general election. Yet, imagine Mr. Schultz campaigning as a “moderate,” even though he is a liberal progressive but also seen as the voice of reason in the field. He’s a billionaire and can self-fund. He is a genuine threat to the expectations of whatever Democratic Party structure exists. Who does that help? Hillary Clinton.
While he does not have a chance at becoming president, he and Mrs. Clinton may imagine they would be the much more appealing team at convention time than those offering to the American people the Venezuelan model of socialism and governance. In the meantime, President Trump offers continued economic success, personal freedom and genuine national security.
As far as Mrs. Clinton’s dreams, perhaps she should hire Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman Schultz to help her manipulate her way to losing once again.