The face of the 2018 Democrats: A bit­ter, petty, vin­dic­tive Hil­lary Clin­ton

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY JOSEPH CURL

The Demo­cratic Party has no leader right now. No one. For­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is palling around with his bil­lion­aire, is­land-own­ing bud­dies. So­cial­ist Sen. Bernie San­ders is kick­ing back in one of his three houses (we’re guess­ing the big one on Lake Cham­plain). And the 20-some 2020 pres­i­den­tial wannabes are all jock­ey­ing for me­dia at­ten­tion (and cash, lots of cash).

In such a void, that leaves just one per­son with the spot­light: the bit­ter, ev­eran­gry, petty, vin­dic­tive Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Mrs. Clin­ton told the Demo­cratic Women’s Lead­er­ship Fo­rum on Fri­day that she would be a foun­da­tional part of the anti-Trump “re­sis­tance.” No, she didn’t ask whether any­one wanted her to be. “We have to win back the Congress,” she said. “I’ll be there with you ev­ery step of the way be­cause we are go­ing to take back the coun­try we love.”

The whole speech sounded more like a threat than a prom­ise. There she was, the 70-year-old two-time loser with the end­less health prob­lems pledg­ing to lead the party, whether any­one wants her to or not.

Mrs. Clin­ton kept us­ing the “we” word — and the present tense. “What do the Democrats stand for?” she asked. “We stand for truth, for ev­i­dence and facts,” she said. “We have kind of an af­fec­tion for ev­i­dence. We think it should in­form our poli­cies, be­cause they’ll ac­tu­ally work bet­ter.”

She didn’t men­tion Pres­i­dent Trump by name, but she did say this: “We may have taken a lit­tle de­tour a year ago, but we’re back on the path of demon­strat­ing un­equiv­o­cally that our fu­ture is in di­ver­sity and in­clu­siv­ity.”

Yeah, that “de­tour” was her get­ting crushed in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Some in the party still love her. Mrs. Clin­ton is be­ing hon­ored with a medal dur­ing Har­vard Univer­sity’s grad­u­a­tion week. And she was cheered as the commenceme­nt speaker at Yale last week, too, where she made a joke about Russia. At the grad­u­a­tion, Mrs. Clin­ton held up a Rus­sian fur cap, say­ing, “I brought a hat too — a Rus­sian hat. Look, I mean, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!”

Mrs. Clin­ton also ad­mit­ted she drank plenty to drown her sor­rows, say­ing “I had my fair share of chardon­nay.” No won­der she falls down so much.

But this time, whether she sticks around may not be her choice. The New York Times on Mon­day wrote a dev­as­tat­ing story about Hil­lary and her hus­band, Slick Willy, which paints a grim pic­ture of how Democrats re­ally feel about the one­time po­lit­i­cal dy­nasty.

The story pays homage to the cou­ple, say­ing they were once “the most pow­er­ful brand in Demo­cratic pol­i­tics.” But the piece quickly veers an­other way, say­ing that nei­ther Hil­lary nor Bill will play a big role in party pol­i­tics for the 2018 midterm elec­tions.

“Both have been far less con­spic­u­ous than in past elec­tion cy­cles, but for dif­fer­ent rea­sons: Mrs. Clin­ton faces dis­trust on the left, where she is seen as an avatar of the Demo­cratic es­tab­lish­ment, and raw en­mity on the right. Mr. Clin­ton has been largely side­lined amid new scru­tiny of his past mis­con­duct with women,” The Times said.

The pa­per of record also says the cou­ple “reeks of the past and [Democrats] fear that their un­pop­u­lar­ity with con­ser­va­tive-lean­ing and in­de­pen­dent vot­ers could harm Democrats in close races.” And the piece points out that not a sin­gle one of the four can­di­dates run­ning in a Demo­cratic pri­mary elec­tion for a Repub­li­can-held House seat in Lit­tle Rock, Ar­kan­sas — the cou­ple’s for­mer home­town — “has reached out to seek the Clin­tons’ sup­port.”

“‘I see the Clin­tons as a li­a­bil­ity,’ said Paul Spencer, a high school teacher run­ning as a pro­gres­sive in the Ar­kan­sas race. ‘They sim­ply rep­re­sent the old mind-set of a Demo­cratic Party that is go­ing to con­tinue to lose elec­tions.’”

In one last scathing in­dict­ment, The Times says, “As­so­ci­ates of Mrs. Clin­ton said she is aware of the po­lit­i­cal pres­sures that make her un­wel­come in red states, and they do not ex­pect her to charge into races where she is un­de­sired.”

Mrs. Clin­ton says she’s not run­ning in 2020, but we’ll see. She’d love an­other chance to knock off Mr. Trump. Still, the Demo­cratic Party sav­agely kills its losers: Al Gore “won,” but the party didn’t back him four years later. John Kerry, too, lost by a whisker but didn’t get an­other chance.

Of course, we haven’t heard the last of her — there’s no sign that Mrs. Clin­ton plans on shut­ting up any­time soon. But her im­por­tance, her power to con­trol the party and its mes­sage, is over.

And when The New York Times tells you you’re done, you’re done.

Maybe when Hil­lary sobers up, she’ll see the writ­ing on the wall. Joseph Curl cov­ered the White House and pol­i­tics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twit­ter @josephcurl.

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