Good question. Here’s another: Is there enough popcorn in the world to supply Republicans? We need a supply-chain rescue, stat, people!
It’s not happening, of course, but The Hill’s Amie Parnes wants to pretend it might. And why not indulge in a little fantasy primary league analysis, especially from someone as estimable and well-connected as Parnes?
The overturning of Roe v. Wade by a Supreme Court that includes three judges nominated by Donald Trump, along with devastating Tuesday testimony to the Jan. 6 panel about the former president’s temper tantrums as a mob attacked the Capitol, have Clinton and his allies seeing new vindication in her 2016 warnings about the mistake of electing Trump.
It’s made some wonder if a third bid for the White House for is possible.
“This moment couldn’t be better for her,” said one former aide. “Everything she warned us about has happened, just as she said.”
Parnes dashes a little cold water on the fantasy, though. An unnamed “longtime adviser” tells Parnes that Hillary would only run if Biden chooses to retire at the end of his term:
One longtime adviser to Clinton said it’s in the realm of possibility if Biden chooses not to run.
“I do not think she would challenge President Biden if he were to continue on the path of seeking reelection,” the longtime adviser said. “If he chose not to run, I imagine attention would focus on a number of potential candidates including Vice President [Kamala] Harris, of course but also Secretary Clinton, among others.
Huma? Huma, is that you?
First off, if Hillary Clinton chooses to run, she won’t worry about whether Joe Biden’s standing in her way. The ambitions of the Clintons rarely if ever showed deference or even any sense of grace, especially in 2008 and 2016. Clinton may not be the first in the race to challenge Biden for the nomination, but once those gates get opened, she’ll throw her hat in the ring hard enough to make any others bounce off the canvas.
That is, if she decides to run at all. She’s only five years younger than Biden himself, and Clinton would turn 77 the month before election day. She has not just the baggage of blowing an election she should have won in 2016 against Donald Trump (by ignoring Wisconsin and Michigan!), but all of the rest of the Clinton baggage as well. That includes the Jeffrey Epstein shenanigans in which presumptive First Gentleman Bill Clinton engaged, a scandal that really blew open after her 2016 bid. It’s a lot easier and smarter for Clinton to play eminence grise from the sidelines than it would be to get back into the electoral glare and have to go through all of the Epstein scrutiny all over again. Thanks to the successful prosecution of Ghislaine Maxwell and her 20-year prison sentence handed down this week, that’s still hot news just months before the primary season will start.
In fact, Maxwell’s sentencing is already raising the question about men like Bill Clinton who palled around with Epstein and Maxwell:
Maxwell has been found guilty of committing these crimes, and she should undoubtedly pay the price for them. But—and it’s a “but” even the lawyers of some of her victims have stressed—she did not act alone. Even the charges themselves imply the involvement of other people—minors aren’t sex trafficked to no one. Trafficking requires another person’s involvement: the person to whom the minor is trafficked.
Throughout the trial this past winter, the names of many rich and powerful men made cameos in the courtroom—the men who flew on Epstein’s planes, the men who paid Epstein handsomely for his mysterious financial wizardry—but those men largely blurred into the background. What were the men doing on Epstein’s plane and on Epstein’s island? What does Darren Indyke, Epstein’s long-time lawyer, know about his client’s activities? Will we ever find out? And if not, why not? What are the flaws in our legal system than enable such silence? We should push for those answers, that accountability.
The wealthy gaggle of men who hung around Epstein—some even after he was a known sex offender—have just flitted back to their lives, no questions (as far as we know) asked by prosecutors.
The name “Clinton” never comes up in Vicky Ward’s essay. You’d better believe it will start coming up if Hillary runs for office again, and Hillary has to know it, too.
But let’s say she decided to pull the trigger on another presidential run. Regardless of whether Biden chooses to run again, would Democrats really have much interest in reviving the Clinton establishment from the dead? Why would they do that for a second nominee in a row that would likely only be healthy enough for one term — if that? Even if Democrats forgive Hillary for her electoral malpractice in 2016, they aren’t going to want to position themselves as the Eternal Party Of The Boomers for another cycle or two. One Biden’s gone, that generation will pass with him from leadership potential. It’s either eminence grise status or the heave-ho, or at least it should be if Democrats plan on winning another election.
Besides, what would Clinton do differently than Biden anyway? Clinton would pursue the same policies, likely with the same blinkered response to their outcomes, while attempting to deflect any criticism as sexist as well as ageist. Clinton wouldn’t be a change at all, but more of the same old thing, literally. Voters would know that — and perhaps Democratic leaders and strategists might realize it, too. Although they have been mighty clueless until very lately on what voters think, admittedly.
Clinton likely realizes it, though. She’s playing with the media to get some attention, and maybe try to score another book deal. That might prove even less likely to succeed than a presidential-campaign comeback, though.