In 2008 I supported Hillary Clinton over Obama because I thought he was too young and inexperienced (his terms did not change this perception for me). Part of me thought that his 2008 run was a rehearsal for a later run that got out of hand. I didn’t think Clinton would be a very good president but I thought she’d probably be a respectable place holder and certainly better than anyone the Republicans were likely to come up with (esp McCain, what a terrible choice….).
In 2016 I thought Clinton’s time had past and she should give up her idea of being the first First Lady to transition to the Big Office. I wasn’t tremendously happy about Sanders (so oooold, including his ideas). In retrospect it seems like another example of Baby Boomers hogging the spotlight (Sanders is on the cusp of the Silent and Baby Boom generations) instead of actively working to pass the torch to the next generation. And the Republican field seemed even worse – a rainbow of crapitude in which even Donald Trump didn’t seem worse than the average.
I didn’t vote in the final since I don’t live in the US but if I was I wouldn’t have voted for Trump in the general, I would have held my nose and voted for Clinton.
But here’s the thing. I don’t think things would be one bit better if she had been elected. They would be bad in a different way that might make some people happier, but I’m more and more convinced that she was/is fundamentally no more suited to the office of POTUS than Trump is.
A lot of this is connected to excerpts or summaries of her new book. Now the chances of me actually buying and reading this are only slightly less than me leading an army of super intelligent rhinoceri across the Mediterranean and conquering Morocco, but the excerpts and summaries showing up all point in two very clear directions.
First, she’s a terrible leader. She never accepts responsibility for anything going wrong. It’s always someone else’s fault. Unable to inspire, she looks for scapegoats for her own failures and serving up rationalizations rather than facing the unpalatable truth – she ran a deeply flawed campaign.
Secondly, she’s not giving up. This book is clearly the opening salvo of her 2020 campaign. She’s going to try again unless the Demcoratic apparatus unites to stop her. If Democrats want a shot in 2020 they have to find some other candidate, no matter how much she guilts them or how many connections she has.
Some Trump supporters portray his victory as ‘dodging a bullet’, but it wasn’t. He’s fundamentally unsuited to the political process of give and take interactions a president needs to get stuff done and he has no idea how to deal with the incrusted bureaucracy of Washington or the office of president itself that can’t simply be fired.
In retrospect there was no way to dodge a bullet in the 2016 election, the only question is which bullet got the country and how and where the damage would manifest itself.