Let me start off by saying that I don’t particularly like or dislike Hillary Clinton. She doesn’t bother me the way she seems to irk a lot of people, and I respect her career in politics. Obviously, I believe she would have been a much better president than the guy we’ve got now, but that doesn’t really matter.
I do have a bit of a crush on Bill Clinton, though. When I was younger and coming into cognition, Bill Clinton was the president, which to me, inspired the same level of awe and admiration as my elementary school principal. I would see him on TV so often that, in my deluded kid mind, he was my friend. Any time I had an issue with school lunches or whatever else plagues a 5-year old, my go-to move was to threaten to write a letter to President Clinton, himself.
Why is my crush on my BFF Bill Clinton relevant here? Because the whole time he was president and for the subsequent years that he wasn’t, I didn’t pay much attention to his wife. She was a fine FLOTUS…I guess. Can’t really remember. Then she was…what, a senator? Good for her.
But unfortunately for her, as it currently stands, Hillary Clinton is best known for being a failed presidential candidate – twice over. First, she lost her party’s nomination after an extremely drawn out fight against Barack Obama in 2008. Then in the 2016 election, she beat Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, but she lost the election against none other than Donald Trump.
The woman who was supposed to be the first female president of this country – to put it plainly – is not.
While I don’t think anyone can argue that she doesn’t put up a good fight, many can and do argue that she doesn’t know when to throw in the towel.
Much of Barack Obama’s 2008 run was spent deflecting attacks from fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton.
And in 2016, it felt a bit like déjà vu.
Now, Hillary Clinton, since her dramatic and traumatic defeat in 2016, has written a book. I have a few problems with this.
The book is currently available for pre-order, but Clinton has been making her rounds around the press circuit. Some in-the-know folks have gotten advanced copies of the book and excerpts have been released to the public, and Bernie Sanders has since taken to responding to some claims and accusations Clinton makes in her book.
Basically, Clinton argues that there is plenty of blame to go around regarding why she was not elected president last November. Much of the blame *seems* to be placed on the shoulders of Bernie Sanders and James Comey. We’ll know for sure when the book actually comes out.
But I guess the fact that Clinton was already not well-liked by the public and didn’t have a solid campaign slogan or goal was irrelevant. And sadly for Hillary, charisma is not inherited through marriage.
So my question now, is
Why write this book? Why now? What do you hope to gain from it? How do you think it will benefit your party going forward?
The general response to this, that I’ve seen, is that Hillary Clinton is pissed – as she has every right to be – and she has things to say. She wants to tell her side of the election. She wants to explain what happened. She wants people to know why she lost.
But I feel like most of us already have a pretty good idea as to why.
To me, this book seems a bit petty and significantly unnecessary. Actually, I’d even say that it’s an altogether bad idea. Whenever someone goes out of their way to do something, I always wonder about the motive behind it. I can’t think of a good one for this book, besides Hillary’s own need to defend herself and get some things off of her chest.
Which she can do, obviously.
But in this case, she should have the foresight not to.
By demonizing Bernie Sanders for the personal attacks he lodged against her and for not dropping out of the race early enough – both things she did to Barack Obama in 2008, by the way – she is exacerbating an already existing rift within the Democratic party. The party, for a couple of decades now, has suffered from in-fighting and the lack of a distinct identity (arguably). Hillary should understand that the race was a race, and one that she happened to win. Besides, she attacked Sanders similarly. Had he won the Democratic nomination, he could just as easily make the same case against her.
Bernie Sanders, as I’ve mentioned, has taken to the press circuit to defend himself against the claims in the book. It’s worth mentioning, too, that Bernie hasn’t actually said that he won’t be running again in the 2020 election. He’s still an active and respected member of the Democratic party, and he still commands a strong following, especially among the younger generations. If he does plan to run again, Hillary’s accusations will not help the Democratic nominee in the long game.
And isn’t it about more than individual egos? Isn’t it about the party, or most importantly, the country and its people?
“Look, you know, Secretary Clinton ran against the most unpopular candidate in the history of this country, and she lost. And she was upset by that. I understand that. But now our job is not to go backwards. It is to go forwards. It is to create the nation we know we can become. We have enormous problems facing us, and I think it’s a little bit silly to keep talking about 2016.”
And I agree with him. There is wisdom in learning from your mistakes. There is value in pointing out the flaws of your party, a failed presidential campaign, or whatever. But the goal must be growth and forward movement. Any action taken should be taken with an end in mind, and I’d assume, in Hillary’s case, that her goal would be to unite her party, to support a potential leader of the nation, and to put someone in power who more closely reflects the ideals and values she deems important.
Some critics of Sanders’ words asked, “What right does he have to tell a woman to shut up?”
Really? That’s what they got out of what he said?
In this case, feminism or chauvinism has very little – if anything – to do with Bernie’s response. The fact that she is a woman is irrelevant to the fact that she is creating or dragging out an issue where there no longer is one. Sanders’ response, in my opinion, was appropriate and tempered. He acknowledged her sentiments, empathized with her, and then stated how he felt. What happened, happened. It’s been dealt with. Hopefully it’s been learned from. But now, her words are doing more harm than good.
Yes, she has a right to voice how she feels and put it in a book. But no, she still shouldn’t do it.
And frankly, don’t we have a million other things to worry about these days?
In the words of Kourtney Kardashian, “Get over yourself.” And also, “There’s people that are dying.”
I’ll leave you with this. Eminem said,
“I am whatever you say I am. In the paper, the news, everyday I am. I don’t know, it’s just the way I am.”
This reminds me a bit of Hillary Clinton. She seems to be surrendering to public opinion of her, playing the victim card, and refusing to move on from a public defeat. I understand that her loss was difficult, but that sounds to me like more of a personal problem that she needs to address – not something we all need to live through with her.
Honestly, I think she’s better than this. I would have expected more from her. And I would have expected more from the people around her.
But nothing is as people say it is. No one is just what the media depicts them as. This could have been an opportunity for Hillary to rise above her detractors and those who call her a sore loser.
She chose not to.
That said, we’ll have a better idea of how this all plays out when the book is released.
To be continued…