Hillary: Should she just go away?
“Have you missed Hillary Clinton since she lost the election?” said Jim Treacher in Daily Caller.com. Probably not, and yet the defeated Democratic candidate has emerged from the woods around Chappaqua, and is stubbornly wading back into public life. Clinton last week gave her first major interview since the election, at the Women in the World Summit in Manhattan—during which she sounded off about the “chaotic” Trump administration and weighed in on Syria, as well as discussing the supposed reasons why she lost. Misogyny “played a role,” Clinton insisted—even though 53 percent of white women voted for Trump—while FBI Director James Comey’s email announcement and Russia’s interference sealed the deal. Clinton “still doesn’t get it,” said Emily Jashinsky in WashingtonExaminer.com. She lost “the most winnable race in recent history” to a beatable candidate because of her private e-mail server, “record of corruption,” and her failure to campaign in Michigan and Wisconsin. Alas, she and the Democrats would rather “blame others for their own mistakes.”
I’m glad Clinton “refuses to disappear,” said Michelle Goldberg in Slate.com. After suffering “an epochal, humiliating rebuke,” she still wants to fight for her values and programs that advance women’s rights, which is inspiring. Besides, Clinton is “clearly right” about the misogyny. Studies show that ambitious men are often well-liked, but in women, ambition engenders deep suspicion. Clinton had a 65 percent approval rating as secretary of state; it was only when she decided to seek “the highest office in the land” that her popularity plummeted.
“There is a post-politics role for Clinton,’’ said Timothy Stanley in CNN.com, “but it cannot be just yet.” Like countless other politicians who’ve left office, Clinton is clearly struggling with the loss of power, influence, and attention. In her view, “perhaps it’s better to be talked about horribly than not at all.” But if she really wants to help the Democratic Party, she should give it time to “separate from her memory—to rebuild, find new candidates, re-establish its identity,” and delink itself from the Clinton era. Remember: It was Hillary who “gave the White House to Trump” by alienating so many voters. If Democrats want any hope of bouncing back in the next few years, Clinton needs to leave the stage, so the spotlight can fall on a new generation of leaders. ■