There’s scarcely a pundit, wise guy or blowhard at the end of the bar who hasn’t sworn off Hillary Clinton, vowing that it’s time to find something new to rant and rave about.
But Washington pundits on the make for a clever insight owe her at least a case of fine old 120-proof Russian vodka. She’s always worth a column or rant, if not today surely tomorrow. It’s a piece that writes itself, only Miss Hillary will write it for whoever is stumped for a start.
The candidate who would put the word “deplorables” in William Safire’s authoritative dictionary of politics, if there still was one, is always rewriting the history of minor and major disasters of her life in politics, someone forever failing to engage brain before opening mouth. H.L. Mencken could not have written more colorful invective, vilification or vituperation than her bitter shout-out to the many millions who didn’t vote for her in 2016.
“If you look at the map of the United States,” she told a wise-guy conference the other day in India, of all places, “there’s all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coasts, I win, you know, Illinois, Minnesota, places like that. But what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.
“And his whole campaign, ‘Make America great again,’ was looking backward. You know,” she said, affecting to put words in the Donald’s mouth, “‘you didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs, you don’t want, you know, to see Indian Americans succeeding more than you are. Wherever your problem is, I’m gonna solve it.’”
This work of loose lips angers, and more to the point, terrifies sane and savvy Democrats who understand that inventing a tidal wave to carry the 2018 midterm congressional elections will be far more difficult than just counting the ballots and celebrating now. Beyond adding further insult to the “basket of deplorables,” she affronted women her party desperately needs in the new “year of the woman.” Particularly white folks. When a panelist in India asked her why a majority of white women voted Republican in 2016, she blamed it on men the color of Bubba.
“Part of that is an identification with the Republican Party and an ongoing pressure to vote the way your husband, your boss, your son, your boyfriend, whoever believes you should.”
White women are just not as liberated and as smart, wise and erudite as she is. White ladies should think for themselves, get mad, scream and give that no-good husband/boss/son/boyfriend/whoever a good cussing out, and maybe throw a lamp at him. Make him as miserable as ol’ Bubba has a right to be.
Even the staunchest of Hillary’s followers, as well as her longest-serving allies, think the words out of her mouth are cringeworthy, says the Hill, the Capitol Hill political daily. “She put herself in a position where Democrats from states that Trump won will have to distance themselves from her even more. That’s a lot of states.”
Hillary has been on the minds of many senior Democrats, and not in a fond way. They question whether they can rebuild trust in the party, if not affection, with the former first lady unable to keep her lip buttoned. One Democratic pundit, Greg Gutfeld, says “her tears are so bitter you could make an Old Fashioned with them.” Just add an ounce and a half of Wild Turkey, two dashes of angostura bitters, a sugar cube, a little plain water and pretty soon you’ve got a Hillary pity party.
Hillary has been on a tour to sell her book, “What Happened,” but many once-sympathetic Democrats have concluded that she still doesn’t have any idea of what happened. Only a confirmed churl would not have had a little sympathy for someone who came so close to being the president of the United States, only to see it disappear in a puff of angel dust on election night. She had the new curtains for the White House already stitched up, the rods from Home Depot in place, and ready for Bubba to hang.
“She’s annoying me,” one anguished veteran of the Hillary wars tells The Hill. “She’s annoying everyone. Who lets her say these things?” On the day after he watched Donald Trump campaign for a doomed congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, Philippe Reines, Hillary’s longtime communications adviser, said he understood “why that man won in 2016. I understand why he may win again in 2020.”
• Wesley Pruden is editor in chief emeritus of The Times.
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