by James Billot
Monday, 20
June 2022
Spotted
17:09

Hillary Clinton: Battle with Trump is ‘unfinished business’

Is the Democrat angling for a third run?
by James Billot
He’s watching you. Credit: Getty

She was quick to deny it in her Lunch with the FT interview, but the question of whether Hillary Clinton will run for President again is one that will not go away. Asked about the chances of a third run in 2024, the former Secretary of State’s answer was emphatic: 

“No, out of the question. First of all, I expect Biden to run. He certainly intends to run. It would be very disruptive to challenge that.” 

Intriguingly, there was no second point to this answer. Biden will run, that is that. But that leaves open the question: what if he doesn’t? 

The President will be 81 by the next election and there is a lot working against him: underwater polling, declining mental faculties, worrying midterm predictions — and a party that is losing faith in his leadership.

Might this mean Hillary comes to the rescue? This year, columnists and outriders have been mentioning her name and 2024 more and more. Intriguingly, in the same interview Clinton described her “traumatic” 2016 battle against Donald Trump as “unfinished business”. 

This does not sound like someone who has given up the ghost of becoming president. Nor did her description of the political situation as at risk of losing everything assuage the doubt:

We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy. Everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window…Look, the most important thing is to win the next election. The alternative is so frightening that whatever does not help you win should not be a priority.
- Hillary Clinton, FT

Clinton’s antipathy for her 2016 rival runs deep (he has a “reptilian brain” she said), and it’s clear that she expects him to run again in 2024. But it’s interesting to see the former Secretary of State borrowing from the Trump playbook on issues that she would have been more careful about before. Take insinuations of voter fraud, for instance:

Literally within hours of the polls closing in 2016, we had so much evidence pouring in about voters being turned away in Milwaukee and not being able to vote in Detroit…These states were run by Republicans so there was no way to find out the truth about any of them.
- Hillary Clinton, FT

Swap ‘Republicans’ for ‘Democrats’ in Hillary’s answer and this might have elicited a rather animated response from the blue team. But the Hillary of 2022 appears to be rather different from the Hillary of 2008. 14 years ago, she attacked then Senator Barack Obama for being “elitist and out of touch” over his (widely misreported) comments about how people in small towns “get bitter” and “cling” to “guns or religion.” Eight years later, her worldview seemed to change. Now, she is only puzzled by the apparent “nostalgia” of former mining communities:

Whether they were from West Virginia or Tyneside, their lives were so grim and disease-prone and unhygienic — but the nostalgia for those days. I don’t know.
- Hillary Clinton, FT

Whether this gives a flavour of what might be to come in a Clinton ‘24 campaign remains to be seen, but one thing’s for certain: as so often with politicians, apparent denials don’t necessarily mean that something won’t happen.

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J Bryant
J Bryant
3 months ago

Cultural decline, rampaging inflation, geopolitical chaos.
And now the prospect of Hillary returning to national politics.
I’m hoping for a report that a large meteor is on course for planet earth. If I can figure out where it will strike I’ll pitch my tent there and wait under a tree, glass of wine in hand, for the impact. It will be a quick and painless (and Hillary-free) end.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

There has to be a good chance that she will develop serious health issues

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Democrats are likely to lose anyway but they’ll definitely lose if they select Clinton again. If it suits your politics, then I suggest you enjoy a crate of wine next to your tent and watch them crash like a meteor.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago

While I have never liked Donald Trump and still don’t (even though he wasn’t nearly as bad a president as I thought he’d be) I still think that America made the right choice in 2016. Hillary Clinton is one of the worst characters ever to infest Western politics in modern times and if she does run again, I very much hope she gets an even bigger kick in the arse than she did the last time.

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
3 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

You neatly capture my feelings!

James Meyer
James Meyer
3 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

You say that the USA made the right choice in 2016 in installing a President who demonstrated in Jan 6 his aim to destroy any vestiges of democracy in the USA. Are you crazy?

AC Harper
AC Harper
3 months ago

It’s a cunning plan…
Biden runs for President in 2024 and all Democrats vote for him out of fear (either because they dread a Republican win or they fear social ostracism from their social networks). Hillary Clinton stands as Vice President. Biden squeaks a win and then almost immediately stands down because of ‘ill health’ and Hillary Clinton steps forward for her turn, at last.

polidori redux
polidori redux
3 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Vote Baldrick! He has the worlds biggest turnip! Truly a man for all seasons.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 months ago

Joe will be 81 in 2024, and Hillary will be 77. Trump will be 78.
How about Ronald Reagan running again? He will be 113 and is technically dead, but he is far more suitable, pleasant, and competent than those three above.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Could you please revive Maggie while you’re at it?

polidori redux
polidori redux
3 months ago

Hillary Clinton was the only presidential candidate who couldn’t have defeated Donald Trump in 2016. Now she wants to stand again? I am no great fan of the United States, but surely it deserves better than this. I have an idea – Meghan Malarkey is crowned Queen, and we can all die laughing.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
3 months ago

I’ll give you 50-1 Hillary won’t run, even if Biden falls off his bike again and splits his wig. She’s not stupid and not up for more humiliation.

polidori redux
polidori redux
3 months ago
Reply to  Mo Brown

You fail to understand how true arrogance works: If you refuse to vote Hillary, it is you that has been humiliated, not Hillary.