Here’s a prediction for next week: While all of Washington is talking about aid for the hurricane victims of Harvey and Irma, while also scrambling to get the House and Senate to raise the debt ceiling and avert a government shutdown, a two-time presidential candidate will be crisscrossing the country to talk about emails, Trump, and presumably her marriage and why she lost the presidency. Twice.
Her name is Hillary Rodham-Clinton and she has been a part of our national identity since 1992.
This week will mark Clinton’s seventh time writing a book and telling her story, and many Democrats — even some Republicans — are loathed to hear Clinton on the travel circuit once again telling her story. Democrats in Washington are bracing themselves as they listen to another story from Clinton as to why she thought her email scandal was overblown, how they (her husband and she) were “dead broke” after leaving the White House and to hear another round of Clinton’s inability to take full blame for her presidential loss.
“Maybe at the worst possible time, as we are fighting some of the most high-stakes policy and institutional battles we may ever see, at a time when we’re trying to move the party together so we can all move the party forward — stronger, stronger together,” said Congressman Jared Huffman, a Democrat who represents a Northern California district according to published reports in a Washington, D.C., publication that covers politics. “She’s got every right to tell her story. Who am I to say she shouldn’t, or how she should tell it? But it is difficult for some of us, even like me who’ve supported her, to play out all these media cycles about the blame game, and the excuses.”
But there’s one person who is relishing her book release: Donald Trump. If there’s anyone out there who loves a good twitter fight and to stir up his base with “crooked Hillary” jabs, it’s him and this is why many Republicans are concerned as well. They want the president to be focused on the policy initiatives they were elected to do as a governing party and they’re afraid that he — and she — will become the dominant news story.
In other words, a major tit for tat between two 70-year-olds. Clinton will have a lot to say about her loss and the reasons for it — which will remind many of her supporters and the country — that she simply does not get it: her loss is her’s alone and she should own it. Yes, there was Russian meddling and, yes, being a women most likely contributed to her loss. But not acknowledging her own self-inflicted wounds as to the cause of her loss is stunning.
The cold hard truth is that Trump won a campaign based on raw emotion and not policy. In an odd way he ran a very traditional campaign in that regard, in that the campaign was never about him. It was about us. Clinton’s campaign was always about her — and never us.
And so the cycle continues with a rehash of what happened last year, how she felt on debate nights and the night she learned that she would not be moving back to the White House. It all sounds like a back to the future movie instead of the country talking about its future.
Robert Traynham is the vice president of communications for the Bipartisan Policy Center. He can be twitted at @roberttraynham.