[Make sure to read Daniel Greenfield’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
Seven years after her political epitaph was written, she’s back.
The Clinton Global Initiative has been relaunched in a big way and Hillary Clinton is fundraising for Biden, her allies are inside his faltering campaign and she’s meeting with foreign leaders on his behalf.
Until 2023, Hillary’s career had been on one long downward slide. After she ran out of biographies to sell, she tried writing a children’s book, “Grandma’s Gardens” (which contrary to expectations was not about Vince Foster’s corpse turning up in Fort Marcy Park), then getting in on Chelsea’s racket of putting her name on collections of stories about feminist heroines (Greta Thunberg, Bella Abzug) and that failed, and then she tried to get in on Bill’s racket of putting his name on fictional thrillers about thinly disguised versions of himself with “State of Terror”.
In a career low, Hillary was reduced to marketing fanfic in which she’s struggling with “a Republican president nicknamed ‘President Dumb’ who pulls out of the Iran Deal and then goes to Florida to play golf” and still couldn’t get anyone to pick up a copy. That and trying to get people to buy memberships to Masterclass to listen to her talk about the “power of resilience” put her only a step above peddling Cameo clips side by side with George Santos.
But 2024 looks like Hillary’s year.
When Argentina’s President Javier Milei arrived in New York City, he found Hillary Clinton there waiting for him. Instead of meeting with Biden or Secretary of State Blinken, the newly elected head of state met with a former secretary of state to discuss his country’s finances.
A few weeks later, Hillary met with the families of Israeli hostages and blasted Netanyahu, claiming that he just cares about “politics and personal political survival” and told them to pressure the Israeli government to cut a deal. It was a return to form for Hillary, who hates the Israeli prime minister and boasted of being the “designated yeller” at him under Obama.
But the real question is why did anyone care what Hillary Clinton thought about anything?
The answer, as usual, is power. It’s been quite a few years since Hillary had anything resembling power, but that’s no longer the case thanks to a former enemy: Joe Biden.
In 2015, Hillary had convinced Obama to sideline Biden in favor of her. Biden’s agreement not to run came after months of backbiting in which he spent entire meetings ranting about her. The only thing that could have changed his mind about her is his unpopularity inside his own party.
What has Biden worried most of all is not the general election, which will be fought on familiar ground, but the more serious threat that the Democrats might push him off the ticket. Unlike the Clintons and the Obamas, Biden never built a huge army of loyal operatives to protect him, and the closest thing that he has to a base is the Congressional Black Caucus. His allies managed to rig the DNC primaries, but that was before the polls showed he could lose in 2024.
Barack Obama despises Biden, didn’t back him in 2020 and has been undermining him now. David Axelrod, Obama’s consigliere, recently popped up to suggest that Biden may want to consider dropping out. So Biden knows better than to think that Obama will bail him out.
And that just leaves the Clintons.
Hillary Clinton is hosting fundraisers for Biden and making the case for him to Democrats. The Clintons won’t spit in your face for free and acting as a campaign surrogate comes with a high price. That’s why Hillary is now suddenly back on the world stage, meeting with foreign leaders and why her aides are showing up in the Biden campaign. Once again, as Elton John sang, she’ll “entertain by picking brains and sell my soul by dropping names.”
Dennis Cheng, the vice president of the Clinton Foundation, is now going to be Biden’s deputy political director, tying together the Biden campaign and the Clinton moneymaking operation.
But beyond her donors, her political operatives and her public support (these days her approval ratings are better than his), Hillary has something more important to offer Joe Biden.
There are only four living Democrats who fought through tough presidential primary battles, one of them is near death, one of them despises Biden and two of them are Clintons. What Hillary lacks in public graces and charisma, she more than makes up for in fighting dirty so that even the winners walk away regretting their victories.
Hillary gave us Russiagate, but she also gave us Obama’s birth certificate. She may not win popularity contests, but she will scorch the earth, then salt it and poison all the wells. Given a choice between having Obama or Hillary on his side in an inter-party battle, Biden is probably better off with Madame Defarge than another Obama speech about “who we are as a people”.
And Hillary has been carefully nurturing Biden’s paranoia.
In September, Hillary made her first public appearance at the White House, supposedly to join Jill in awarding a Japan Art Association award, in reality to warn Joe Biden about the threat of third party candidates. Biden’s people have already been obsessed with a variety of splinter campaigns, from deranged Marxist terror simp Cornel West to No Labels, a moderate liberal alternative linked to Senator Joe Manchin, and Hillary was feeding on his insecurities.
Bot networks and influencers have also taken to attacking Rep. Dean Philips, Biden’s only real primary opponent, in ways familiar to anyone who has watched the Clintons do their thing.
Biden may have once hated Hillary, but he has started turning into her. He’s a deeply unpopular and disliked establishment candidate whose main theme is that his opponent is Hitler. After watching multiple policy proposals crash and burn, his only path to the nomination is using the party’s machinery to intimidate or crush any opponents who might want to challenge him.
This is Hillary territory.
The biggest problem with Joe Biden is that he wants money and people to pay attention to him, but he doesn’t actually stand for anything beyond some retail politicking. He turned over his first administration to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Jim Clyburn to secure the support of the Left and the Congressional Black Caucus in the 2020 primaries. Now he’s mortgaging any possible future administration to the Clintons in the hopes of clinging to the ticket with the last shreds of his senility. Biden just wants to be out front, he doesn’t care who’s really running things.
And now the willing puppet has found someone else to pull his decaying strings.
Considering Hillary’s track record of losing a primary and then losing a presidential race, she doesn’t seem to offer much hope, but Biden is beyond hope, like Hillary, he may be willing to settle for revenge. In the primaries, Hillary can terrorize former enemies who want him off the ticket, and in the general election, the mistress of Russiagate may have a new big idea.
Biden’s odds of winning a normal election are poor, but between multiple indictments and trials, the odds are that this won’t be a normal election anyway. And Hillary may have something to add beyond the 2020 election legal battles. Some brainstorming hatched the idea of tying Trump to Russia. Who knows what malicious schemes may even now be brewing in her brain?
Hillary is a dangerous ally to have around and she may want something more than a piece of the action. If Democrats boot Biden, they have to decide who will replace him. Hillary was brought in to threaten existing candidates and those in waiting, like Gov. Gavin Newsom, but has she ever given up on the impossible dream of taking another shot at the White House?
Russiagate became a conspiracy theory to divert the blame for the defeat from her to outside forces. The premise was that Hillary Clinton didn’t really lose, the election was stolen from her.
Some Democrats are convinced that she didn’t really lose and so this time she could win.
It’s unlikely, but bringing her into the circles of power makes it more so. Hillary has gone from putting her name on bad novels to becoming a power player again. And the one thing she knows how to do is seize power. Biden already has a secret service entourage, but hopefully he will be very careful when flying over Croatia or strolling through Fort Marcy Park.