Edward Luce has a splashy piece about a lunch with Hillary Clinton at which nearly nothing of substance is said. The only tangible takeaway is that Hillary remains obsessed with the 2016 election that ended her political career.
Luce asks, “whether things would have turned out differently had Clinton, not Trump, won in 2016. Her answer makes it clear she thinks the January 6 2021 storming of Capitol Hill to stop Joe Biden’s certification would simply have happened four years earlier. ‘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,’ she replies.”
This is an obvious non-sequitur, at least on Luce’s part, since the reply he quotes has Hillary pushing 2016 election denial all over again.
Would there have been as much outrage over a Trump loss in 2016? I doubt it. Hillary Clinton seemed like the inevitable candidate, a virtual incumbent, and Trump seemed like a longshot. There have been outrage, but little shock. The response to 2020 was in no small part because there was now actual shock at the table. Trump was no longer a longshot, he had become an incumbent, people had seen what was possible and were shocked and angered at seeing it undone.
Hillary appears to conflate the two in the usual machine wash cycle of election outrage that she is seemingly unaware of her own hypocrisy.
Later Hillary states of the expectation that she would win.
“It’s really remarkable how often I’m told stories like that and how often I’m reading something like a work of fiction set in modern times and 2016 is a traumatic event — it’s almost eschatological,” Clinton says. “It is a break in history. It’s such a piece of unfinished business.”
It certainly is for her.
And to Hillary, describing the end of her political career as eschatological and a break-in history is a kind of spiteful consolation price. Unable to win, she can still take down the country with her.