I feel the need to clarify something I wrote about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new book and my desire for her to end her public service career.
My strong sense is that the Democratic Party needs someone new, someone not on most of our radar screens, a fresh outlook and approach to public policy problem-solving.
Hillary Clinton needs to step aside.
That said, I want to restate with absolute clarity that I have zero regrets — not one, none — over supporting her candidacy in 2016. I would do so again and again and again — if the opponent were the same person who beat her. Hillary Clinton presented by far the clearest choice I had seen since I cast my first vote for the presidency in 1972.
I wrestled not one instant over whether I should cast my vote for Clinton over Donald John Trump Sr. My pro-Trump friends are entitled to stand my their man and I accept that they believe he’s the best thing to happen to American politics since pockets on shirts. I simply do not agree with them.
Was Hillary Clinton the perfect candidate for president in 2016? No. But compared to the man who stunned her — and many of the rest of us — she looks pretty damn perfect.
Congressional committees tried to pin “Benghazi” on her; they came up empty. The FBI looked for criminality in her handling of the e-mail matter; it, too, came up empty. Gossip mongers kept up the steady drumbeat of malicious rumors that were outright lies.
She worked beside her husband, Bill, while he served as a multi-term Arkansas governor; she served with honor as first lady of the United States; she learned how to legislate as a U.S. senator from New York; she represented U.S. diplomatic interests with competence and skill as secretary of state.
Trump brought zero public service experience to the job as president. I will remain baffled and mortified arguably for the rest of my life over just how this clown ever got elected to this most exalted, highly revered office.
Hillary Clinton’s time, though, has passed. She fired all her weapons in 2016 and missed the target. Trump beat her fairly and squarely where it counted: in the Electoral College. That’s how the U.S. Constitution sets forth how we elect presidents and I accept the 2016 outcome — even through gritted teeth.
Her book “What Happened” lays out her version of what went wrong in her supposedly inevitable march into the Oval Office.
From my way of thinking about it now, eight months after Trump’s inaugural, it all boils down to this basic truth: Hillary Clinton just didn’t wear well with those who wanted a radical change in direction in the White House.
And oh brother … did they get it.
I wish the outcome had been different. It’s time for Democrats to look deeply within themselves for an antidote to the absolute chaos that’s become the hallmark of governance in the world’s greatest nation.
It’s not going to be Hillary.