I wanted a rematch. I wanted to see Trump-Clinton 2.0. I wanted to see Hillary be as confident as ever (again) and then lose to Donald Trump (again). This week, the former first lady and two-time presidential loser announced that she’s not going to run in 2020 (via NYT):
Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and first lady who lost the White House to Donald J. Trump in 2016, said officially on Monday what has been unofficially clear for months: She is not running for president again in 2020.
“I’m not running,” Mrs. Clinton told a New York City television station, News 12. “But I’m going to keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe.”
Mrs. Clinton, the first woman to win a major-party nomination for president, remains a complicated figure for the Democratic Party as both a trailblazing female leader and also the candidate who was defeated by Mr. Trump.
Ahead of the 2020 election, she has been holding private meetings with many of the current and potential presidential candidates, including Senator Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., as they sought counsel from her even before she formally ruled out another run.
But in typical Clinton fashion, she’s also upset that people expect her to exit the stage post-haste. Lady, you already said that you’re not running. Of course, Trump had to chime in, trolling his former opponents with an ‘awe shucks’ tweet.
Spoke to someone close with Clinton in contact with her today. They say she wasn’t trying to be emphatic and close the door on running when she spoke to a local reporter yesterday, and that she was surprised by how definitively it played. 1/2— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 6, 2019
The person also says she is extremely unlikely to run, but that she remains bothered that she’s expected to close the door on it when, say, John Kerry isn’t. She has told her team she is waiting at least to see the Mueller report. 2/2— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 6, 2019
“(Crooked) Hillary Clinton confirms she will not run in 2020, rules out a third bid for White House.” Aw-shucks, does that mean I won’t get to run against her again? She will be sorely missed!” tweeted the president.
“(Crooked) Hillary Clinton confirms she will not run in 2020, rules out a third bid for White House.” Aw-shucks, does that mean I won’t get to run against her again? She will be sorely missed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2019
It doesn’t get any better than that. I know it may seem insane, but given how the field is so massive with candidates that have little to no name recognition, there’s room for Hillary. On paper, she has the infrastructure to mount another go at the White House. She will have top advisers, she will have the money, and she has a national constituency. But then comes the nasty base dynamics, where a growing and vocal slice would probably not vote for her like last time in the primaries and give the GOP and Trump endless fodder to weaken the Democrats. So, Clinton is solid…on paper. But when it comes to application, she would still be viewed as untrustworthy, unlikable, and ultimately someone who could never seal the deal as she’s showed twice.