Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser—words often attributed to Notre Dame football coach and legend Knute Rockne. And with each ungracious public appearance since losing the November election to the country’s most “unelectable” candidate, Hillary Clinton seems to be embracing that slogan as she harangues Trump in public appearances. Mrs. Clinton’s refusal to fade away is causing discomfort among her fellow Democrats, suggests William McGurn in the WSJ, who also explains why this is supremely unfair.
It is today’s Democratic Party that gave us Mrs. Clinton, as well as the thumping in November.
Yes, the Clintons have always been flexible about principles, a big reason for the appeal of the more purist Bernie Sanders. Back when her husband was running for president as a “New Democrat” in 1992, the idea was that the party had shed its McGovernite past and moved to the center, so that it could now be trusted on values, the economy and national security. At the time Mr. Clinton advertised his wife as “two for the price of one.”
Hillary’s consistent pattern on almost every issue that energizes Democrats was to go where the party pulled her—“from same-sex marriage to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.” Which is what Hollywood actress Rosario Dawson grasped, when, at last summer’s convention, she reminded Sanders delegates that Mrs. Clinton “is not a leader, she’s a follower.” Yet there was another dynamic at work and it had little to do with Mrs. Clinton, writes Mr. McGurn: “the hemorrhaging of Democratic seats over the Obama years—from the governorships to state legislatures to Capitol Hill—to the point where the Democratic Party is now at its lowest levels in a century.”
By the time Mrs. Clinton had secured the nomination for president, she had embraced everything a far more progressive party wanted her to embrace. But she also inherited a party that was losing elections all across the country.
Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate (yes, one of two) for sure. Like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, she keeps popping up. Even if Democrats don’t want her, it’s pretty clear that she is not going away anytime soon. But the bigger problem facing Democrats is perhaps not their messenger, but rather their message.
Read more from William McGurn here.