Two-time presidential loser Hillary Clinton said last week that no prospective presidential candidates have sought her advice on a campaign to unseat Donald Trump (assuming he is still president) in 2020. The comments were made in an interview on Wednesday with conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt.
Clinton attributed the lack of contact from presidential hopefuls to the fact that the election is three years away. “Nobody’s actually been to see me,” Clinton told Hewitt. “I see Democrats all the time, and nobody has said ‘Hey, I’m going to run,’ or ‘I’m thinking about running, give me advice now,’ because it is too soon.”
While Clinton is correct that the election is still far in the future, there may be other reasons that Democrats are not seeking her advice. Clinton ran one of the most lackluster campaigns in recent history. Although there are many reasons why Hillary Clinton is not president today, one of the most fundamental errors was her failure to campaign in the Rust Belt states. Donald Trump’s unexpected wins in these states allowed him to eke out an Electoral College victory.
Aside from not letting up on the campaigning, there are other things that Hillary could tell a 2020 candidate. For example, don’t do anything to trigger an FBI criminal investigation of yourself, especially in an election year. If you are under an investigation, it’s probably best to sit out 2020 and focus on 2024.
Hillary might also say that a 2020 candidate needs a message other than “I want to be president.” The 2016 Clinton campaign seemed to be centered around the theme that voters should elect her because she wanted to make history as the first woman president. Her lack of an agenda to correct the problems of the Obama Administration was equivalent to campaigning for “four more years” of an unpopular president who presided over eight years of economic doldrums. Voters were ready for a change.
“There may be some private planning going on by some people,” Clinton said. “I wouldn’t know who. I wouldn’t hazard a guess. But in terms of actually seeking out advice, people have said, 'hey, I want to come talk to you.' But I haven’t had those conversations, in large measure, because I’ve said I’m going to focus next year on 2018, and then, you know, I’ll be happy to talk.”
There may be another reason that the 2020 hopefuls are steering clear of Hillary. The era of Clinton domination of the Democratic Party appears to have drawn to a close as prominent Democrats like Donna Brazile distance themselves from the both Hillary and Bill. Democrats are beginning to acknowledge that the Clintons were corrupt, beholden to Wall Street and covered up Bill’s sexual misbehavior for decades. In short, the Clintons are becoming pariahs among leftist political activists.
After Hillary’s embarrassing loss to Donald Trump and the subsequent revelations about secret Clinton control of the Democratic National Committee, it may be that potential candidates see Hillary as more of a liability than an asset. As Hillary makes the rounds on her book tour and desperately tries to stay relevant, it is likely that her phone will stay silent. The calls from 2020 hopefuls are probably going to Bernie Sanders.