What she said. Who she is
MR. McAULIFFE: Very…highly unlikely.
MR. RUSSERT: That…impossible?
MR. McAULIFFE: Nothing’s impossible. Look, tomorrow…something new could happen. Nothing’s impossible. You are talking to Terry McAuliffe. I don’t believe anything in life is impossible.
MR. RUSSERT: But you would need an act of God or for something catastrophic to happen to the Obama campaign.
MR. McAULIFFE: Sure, something big would have to happen, I will give you that, absolutely.
Not as “unthinkable” as all that, apparently.
“Unthinkable” being the word Hillary Clinton used—one of so many words Hillary Clinton used—to try to stuff the genie back in the bottle. Good luck.
It’s all out there now, naked. Unignorable.
They’re fighting back, of course, with explanations and counter-charges. Fighting back is what they do, what they’ve always done. The question is: Does even Hillary still believe Hillary?
Here’s what she didn’t say on the now-famous video: That she expected harm to come to Barack Obama. That she wanted harm to come to Barack Obama. That she was somehow giving permission for harm to come to Barack Obama.
Or rather, here’s what she didn’t say on the now-famous video: She didn’t say that she expected harm to come to Barack Obama. She didn’t say that she wanted harm to come to Barack Obama. She didn’t say that she was somehow giving permission for harm to come to Barack Obama.
Even as word-savvy—even as calculating—as the Clintons are, I’m willing to believe it wasn’t deliberate. Not on a conscious level, anyway.
But I’m also perfectly willing to believe that an exhausted and increasingly desperate candidate gave us a rare peek inside, at the ice lurking just inches below Planet Hillary’s surface. A better-rested candidate might have kept it better hidden, might have hinted at the uncertainties of politics, of life, without ever resorting to a word like “assassinated.”
But it’s out there now. And so, at last, is she. It’s not rocket science.
And it doesn’t take a village to figure out why she’s still hanging around. She’s not looking for a “dignified exit.” She’s not looking for time to “reconcile” her supporters to the end of their dream. Hardly: She’s still in it to win it. And her path to victory? Her own campaign chairman said it only weeks ago: “Something new could happen.” Something “big.”
So you’re left to wonder. Is that what gets her up every morning? Is that what keeps her going when the money is dwindling and the delegate math is even worse? Does she not see the harm she’s doing to her party? To its prospects in November? To the very issues she says are most important to her? Does she not even notice the pain her words, and the awful memories they conjure up, must have inflicted on the Obama family?
Or is she simply past caring?
She can wrap herself in Selma-to-Montgomery, in Seneca Falls—in the civil-rights marchers and the suffragists. She can reinvent herself, her message, her accent, by the hour. But the longer it goes on—the history twisted to make her case, the distortions even in the denials—the clearer the picture: Hillary Clinton’s greatest cause is Hillary Clinton.
She’s out there now.
The vulture overhead, just in case.
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.