But watching the Clintons hash over their well-worn tale of falling in love at Yale Law School, I realize that it’s not only about the money.
Some in Clintonworld say Hillary fully intends to be the nominee. Once more, in Toronto, she didn’t rule it out, dodging the question with a lame joke. She carries herself with the air of a president in exile. Her consigliere, Philippe Reines, has prodded reporters on including her name when they write about 2020 candidates.
And Bill has given monologues to old friends about how Hillary knows how she’d have to run in 2020, that she couldn’t have a big staff and would just speak her mind and not focus-group everything. (That already sounds focus-grouped.)
After losing to an orange puffer clown fish who will go down as one of the most destructive forces in American history and flushing the Obama legacy down the drain, that’s delusional. Some Obama associates say the former president has some regrets about throwing his support solely behind Hillary and knows he misread the anger and frustration of voters.
Bill was radioactive in the midterms and Hillary was the Ghost of Christmas Past. Her approval rating is at a record low of 36 percent. The only American who seems truly interested in her these days is President Trump, who can’t stop tweeting about her. She’s still money in his book.
The Clintons refuse to be discarded. It has been their joint project for half a century to be at the center of the public scene and debate. The way that the whole thing came crashing down in 2016 is too hard for them to bear. They would like to rewrite the ending, but there is no way to do that.
Nothing they have done lately suggests that they have learned anything, including their obtuse post-#MeToo comments about Monica Lewinsky, who has been far more candid and sympathetic in the 20th anniversary retellings of the impeachment saga. The Clintons are still unable to hold themselves accountable. The formerly golden couple who dominated their party for nearly three decades is traveling North America in a bubble, shockingly un-self-aware.
Their pathological need to be relevant in America is belied by a Canadian arena, where stretches of empty seats bear witness to the passing of their relevance.
It’s a pity.