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Author: Subject: Bill and Hillary Tour

A Peach Supreme





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  posted on 12/3/2018 at 09:33 PM

TORONTO ó The snow is falling lightly.

My thoughts are racing darkly.

Iím feeling something foreign, something Iíve never felt before. It takes me a moment to identify it.

Iím feeling sorry for the Clintons.

In the 27 years Iíve covered Bill and Hillary, Iíve experienced a range of emotions. Theyíve dazzled me and theyíve disgusted me.

But now theyíre mystifying me.

Iím looking around Scotiabank Arena, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and itís a depressing sight. Itís two-for-the-price-of-one in half the arena. The hockey rink is half curtained off, but even with that, organizers are scrambling at the last minute to cordon off more sections behind thick black curtains, they say due to a lack of sales. I paid $177 weeks in advance. (I passed on the pricey meet-and-greet option.) On the day of the event, some unsold tickets are slashed to single digits.

I get reassigned to another section as the Clintonsí audience space shrinks. But even with all the herding, Iím still looking at large swaths of empty seats ó and I cringe at the thought that the Clintons will look out and see that, too. It was only four years ago, after all, that Canadians were clamoring to buy tickets to see the woman who seemed headed for history.

Itís a sad contrast with the sold-out boffo book tour of Michelle Obama, whoís getting a lot more personal for the premium prices. But introspection has never been within the Clintonsí range.

I canít fathom why the Clintons would make like aging rock stars and go on a tour of Canada and the U.S. at a moment when Democrats are hoping to break the stranglehold of their cloistered, superannuated leadership and exult in a mosaic of exciting new faces.

It canít be the money at this point. Have they even spent all the Goldman gold yet? Do they want to swim in their cash like Scrooge McDuck?

The Clintonsí tin cup is worthy of the Smithsonian. They hoovered more than $2 billion in contributions to their campaigns, foundation and philanthropies.

After the White House, the money-grubbing raged on, with the Clintons making over 700 speeches in a 15-year period, blithely unconcerned with any appearance of avarice or of shady special interests and foreign countries buying influence. They stockpiled a whopping $240 million. Even leading up to her 2016 presidential run, Hillary was packing in the speeches, talking to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the American Camp Association, eBay, and there was that infamous trifecta of speeches for Goldman Sachs worth $675,000.

ďWhat scares me the most is Hillaryís smug certainty of her own virtue as she has become greedy and how typical that is of so many chic liberals who seem unaware of their own greed,Ē Charlie Peters, the legendary liberal former editor of The Washington Monthly, told me. ďThey donít really face the complicity of whatís happened to the world, how selfish weíve become and the horrible damage of screwing the workers and causing this resentment that the Republicans found a way of tapping into.Ē He ruefully worries about the Obamas in this regard, too.

Indeed, in the era of Trump, greed is not only good. Itís grand. The stock market is our highest value. Mammonism rules.

But watching the Clintons hash over their well-worn tale of falling in love at Yale Law School, I realize that itís not only about the money.

Some in Clintonworld say Hillary fully intends to be the nominee. Once more, in Toronto, she didnít 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 sheíd have to run in 2020, that she couldnít 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, thatís 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 canít stop tweeting about her. Sheís 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.

Itís a pity.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@MaureenDowd) and join me on Facebook.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

A version of this article appears in print on Dec. 2, 2018, on Page SR11 of the New York edition with the headline: Curtains for The Clintons. Order Reprints | Todayís Paper | Subscribe

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 12/3/2018 at 11:50 PM
They must want and miss the attention, the limelight. It must be hard for people like them. They have done their part, representing their constituents, their party, their country and a variety of roles. Controversy follows from the outside, but from within, why not live at peace? Those walks in the wood got boring? Life is short...how many good years do any of us have left? Why they would want to go around like this I don't know. They must enjoy it...just getting out and about with groups of people to talk about issues, positions and perspective. Hopefully they enjoy it because if not it must feel awful to no longer be relevant yet wanting so badly to be so.
 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 12/4/2018 at 01:02 AM
It sounds like she wants to run again. Whether you like her or not, there is no way she wins the nomination again. She recieved over 3 million more votes than her opponent, and still lost. Let's face it, many of those votes were more anti Trump than pro Hillary. That will likely be the case next time too, regardless of whoever the Democrats nominate. I think the Democrats would rather not repeat history and will take their chances with someone new. It will be interesting to see if the Democrats go for a more liberal candidate that will generate more excitement among their base or if they will go for another moderate in the hope of getting some crossover vote. Personally I prefer moderates, but my gut tells me they will go far left wing with the hope that anti Trump sentiment will make it irrelevant who they nominate.
 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 12/4/2018 at 08:25 AM
quote:
They must want and miss the attention, the limelight. It must be hard for people like them. They have done their part, representing their constituents, their party, their country and a variety of roles. Controversy follows from the outside, but from within, why not live at peace? Those walks in the wood got boring? Life is short...how many good years do any of us have left? Why they would want to go around like this I don't know. They must enjoy it...just getting out and about with groups of people to talk about issues, positions and perspective. Hopefully they enjoy it because if not it must feel awful to no longer be relevant yet wanting so badly to be so.


+1 They just can't let it go.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 12/4/2018 at 09:59 AM
quote:
quote:
They must want and miss the attention, the limelight. It must be hard for people like them. They have done their part, representing their constituents, their party, their country and a variety of roles. Controversy follows from the outside, but from within, why not live at peace? Those walks in the wood got boring? Life is short...how many good years do any of us have left? Why they would want to go around like this I don't know. They must enjoy it...just getting out and about with groups of people to talk about issues, positions and perspective. Hopefully they enjoy it because if not it must feel awful to no longer be relevant yet wanting so badly to be so.


+1 They just can't let it go.


They are history, & it's time to move forward for the sake of the party and the country. I really doubt HC gives another run at POTUS. If for some crazy reason she does, I doubt she would get the nomination. It's time for someone else to step up.

I do think that regardless of who the Dems run, there is so much anti Trump sentiment that he will not win a second term. The country realizes what a mistake it made with him. In the mid terms, I believe there were approx 9 million more votes cast for Dems over Repubs. That shows the turnout had enough of what Trump represents.

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 12/4/2018 at 10:06 AM
Anti-Trump turnout will be strong. Democrats know they need a message though. Hopefully the primary will be more about what the candidates can and would do if elected and less about who is currently in the White House.

Pretty wide open field and should make for an exciting political season! Can't imagine Hillary running, she will not do well among the field. I think everyone is ready for new faces.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/4/2018 at 10:21 AM
quote:
They just can't let it go.


I really doubt HC gives another run at POTUS. .


Which is it?


 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 12/5/2018 at 07:48 PM
quote:
The only American who seems truly interested in her these days is President Trump


And OriginalGoober.

 
 


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