- - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The stage: A couple of comfy green leather chairs, a bookcase between and behind them — filled with copies of one book. The hall, Warner Theater in Washington, D.C., which was sold out Monday night for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s first of 15 tour stops to sell her new book and to tell us all “What Happened.”

Tickets for the show sold out in minutes: the emcee for the night told the crowd “you are the lucky ones.” The audience in D.C. cheered lustily at every mention of Mrs. Clinton during the introduction, excited to see the two-time presidential loser as she continues her Reputation Reclamation Tour.

The emcee stoked the crowd before the show, introducing Mrs. Clinton as the winner “of 65,800,000 votes” (not the presidency, mind you, but that many votes). They whooped like the sheep they are as Mrs. Clinton strode on stage with that big fake politician smile, clad in a red kaftan or house smock or whatever it was. She did a popelike wave, then flopped into her chair.

[Spoiler Alert: The bitter loser blames her defeat on former FBI director James B. Comey, Russia, computer bots, Wikileaks, Sen. Bernard Sanders, Facebook, former Vice President Joe Biden, fake news, Twitter, voter ID laws, the vast right-wing conspiracy, sexism, former President Barack Obama, ageism, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, white women, xenophobia, black people, the electoral college, the DNC, misogyny is that all? Wait, also all those Americans too stupid to vote for her, and women who were cowed by their men.]

Another emcee, a longtime Clintonista, opened the discussion, saying “everyone” was still “processing” everything. (Well, we’re not. Donald Trump is president, we all moved on at noon on Jan. 20.) But Emcee No. 2 played to the crowd, saying “everybody I know was experiencing weird things like insomnia, and anxiety, and gastrointestinal disorders.”

“How did you process it so quickly?” the hostess said, nearly 10 months after the election.

Mrs. Clinton waxed at great length. “I was so devastated and it was incredibly painful,” she said. “It took weeks of just getting up every day, cleaning closets, going for walks in the woods.” Like Mrs. Clinton cleans closets. Please. She hasn’t made herself a cup of coffee since she was in Arkansas.

But now, Mrs. Clinton said she needed to let the world know “what I believed happened,” noting that “I do, kind of, believe in facts.” The crowd whooped, completely unaware of the spectacular irony in the statement.

She said that sometimes, while penning the book, “I’d write about something and I’d have to go lie down.” So hard. There were “big forces” against her, she said, and she was here to lay them out, “some important issues we need to come to grips with.”

Mrs. Clinton said she “didn’t hold back at all on what I saw as my own shortcomings and my deep disappointment — not just for me, obviously, but for the country.” (OMG, the ego. The United States of America was consumed by “deep disappointment” at her loss — except for the 63 million people who voted for Mr. Trump, that is).

Just 12 minutes in, Mrs. Clinton blurted: “Sexism and misogyny and race, the Russians, and, you know, voter suppression.” Here come the excuses. And she blamed the press — the liberal mainstream media that bent over forward to back her: “The press is not covering the policy you’re putting out every day, they’re covering an empty podium.”

“There was a disconnect,” she said in the most insightful statement of the night.

But then the blame game started again. “It does have a lot to do with being a woman,” Mrs. Clinton said, blaming Americans for not being able to see past her womanhood.

“Bots and trolls and Russians and fake news,” the emcee said. “Pizzagate.” Pizzagate?

Mrs. Clinton said “When John Podesta’s emails were stolen — I hate the word ‘hacked,’ they were stolen, they were stolen by the Russians!” The crowd whooped. “They were then, through cutouts, given to Wikileaks, which is nothing more than a tool of Putin and the Kremlin.” The crowd cheered louder.

Russia, Russia, Russia, Mrs. Clinton said. The crowd was in a frenzy. “They sent the press on these wild goose chases you’re getting played by a bunch of Russians!” Mrs. Clinton declared.

Then Mrs. Clinton and the host played a game.

“Tea or coffee?” the host said.

“Coffee.” Mrs. Clinton said.

“Beach or mountains?”

“What?!”

“Beach or mountains.”

“Beach.”

“Shower or bath?”

“Well, these are really unfair, and that is particularly unfair because, I mean, it depends about how much time you have.”

“Vodka or chardonnay?”

“Again, it depends about how much time you have!”

Well, Mrs. Clinton’s got all the time in the world now. We know she likes to hit the bottle hard, and that will fit perfectly with the rest of her book tour: Mrs. Clinton, like a drunk at the bar, knocking back vodka and telling the sympathetic bartender sob stories about her tragic and twisted life.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 25 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent at The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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