The death stare gave it away.
As President and Mrs. Trump greeted the Obamas and Clintons at the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, Hillary Clinton nodded coldly to the first lady and then glared straight ahead rather than acknowledge Mr. Trump. Two things became immediately evident: 1) she’s still in bitter denial about losing to him; and 2) she’s back.
Mrs. Clinton, two-time presidential loser, is playing coy about running again, even as it’s obvious she’s hoping the third time will be the charm.
Shortly before the midterm elections, Mrs. Clinton was asked in an interview about her intentions. “No, no ” she insisted. She then added, “Well, I’d like to be president.”
There it is, in all of its elitism: She still wants to be president, of course. She just doesn’t want to have to go through the marathon pantomime again to get there. No more phony performances. No more kissing babies. No more greeting the factory swing shift in the middle of the night. No more pretending to enjoy corn dogs at the state fair. No more pretending to like normal Americans. No more selling her marriage as anything but a transactional relationship. She’s done with all that.
And who can blame her? The woman has been faking it for nearly 50 years.
Like most career politicians, Mrs. Clinton has long been driven by heady ambition and a ravenous desire for power. Now into her 70s, she also wants to avenge her staggering loss to Mr. Trump. Not only is she touting herself as the obvious choice — most experienced, most prolific fundraiser, the biggest name in the possible 2020 Democratic presidential crowd — she clearly believes that she was robbed by the vulgarian currently sitting in the Oval Office and she’s owed another run at him.
Recall that she used the same justification — that she was denied what was rightfully hers by Mr. Obama in 2008 — to convince Democrats to nominate her again in 2016.
But there is now something else propelling her, a deeply psychological motivation that constitutes the latest chapter in the Clinton psychodrama.
She has to run again. In fact, she has to keep running until she wins in order to justify her whole identity.
From the moment she met Bill Clinton in 1971, she sacrificed her own plans and desires to hitch her wagon to the charismatic guy she believed would go all the way. That man did, in fact, make it to the presidency, but not without repeatedly humiliating her. For 40 years, she has stood by him through the alleged rapes, sexual assaults, consensual affairs, lies, legal bills, impeachment, political fallout and reputational damage.
Mr. Clinton was a walking scandal, and Mrs. Clinton put up with it for one reason: She thought he was her ticket to the presidency. First him, then her. That was the deal.
There was just one problem: Her. She was always a fatally flawed presidential candidate, unable to pull it off even with her husband’s help. She’s now lost twice, to two men who had better reads on the American people at each given moment.
But she will not be denied the presidency, because if she never achieves it, she will be forced to face some hard questions: Who is she? How has she spent her entire adult life?
She considers herself a feminist. Did she sacrifice everything for a man — in vain? Could she have achieved her ultimate goal on her own, without him? Was her life a waste of time, one big mistake? Was it all for nothing?
It does appear that she’ll need a good therapist on hand because it’s highly unlikely that she will ever appear on another ballot, never mind serve as president. Her time has passed, and no one wants the country to be used as a stage for the resolution of her psychological issues.
Besides, influential folks on the left don’t seem thrilled at the prospect of a third Hillary candidacy. The idea of indulging her obnoxious sense of entitlement, painful incompetence, rampant corruption, history of smearing her husband’s accusers, robotic style and repellant unlikability makes many of them want to scream. They know that nominating her again would doubtless complete a losing trifecta.
In a party that is now dominated by an ascendant far-left, Mrs. Clinton looks like a relic and worse, a dud. The stench of defeat trails her. Her globalist elitism is out of step with much of the country and her inability to connect on a basic human level will never change.
She cannot seem to accept that the life choices she made were hers alone and that she isn’t owed anything as a result of them, least of all the presidency.
Instead of making another embarrassing run, Mrs. Clinton should hole up in her Chappaqua mansion with a glass of her beloved chardonnay. Uncomfortable but necessary self-examination awaits.
• Monica Crowley is a columnist for The Washington Times.