Hillary 2024? Given the competition, she may be the Dems' best hope

There may be a rematch coming in the 2024 race for the White House. But we're not talking (God help us) Biden-Trump II.

Instead, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' MORE is an interesting prospect to consider when looking for a viable candidate, particularly if an 80-something President BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE decides not to seek a second term. And why would he? Just 22 percent of voters want him to seek a second term, according to a I&I-TIPP poll. It doesn't get much better when polling only Democrats, where just 36 percent want to see the president run again, with that juggernaut candidate named "someone else" coming in first with 44 percent support. 

  

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The Democratic bench is about as deep as the New York Jets' these days. Vice President Harris? She's at 28 percent approval, per USA Today. Former New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoJudge strikes down New York's indoor mask mandate Hochul raises .6 million since launching gubernatorial campaign Former aide says she felt 'abandoned' by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India MORE? No longer governor and thoroughly disgraced. Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomLos Angeles lawmakers vote to support ban on new oil wells Newsom, California lawmakers reach deal on COVID-19 sick pay California bill would require all schoolchildren to be vaccinated against COVID-19 MORE (D-Calif.)? He had to spend major time and resources just to avoid being ousted in deep-blue California during a recall election earlier this year. 

 

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Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg targeting rising traffic fatalities The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Airlines suspend US flights in response to 5G deployment MORE? Not even 40 years old, and he has a supply chain crisis on his résumé. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell warns Biden not to 'outsource' Supreme Court pick to 'radical left' Briahna Joy Gray discusses Pelosi's 2022 re-election announcement Ocasio-Cortez: Supporting Sinema challenge by someone like Gallego would be easy decision MORE (I-Vt.)? Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats press cryptomining companies on energy consumption Ocasio-Cortez: Supporting Sinema challenge by someone like Gallego would be easy decision Over 80 lawmakers urge Biden to release memo outlining his authority on student debt cancellation MORE (D-Mass.)? Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats urge Biden to get beefed-up child tax credit into spending deal Despite Senate setbacks, the fight for voting rights is far from over Small ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed MORE (D-N.J.)? 

If those are the options, why not Hillary? She's 74 years old, which is like being bathed in the fountain of youth compared to Biden. And she's still stunned  five years later  that she actually lost to Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE. In fact, she sounds no different than Trump in constantly complaining about all the reasons she lost and that, well, the election was stolen by Trump and the Russians anyway. That type of rhetoric is a big no-no for Trump, but A-OK if Hillary (or Stacey Abrams) does it. Rules are rules.


"Are we going to give in to all these lies and this disinformation and this organized effort to undermine our rule of law and our institutions, or are we going to stand up to it?" Clinton recently warned regarding the possibility of Trump taking back the White House. 

And yes, that's a real possibility: Several recent polls have Trump topping Biden in a hypothetical 2024 contest. Which is stunning considering that the Democrat received more votes last year than any other presidential candidate in American history: 81 million. 


One more possible sign that Hillary is dipping her toe in the 2024 pool comes in the form of her bizarre decision to read her 2016 victory speech for something called "Masterclass." It was one of the most cringeworthy things you’ll ever see.

Here we have a former first lady, senator, secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee reading a speech for an election she lost. Of course, if The New York Times gave me an 85 percent chance of winning an election and I somehow lost to a guy who had never run for public office before, I’d have trouble absorbing it too.

But eventually one would think Hillary, more than five years later, would show some class. Some humility. Some maturity. And not talk about it so often anymore.

Instead, here she is, a losing candidate reading a five-year-old victory speech. And in case you’re asking if any losing presidential candidate had done anything like this before, the answer is no.

Since the election, Hillary has blamed her loss on misogyny, sexism, voter ID laws, Bernie Sanders, former FBI Director James Comey and Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd LauerHillary 2024? Given the competition, she may be the Dems' best hope Katie Couric dismisses early coverage of book as 'strange, willful misinterpretation' Katie Couric says she felt 'betrayed' by Lauer after sexual assault allegations MORE, along with dozens of other factors. (She hasn’t blamed neglecting to campaign in Wisconsin or deciding "I'm With Her" was a grabby campaign slogan.) 

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It’s a five-year public therapy session in broad daylight. And in a sane world, she would have been laughed out of the room for reading such a speech. But this felt more like a trial balloon in an effort to see if there is still an appetite for the Clinton brand. 

Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris discusses pandemic, migration during visit with new Honduran president Biden has done just three local interviews in first year in office Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes MORE was supposed to be Biden's Plan B. She was supposed to be set up to be the first female president in our nation's history. But it's not working out for the VP, who is already seeing senior staff members jump ship at an alarming rate, presumably thanks to her poor polling. 

Hillary Clinton always seemed to believe the mantle of "First Female President" was her birthright. And given how pathetic the field is on the Democratic side with or without Joe Biden, she may just get a second chance at winning the office her husband so famously made infamous.

Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.