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 Clinton is an interesting prospect to consider when looking for a viable candidate, particularly if an 80-something President Biden 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. 

  

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 Cuomo? No longer governor and thoroughly disgraced. Gov. Gavin Newsom (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. 

 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg? Not even 40 years old, and he has a supply chain crisis on his résumé. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)? Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)? Sen. Cory Booker (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 Trump. 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 Lauer, 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.) 

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 Harris 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.

Tags 2016 election 2020 election 2024 campaign 2024 election Andrew Cuomo Bernie Sanders Biden; Joe Biden; kamala harris Cory Booker Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Gavin Newsom Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton Donald Trump James Comey Joe Biden Kamala Harris Matt Lauer Pete Buttigieg

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