If we can stop thinking about immigration for two minutes, then let’s consider the plight of the angriest female Democrat in America: Hillary Clinton.
Her blood pressure must skyrocket every time she sees Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A mere two years ago, Ocasio-Cortez was a nobody. Today, the media are mesmerized by her every utterance, be it a speech, a tweet, or her constant press conferences. Hillary, on the other hand, was famous twenty years before Ocasio-Cortez was born!
In 1969, at her student commencement speech at Wellesley College, then-Hillary Rodham criticized the views of the main speaker, Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts. Brooke argued against violent protests; Hillary said her generation was fed up with sympathy for their causes, and how they had to take action to achieve change.
She could have taken the opportunity to praise Senator Brooke, who was first African-American to be elected to the Senate by popular vote. (Previous Senators had been elected by their state legislators.)
A World War II veteran, graduate of Boston University Law School, and state attorney general, Brooke won in a landslide in 1966, in a state with few African Americans and Republicans.
For Hillary and her friends, none of this mattered. Despite his overcoming many racial discrimination hurdles, Brooke was fair game for criticism because he was a Republican.
In fact, Joe Avlon of the Daily Beast wrote in 2015 how Brooke’s Republicanism caused his pioneering civil rights record to vanish out of American history.
Meanwhile, Hillary had a couple of rough years after graduation from Yale Law School (she was a low-level lawyer on the Senate Watergate committee; when that folded, she was out of a job).
Then she met and married Bill Clinton, moved to Arkansas, and helped Bill win election as governor. In 1992 she helped him beat George H.W. Bush for the Presidency, and likewise against Bob Dole in 1996.
As Bill’s second term came to an end, she ran for a Senate seat in New York and won. She won reelection in 2006 but ended her Senate early career to run for President — to be defeated by newcomer Barack Obama in the Democrat primary. President Obama nominated her to be Secretary of State, perhaps as a consolation prize.
One wonders how Hillary feels about her 2006 choice to exit the Senate. If she had kept her seat, she could be in the Senate minority leadership now, or the minority leader on an important committee. And Hillary could make speeches, tweet, and have press conferences, and people would continue to pay attention — as she would have political power.
Further, age is a lesser factor in the Senate compared to a Presidential run. In the Senate, nobody blinks at a member who’s 71 years old. Consider: Senator Dianne Feinstein of California is 85 years old!
For Hillary, however, remaining in the Senate was the road not taken.
The road she took ultimately resulted in Donald Trump becoming President.
Over the past weekend, CNN’s Jeff Zeleny reported how Hillary was telling friends she “was not closing the door” on a third try for the Presidency. In my opinion, this hint is a plea to be noticed despite Ocasio-Cortez’s tidal wave of chatter. (Amazingly, Ocasio-Cortez seems to have a hot new quote buzzing every couple of hours.)
Even Zeleny seemed doubtful about Hillary’s chances in the Democrat primary. A reasonable stance, considering how barely a day goes by without another Democrat announcing a presidential exploratory committee.
Clearly, this ever-expanding legion of primary candidates do not believe that 2020 will be Hillary’s turn — again.
It appears Hillary can’t accept how her time on the political stage has passed. It doesn’t mean her life is over.
She has plenty of money and years left to do some tangible good for people in need. Raising money for candidates or think tanks doesn’t count. Giving speeches to corporate boards or conferences doesn’t count either.
What counts are things like constructing foster care and adoption centers, funding summer school programs, increasing access to health care by endowing clinics in low-income areas — the list is endless.
She should ignore Ocasio-Cortez’s chatter and concentrate instead on building a legacy so that when Hillary’s time comes, ordinary people, touched by her good works, will mourn her as a generous woman who changed lives.
Or Hillary can opt to be a political Norma Desmond (from the film Sunset Boulevard), living in the past, angrily fading away while waiting for her MSNBC closeup.
Joanne Butler was an international trade specialist at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and at the Foreign Agricultural Service at USDA in the George H.W. Bush administration. In the George W. Bush administration, she was a senior adviser and speechwriter at the Department of Labor.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.