Maureen Dowd opens her column by explaining that she feels “sorry for the Clintons” who appear to be shadows of shadows of their former selves these days. Just a couple of years ago destiny seemed to be walking with Mrs. Clinton and her ascendancy to the US presidency appeared all but in the bag. Though not as charismatic as her husband, Hillary drew big crowds of people who wanted a glimpse of the future first female president.
Now however the crowds are small for the Clinton speaking tour. Sections full of empty seats are curtained off. The mojo is gone. The era has changed. History has moved on. And the Clintons look more like Walter Mondale than agents of change or counters to Trumpism. They, at least as portrayed in Maureen Dowd’s column, are has beens.
On the day of the event, some unsold tickets are slashed to single digits.
I get reassigned to another section as the Clintons’ audience space shrinks.
“If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, It’s Hillary Clinton THEN puppet show.”
As anyone who goes to or at one time went to concerts knows, there’s a big difference between attending an event where a fresh new act plays to a sparse audience and attending an event where a sad old act plays to a sparse audience.
The former is often fun. One gets a sense of being part of something rising. I remember seeing the band Weezer for $1 many years ago and feeling this.
The latter is just a downer and leaves one questioning why a band or performer chose to book such a venue. Was it a bad manager? Was it ego that just couldn’t let the act come to terms with diminished popularity?
The Clintons seem to be having a very hard time coming to terms with first, being beaten by Trump, someone they dismissed, and also with the fact that the Democratic Party, their party for so long, is moving on. Those things have to hurt. But one has to think these things would hurt less if the Clintons adjusted to reality. Why not bow out gracefully? Bill is still a former president. There is massive prestige in that. The Clintons are also terribly rich these days. There’s fun in that life. No doubt there is much behind the scenes they could still be involved in with the Democratic Party if they chose to be involved. Why put themselves through this?
Because, as we have seen in a particularly ugly way over the last two years, the pair can’t let things go. They don’t seem to be able to move on. They seem unable to adjust. They still think they are walking with destiny. But destiny appears to be long gone.