Hillary Clinton wanted to be president and I wanted to be an R&B star. But we both failed for very good reasons

Michael Arceneaux
Getty Images

To the people apparently encouraging Hillary Clinton to run again for president, I’d like to think I speak for all reasonable Americans exhausted by political dynasties and the controversies of yesterdecade when I ask: Have you no sense of decency?

In an interview with the BBC this week, the former Secretary of State refused to rule out another run for the presidency. “Never say never,” Clinton declared. She went on to note that she thinks “all the time” about the sort of president she would be — namely from the perspective of what her win “would have meant to our country and the world.” As for Trump’s successor, Clinton said that “whoever wins next time is going to have a big task trying to fix everything that's been broken."

“I'm under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it,” she continued, when asked about whether she might consider joining the 2020 race in the future. Who are these people?

I assume some include the numerous people who used to exist within the Clinton family's extended ecosystem. It’s not what it used to be since Hillary’s 2016 loss, but it still exists. These people want proxy to power and are likely to only get it through another Clinton administration. That, or they simply miss the Clintons as fodder. Folks like Dick Morris keep floating another HRC run to the delight of her biggest obsessors in conservative media, who can’t let her go, simply for entertainment value.

I suppose you can’t hate these suckers for trying, but seriously, y’all, find something else to do and someone new to talk about.

It was only a month ago that Clinton responded to a tweet from President Trump goading her into another presidential run with, "Don't tempt me. Do your job." Bill said a few weeks ago of his wife that “she may or may not ever run for anything." She sat next to him as he said it. So it isn’t like the Clintons don’t enjoy teasing this themselves.

I understand that Hillary Clinton was grossly mistreated throughout the 2016 presidential election. Likewise, I respect that for all the talk about her surprising defeat, she still managed to get more votes than any other person running for president in history besides Barack Obama. That’s no easy feat for a woman with as much baggage as Hillary Rodham Clinton — some of it earned, but much of it nothing more than decades of conservative attacks seeping through the American electorate’s psyche.

Having said that, I want nothing more in life than for Clinton and her people (along with her enemies) to let this fantasy die already.

Make no mistake, she has every right to think about what might have been. I still think about what kind of R&B star I might have been had puberty not stripped me of that dream. However, there comes a point when you have to tap into your inner Kenny Rogers, look in the mirror and say to yourself, “You've got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away.”

Secretary Clinton, it’s time to walk away.

Realistically, there is no path there. The party has moved on, and if anything, Clinton would be entering a much more hostile environment. I don’t want or need to watch another rehash of her various political missteps, including who she meant when she said “super-predators” or “deplorables”. And really, do the Clintons want to talk about Bill Clinton’s history in this post-MeToo climate? It might not be fair, but that’s what will happen.

While I don’t think Donald Trump’s win says as much as some people think about Hillary Clinton per se, I do believe her loss proved that she is incapable of doing what is necessary to defeat him. James Comey, the Russian government, the New York Times’ unfortunate and embarrassing coverage of her nonexistent email scandal all dealt decisive blows to her candidacy — but even so, I distinctly remember the Clinton campaign being called out on its lack of urgency with nonwhite voters in the fall.

They were told to reach black people in the states they needed most. So many black Democrats advocated for this at the time. They did nothing. And we are currently experiencing several Democratic contenders repeating Hillary’s bad habits. They are not speaking to the racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia currently permeating our country. They do not talk about the corruption from both our government and corporations. They do not speak to the urgency of the moment.

Based on recent comments Clinton has made about issues like Medicare-for-All, it’s easy to conclude that another run would mean another failure. It would also be another needless reminder of what we already know: The party has moved past her.

Bernie Sanders still works because he proved to be right. Elizabeth Warren is soaring because she shares similar values and has a political ethos more in tune with American rage about growing inequality. Hillary Clinton does not represent where we need to go. I’m genuinely sorry she was cheated, but it’s time to stop teasing and accept things as is.

I would very much encourage Clinton to use her platform to help elevate not only the next Democratic presidential nominee, but a generation of new leaders. It would make for a much better use of her time in 2020.