The Washington Post has a review of the first of what is likely to be many books about the 2016 presidential campaign, “Shattered: Inside #Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” Included is an account of what transpired in the Clinton inner circle when they started to realize that their candidate was going to get beat by Donald Trump. Clinton comes off a little better than previous accounts that included screaming, cursing, and throwing things. Then President Barack Obama actually assumes a heroic role of sorts..
About the time Wisconsin was called, Obama’s political director David Simas called Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook and told him it was time to concede. The then president did not want the same kind of messy recount fiasco that blighted the 2000 election.
Still, it took Obama personally calling Clinton himself and telling her that the game was over. So she got Trump on the line and said, “Congratulations, Donald.” She had not woken up that morning expecting to say that.
Later, Ms. Clinton offered her apologies to #President Obama. “Mr. President, I’m sorry.”
Perhaps later came the screaming and the throwing. That night Clinton could not even bear to face her supporters, defeat being so keen a sting to her. She waited until the morning after much sobbing and recriminations.
The doomed second campaign for president of Hillary Clinton is a story that could only be told properly by Shakespeare. Campaign 2016 had everything, including monstrous hubris followed by the mother of all nemesis. In Clinton, such a play would have a character so evil as to rival both Richard III and Macbeth.
The supporting characters would be larger than life as well, especially Bill Clinton and, of course, #Donald Trump, the most unlikely American president in the history of the Republic. The drama, the twists and turns, the low comedy, and the impressive climax would be the Bard’s greatest work had he not died about 400 years ago.
Unlike a Shakespearian tragedy, most of which took place centuries before he strutted the stage of the Globe Theater, we lived the Tragedy of Hillary Clinton, a living warning about how overweening ambition can be all consuming and, in the end, turn to tragedy. Clinton had wanted to be the first female president for decades. Trump, by contrast, while toying with the idea for 15 or so years, only pulled the trigger at the last minute, having felt that he had no more worlds to conquer in business and the media. Now the modern Alexander, much older than the original, has the entire world to shape to his liking. One hopes the world will be the better for it.