Don’t do it. Spare us all. Walk away.
You may be dying to run for president again. But from all of us sporting those bumper stickers that say “Any functioning adult 2020,” we beg you: Don’t.
It’s not that you’re not a functioning adult. It’s that you would lose, and we would go four more agonizingly long years with that same nonfunctioning adult in the White House. For those of us in the “Anybody But Trump” camp, you are a massive threat.
Maybe our worries are premature. Maybe you have no intention of running. Maybe the opinion piece this week in the Wall Street Journal by your former pollster, Mark Penn, and New York politician Andrew Stein, headlined “Hillary Will Run Again,” is way off base. After all, they cite no real evidence that you’re planning on it.
But forgive us for believing it might be so. After all, you yourself left the door wide open in an interview last month with Recode’s Kara Swisher, telling her that “I’d like to be president” and that it “would be work that I feel very well prepared for.”
OK, so you would be very well prepared for it. Few people in the nation’s history have a better résumé for the job — U.S. senator, secretary of state, first lady, Wellesley and Yale Law graduate. And you’ve been within sniffing distance of the job for decades. You even won the most votes two years ago.
We get why that would all justify a run in your mind. Except for one thing. As you said in “What Happened,” your book about the 2016 race: “I have come to terms with the fact that a lot of people — millions and millions of people — decided they just didn’t like me.” You are, as you said in that book, “a lightning rod for fury.”
So many things would go wrong if you ran. You would again justifiably be seen as untrustworthy. The “Crooked Hillary” epithet would re-emerge and stick. Your “basket of deplorables” comment would fire up President Donald Trump’s base. Your vote for the Iraq war would be rehashed.
More women won elections last week than at any other time in U.S. history, including more than 100 to Congress. That’s long overdue and a cause for celebration. We hope that momentum will continue in 2020, including with impressive women running for president. But you are not the best candidate to capitalize on this trend.
The stakes are too high. Please, don’t do it.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER