Chris Cillizza Too Much Of A Joke To Know When Hillary Clinton Is Joking
Hillary Clinton epically trolled Donald Trump the other day. Trump suggested in a tweet Tuesday that the people's president should run against him in 2020 instead of the "Uber Left Elizabeth Warren." Clinton responded with the sick burn, "Don't tempt me. Do your job."
Sensible people understood Clinton was joking. They also know Clinton was robbed either constitutionally or out-right criminally, so it's exciting to imagine a possible rematch. But men who hate seeing women happy on the Internet had their testicles in a twist. They think Clinton's about to pounce at them from the electoral tub where they hoped she'd drowned. Matt Gorman, who helped Jeb! Bush and Mitt Romney lose, even declared that a "Trump vs. Hillary" news cycle amounted to an "in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign."
Chris Cillizza published a bedtime story posing an "analysis" yesterday where he reassured scared little boys that the pantsuited bogeyman isn't really running for president again. Clinton's not hiding under their beds. She's just selling books with her daughter on the talk show circuit ... or is she? Cillizza isn't sure himself.
Men have long had trouble appreciating that Hillary Clinton has a sense of humor. She's actually pretty damn funny with a genuine, full-bodied laugh. Donald Trump eerily never laughs, but Republicans try to hand wave his criminal confessions as mob boss humor. Far too many men believe Clinton's a calculating Lady Macbeth, who was not known for her levity. If she takes the piss out on Trump, it's obviously a political strategy.
CILLIZZA: [Clinton] (or whoever is running her account) regularly jabs Trump and mocks him, moves that have won her lots and lots of kudos from the liberal side of the social media world. And remember, Clinton has been around politics a long time. She knows what she's doing when she makes these jokes.
Yes, she's attempting to create amusement or laughter through a comment or story with a humorous "punchline." Cillizza can't even give her credit for writing her own material. He assumes she's a common Larry the Cable Guy. I don't think Clinton lets the intern respond directly to the president while she's busy having her toes done.
CILLIZZA: Back in January, CNN reported that Clinton had not totally closed the door on running for president in 2020. In March, Clinton addressed that chatter.
"I'm not running, but I'm going to keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe, " she told CNN affiliate News 12 Westchester in New York. "I want to be sure that people understand I'm going to keep speaking out. I'm not going anywhere."
That statement, broadly understood, could explain what Clinton has been doing over the past few weeks.
Clinton is a woman who publicly expresses her opinions, which is perfectly legal according to one of the later constitutional amendments. There's no conspiracy here. She said herself she's "not going anywhere," even if silly men demand it.
CILLIZZA: Of course, there is always this fact to consider: Clinton would like to be president. And losing the White House to Trump -- while winning the popular vote by almost 3 million -- is not the sort of thing that she (or anyone) gets over.
Clinton is fine. She's got bank, a loving family of mammals, and she's respected around the world. Donald Trump has sleepless nights because he knows he's not Hillary Clinton. It's why he's obsessed with his illegitimate "victory" over her. When Clinton jokes that she could "beat Trump again," it kills him a little inside because he knows it's true.
CILLIZZA: All of that is to say that if Clinton could simply be named the Democratic nominee, she would probably do it.
No, Clinton isn't lazy and entitled. Cillizza is thinking of himself. Hillary Rodham Clinton knows how nomination fights work. And if she wanted to run again, she'd roll up her sleeves and whoop all comers.
CILLIZZA: And there are still 19 candidates running in the race, meaning that voters have a choice of every size, shape and ideological positioning they could want.
Not really. There are about a dozen Tim Ryans, a couple of whom are past their expiration dates. We could use Hillary Clinton. It's totally our loss if she doesn't run again. (SHE IS NOT RUNNING AGAIN.)
CILLIZZA: Could I dream up a scenario where Clinton gets floated as a compromise candidate at some point down the line? Sure. If Elizabeth Warren looks like the nominee -- and jumpy Democratic establishment types worry she is too liberal to beat Trump -- Clinton could well be someone they would look to as a trusted vote-getter.
See, if the scary lady wins, then maybe the only chance to stop her is a scarier woman. It's a sexist Godzilla movie. Elizabeth Warren wasn't constructed in a laboratory from the remains of Vicky Starr and Norma Rae. She has won election twice all ready. Scott Brown is no great shakes but he's not a perpetual motion machine of treason. Brown's exactly the sort of Ken doll Republican #NeverTrump conservatives wish was on the 2020 ballot.
CILLIZZA: In short: Hillary Clinton's jokes about running for president in 2020 are just that: Jokes. At least, I think.
CNN pays Cillizza to use the expressions "in short" and "all of that is to say." But maybe it was worth it if Cillizza can convince scared little boys to sleep with the lights off tonight. Hillary Clinton is only president in their nightmares and our dreams.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).