Only one Democrat other than Joe Biden has experience running for president against Donald Trump, and she’s not quite over 2016, or confident that Biden will be able to do what she couldn’t.
Hillary Clinton has been in lockdown like everyone else. It feels like Groundhog Day, she told me Wednesday afternoon. But existential exhaustion looks different for a woman who has spent the past four years thinking about the final month of the 2016 election—and who worries that Vladimir Putin, disinformation, and our deep political divides will still threaten American democracy even if Biden wins.
In many ways, Clinton feels vindicated by how the Trump presidency has played out, and by what Americans have learned about him over the past four years—including the recent revelation that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2017. That “was even worse than I thought it was,” she said. But being right is a small solace. She was sitting in her home in New York, speaking with me over Zoom for a conversation you can hear in full on the latest episode of The Ticket. Chappaqua is not Washington, D.C. She’s not in the middle of the reelection campaign she’d like to be running right now. She pointed out more than once that she won the popular vote in 2016, even if she didn’t win the Electoral College, and she mentioned former FBI Director James Comey’s letter in the final week of the race seeming to reopen the investigation into her (and then Comey’s announcement that nothing had come of it). And to those who wish she would just go away? She thinks they feel a bit guilty, she told me: They don’t want to admit that she was right about Trump.