It’s telling that at the height of her lead in August, she was almost entirely absent. She let Trump dictate the pace of the campaign, often to his own detriment. As he has become more disciplined, this approach may have reached its natural limit.
But Hillary herself lacks almost all the qualities that make for a compelling presidential candidate. She isn’t fresh. She has been prominent in our politics, and controversial, for 25 years.
She isn’t entertaining or inspiring. Her speeches never achieve rhetorical lift-off, and she has the most insincere laugh in American politics.
She isn’t associated with a cause. In the Democratic primaries, she bent to the energy of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon, and in the general she has found her voice only when attacking Donald Trump.
She isn’t ethical. The debris field from her private e-mail server and the shady dealings of the Clinton Foundation will stretch into November, and perhaps beyond.
Already wealthy by any reasonable standard and unbelievably famous, the Clintons only had to conduct themselves with some modicum of respectability the last several years to avoid creating further obstacles on Hillary Clinton’s path to the White House.
Instead, Hillary bent the rules and arguably violated laws to try to keep her State Department e-mails from prying eyes, and the couple mingled Clinton Foundation and State department business in, at the very least, a wildly inappropriate manner. They vacuumed up every loose dollar they could find, from Hillary’s Goldman Sachs speeches to Bill’s $17.6 million gig as “honorary chancellor” of a for-profit college.
Hillary wants to define political change as embodied by Donald Trump as unacceptable, but she has gone almost as far in rendering the status quo — as represented by her high-handed politics of cronyism and corner-cutting — intolerable.
The Clintons famously believe the rules don’t apply to them, and why not? First, the FBI conducted a check-the-box investigation into her e-mails and then, acting like an arm of the campaign, released documents related to the investigation on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day to limit their impact.