Susan Estrich commentary: The rematch of Clinton and Trump?
Say it ain't so.
Trump-Clinton round two, I mean.
Donald Trump is easy. He might be the only Republican who almost any Democrat could beat. Of course, he will have a hard core of supporters, but this time around, some of those supporters — particularly those who resemble the crowd on Jan. 6 — may do him more harm than good. They were indeed scary, and Democrats aren't the only ones who know that. The impeachment vote was public and dominated by ideologues; general elections are neither. Trump survived impeachment; a conviction would have legally disqualified him from serving as president, his flouting of the Constitution. Even so, his willingness to put our democracy at risk, along with the lives of the vice president and members of Congress, their staffs and the Capitol Police, should ultimately make him unelectable.
Besides, he will be a terrible candidate. Older, meaner and more difficult to control. Back on Twitter and Facebook, he can almost be counted on to self-destruct. You have to wonder if the censors did him a favor by doing what his staff could not. If his ratings have improved, at least relative to President Joe Biden, he may have those censors to blame.
Not that Hillary Clinton will fare much better.
Don't get me wrong. I have enormous respect for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I wrote a book about her entitled "The Case for Hillary Clinton." I very much wanted her to be president. I would, frankly, be thrilled if she were, even though I realize that, like the rest of us, she is also not perfect.
I just don't think she can get elected. And I don't want to see her lose again. It would, quite simply, be bad all around if she did.
For starters, there is the woman thing, and don't tell me otherwise. Just look at Vice President Kamala Harris, whose ratings have also tanked, even though I can't figure out what she has done, let alone done wrong. Inside baseball says she is hard to work for, but that hardly hurt Trump.
Then there is the baggage. All those emails. Benghazi. One of Mrs. Clinton's least attractive traits is the difficulty she has admitting she is wrong. Mea culpa goes a long way in politics, but it's not her language.
How can that be? She lost to Trump.
There are things that need to be said aloud. At no point in her campaign against Trump did Clinton enjoy the support of a majority of voters. Even when Trump was grabbing women by their private parts. Even when he was ignoring the Constitution in debate answers.
Will we admit that she was the only Democrat Trump could beat, and he beat her handily, and he would probably beat her again today, even more handily?
Why in the world would eight more years lead her to do better?
Will she be more appealing this time, less self-righteous, less arrogant?
Is it really the case that there is no other Democrat in this country who could do better?
It is very difficult for those of us who first tasted victory as Clinton Democrats, who saw our generation take charge 30 years ago, to admit that their time and ours has passed.
But it has.
Susan Estrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.