The Corner

Elections

Don’t Forget Hillary Clinton

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

I wrote today about Donald Trump’s belief that he will be “reinstated” as president in August, or thereabouts, after the remaining election “audits” have been completed.

This is, of course, a preposterous conspiracy theory, and it deserves our condemnation. Before anyone on the Left gets too excited about What This Says About Republicans, though, it’s worth our remembering that the candidate who lost to Trump back in 2016, Hillary Clinton, also believed that she had been cheated out of the election. From the Washington Post, in 2019:

Hillary Clinton dismissed President Trump as an “illegitimate president” and suggested that “he knows” that he stole the 2016 presidential election in a CBS News interview to be aired Sunday.

And:

“No, it doesn’t kill me because he knows he’s an illegitimate president,” she said. “I believe he understands that the many varying tactics they used, from voter suppression and voter purging to hacking to the false stories — he knows that — there were just a bunch of different reasons why the election turned out like it did.”

And:

Clinton compared her election loss to “applying for a job and getting 66 million letters of recommendation and losing to a corrupt human tornado. And so I know that he knows that this wasn’t on the level. I don’t know that we’ll ever know what happened.”

Jimmy Carter also got in on the action:

In June, former president Jimmy Carter used similar language to diminish Trump’s presidency. Carter said that in his view Trump lost the 2016 election and was put in office by the Russians. Asked if he considered Trump to be illegitimate, Carter said, “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract.”

This is less crazy than the reinstatement theory, yes. And Clinton avoided descending to the same depths of quackery as did, say, Sidney Powell. But hers was hardly a model we should aspire to — and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise simply because her successor in loss is acting like a loon.

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