Sep 16, 2017

The Trump-Hillary merger

Mike Allen

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

For two people who (now) loathe each other, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have a lot more in common these days than either would care to admit:

  • Both like bashing Bernie.
  • Both are beloved by a slice of their party, but increasingly grating to the rest.
  • Both are convinced the media is out to get them and to blame for many of their problems.
  • Both seem bitter about the election result and fixated on Hillary's popular-vote win.
  • Both blame former FBI Director James Comey for their troubles.
  • Both are consumed with allegations that Russia tipped the election.
  • Both like Chuck Schumer more than Mitch McConnell.
  • Both support the Democratic immigration plan for "Dreamers."
  • Both are lapping up a slice of media acclaim amid widespread friendly fire: Trump, for his second "Chuck and Nancy" deal, and Hillary Clinton for a book that has many of her former supporters wishing she'd

Trump and Clinton were friendly, if not friends, from New York: Trump donated to her campaigns and the Clinton Foundation (and in 2012 famously called her "a terrific woman ... I like her"). Hillary and Bill Clinton attended his third wedding, to Melania, in Palm Beach in 2005.

All that vanished, of course, in an election where "Lock her up!" was a standard chant at Trump rallies. And Hillary Clinton, promoting "What Happened," told Judy Woodruff on "PBS NewsHour" yesterday: "[T]he Trump presidency poses a clear and present danger to our country and to the world."

Be mischievous: A Washington poohbah who knows both of them texted me: "Both are plutocrats masquerading as populists."

Be smart ... The Trump-Clinton axis reflects two reasons the 2016 election won't go away:

  1. The specifics of the Russian interference are still murky, but evidence of its consequence keeps mounting.
  2. There are basically four parties: Hillary Dems and Bernie Dems, and Trump Rs and establishment Rs. There's no way each sides' wings can permanently coexist, especially on economic issues.

So there are plenty of times when you see Donald Trump, but hear Hillary Clinton.

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