Nov 3, 2017

Haunted by Hillary

Trump listens as Clinton speaks at the second presidential debate in October 2016. Photo: Rick T. Wilking/Pool via AP

While many Democrats wish it weren't so, Hillary Clinton just won't go away. First it was her regret-and-resentment tour. Then the book. And now a rolling wave of 2016 recriminations.

Be smart: As Democrats try to figure out 2020, it's bad enough that they keep re-litigating the Clinton-Trump general election. But top Dems think it's horrendous that the party is now re-litigating the Clinton-Sanders primary.

  • Trump tweets every few days about how she's the real Russian scandal. (Already Friday he has sent off two tweets about the Dems: "Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn't looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems.....New Donna B book says she paid for and stole the Dem Primary. What about the deleted E-mails, Uranium, Podesta, the Server, plus, plus...")
  • Congressional Republicans and the Wall Street Journal editorial page pile on with calls for investigations.
  • Her campaign is busted paying for the salacious and partly discredited Trump dossier.
  • Worst of all, former DNC chair Donna Brazile — in her book out next Tuesday, "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House" — accused Clinton of hijacking the DNC to tilt the nomination her way, prompting Bernie and Warren supporters to declare vindication.

A former campaign official says HRC alumni have a strong sense of camaraderie and call around to coordinate and commiserate with each new wave: "It never ceases to amaze all of us how this campaign that's a year old continues to extend into the future."

Clinton's former high command says none of this breaks through in real America. But party insiders know that if they're going to take back the House, Senate or White House, they need to look forward, not backward.

Go deeper

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla. seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.

4 takeaways from the Nevada Democratic debate

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

Klobuchar squares off with Buttigieg on immigration

Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."