Hillary Clinton, probable next president

It’s time to stop thinking about Trump and start asking, ‘What kind of president will Clinton be?’

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears on a monitor in the media center during the second presidential debate with republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton appears on a monitor in the media center during the second presidential debate. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Although he bickered repeatedly with moderators and treated his running mate’s foreign policy ideas like a crumpled-up ball of paper, this was not a disaster of a debate for Donald Trump—yet he also did not have a turnaround victory Sunday night. This means that Hillary Clinton will begin the fourth-last week of the campaign as the leader and probable next president of the United States.

It’s time to stop spending so much energy thinking about Trump and whether he has a shot at winning and how much of a disaster he’d be in charge, though these are the more fun scenarios to consider. They’re no longer probable scenarios. It’s time to focus thought on what kind of president Hillary Clinton will be, and looking at events like the debate for such clues.

As sure as Trump craves ratings and his sensational history attracts eyeballs, there will be more shocking moments unveiled, both by him and for him. And as sure as there is a 40-year record of Clinton in the public eye as first lady and politician, there will be more compromising dirt dug up on her. But the sizzle and pop of the election campaign’s final month—overwhelmingly on the Trump side, as it has been since last June’s campaign launch—won’t likely reverse the tide that begins this second week of October.

Head-to-head national polling has Clinton topping Trump by 4.6 per cent, according to the Realclearpolitics.com average. (In 2012, Obama won the election comfortably by 3.9 percentage points.) Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight polls-only election forecast gives Clinton an 81.5 per cent chance of winning, with 330 electoral college votes instead of the 270 required to win—Silver’s best score for her since late August. These are both almost entirely based on polling conducted before the release of Trump’s shocking boasts about groping and vulgarly pursuing sex with married TV hosts “like a bitch”—comments that led scores of Republican politicians and supporters to finally jump off the runaway Trump train before it sped into no-go zone and plunged into the gully. It’s hard to say what further deficit Trump will find himself in once this outrage is baked into public opinion research; it’s easier to predict that this debate won’t suddenly offset all that and make it a tight Clinton-Trump race.

So the question shouldn’t be how Clinton fared vis-a-vis her debate opponent: it should be what she conveyed to Americans and the world.

She’s a lousy apologizer, too

Clinton once again provided some terse but excuse-free contrition for her improper keeping of a private email server for her four years of State Department emails, which put classified and sensitive information at greater risk of hacking and security breaches than a government server would have. She’s at least stopped offering misleading or patently untrue excuses about predecessors doing the same thing. But what she hasn’t done yet is accept the fact that she put sensitive information at jeopardy without much of a good reason:

I take classified materials very seriously and always have. When I was on the Senate armed services committee, I was privy to a lot of classified material. Obviously, as secretary of state, I had some of the most important secrets that we possess such as going after Bin Laden, so I am very committed to taking classified information seriously. There is no evidence that any classified information ended up in the wrong hands.

Americans likely owe it more to hope and good fortune than to Clinton’s good secret-keeping skills that the private server wasn’t hacked. At very least, she repeatedly says she won’t do it again, and you can be certain a President Hillary Clinton will be watched closely for any such improprieties.

She keeps her cool in the face of outrageous attacks and affronts

For the second straight debate, Clinton never appeared overly rattled by the extreme accusations and barbs that Donald Trump threw in her face. During his extended riff on Bill Clinton’s past philandering and alleged abuse—low blows for which Trump gave her two weeks to brace herself—she remained calmly smiling, unmoved. Surely Clinton has faced harsh, sexist and brashly accusatory figures before in her years as senator and secretary of state, and there are many more heads of state who may give her the same treatment. The probable next U.S. president has shown she can keep her cool in the face of such antics. It’s a more relaxed and confident demeanour than Barack Obama has visibly shown in his own debate confrontations, as much as he likes to play the cool cucumber.

She’s ready to be more liberal with the Supreme Court than Obama

The town hall debate finally featured a question about the Supreme Court, which has an opening on the bench after the death of Antonin Scalia—and could soon see further retirements and vacancies beyond that. In 2008, here’s what Obama said about how he would choose top court nominees:

What I do want is a judge who is sympathetic enough to those who are on the outside, those who are vulnerable, those who are powerless, those who can’t have access to political power and as a consequence can’t protect themselves from being—from being dealt with sometimes unfairly, that the courts become a refuge for justice.

Contrast that to Clinton’s answer Sunday, which burrowed deeper into specific policy goals:

I would want to see the Supreme Court reverse Citizens United, and get dark unaccountable money out of our politics. Donald doesn’t agree with that. I would like the Supreme Court to understand that voting rights are still a big problem in many parts of our country. That we don’t always do everything we can to making it possible for people of color and older people and young people to be able to exercise their franchise. I want a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose. And I want a Supreme Court that will stick with marriage equality.

Influenced somewhat by Bernie Sanders’s firm position on limiting donors’ political influence, Clinton has made that a hard goal of her judicial decisions. Gay marriage was a different issue in 2008 or even 2012 than it is now, as a legal right across America. And Democrats have long been supportive of abortion rights, but seldom are the party’s presidential nominees so unabashed about wanting to pick a pro-choice Supreme Court justice. Obama’s picks have not been subject to such stated policy tests, including Merrick Garland, the choice he made this year that congressional Republicans have thus far stymied. She may be tacking to the right of Obama on some issues, such as being potentially more hawkish militarily, but her judicial progressivism stands to harden her liberal base and keep some conservatives off her team.

Trump’s candour and demeanour are and will continue to be more discussion-worthy, more attention-grabbing. Dissecting Clinton’s performance in isolation isn’t a way of saying maybe she doesn’t deserve the job against him. We should think about what kind of president she would be not because of the alternatives, but with the realization that it’s probably coming, and will bring its own great array of challenges and opportunities. The question should not continue to be whether Clinton would be a better president than Trump, because that is a dreadfully low bar to set.

As popcorn-worthy as the next four weeks will be, it’s time to start focusing attention on how the next four years will be.


Hillary Clinton, probable next president

  1. I am very optimistic. I watched Frontline’s documentaary on Clinton and Trump and how they were raised and what influenced them growing up. Clinton appears to be very genuine and working for the public good as she always has at the top of her agenda. She doesn’t value power for power’s sake nor money. She also comes accross as very smart. So smart that that after Bill lost his governership, she took over and did what it took. She realized the games she had to play. So she dropped/altered some of her femanistic views in favour of what the public expected. changed her name, dropped the glassess and changed her hair style. She learned the game. The woman has been around the block. Knows how the game is played. Seeks out compromises. And is now poised to make some real changes. Bernie supporters have already made an influence. There is a growing demographic that want “things to be fair” in terms of income inequality so I am hopeful. Trump supporters have also shown that they need special handling. They have hurts because “things haven’t been fair”. .Everybody wants things to be fair. And I think Clinton is the one to do it.

    • You mean the Hillary Clinton that’s married to the guy who shoved a cigar up Monica Lewinski’s nether regions, not 20 feet from the Oval Office, and commented on how good it tasted. That Hillary Clinton.

      • Wrong Clinton. Try to pay attention.

        • But you forget about how Hillary went about slamming the women including a young intern who was abused by the most powerful man in the world. Both Clintons are disgusting human beings – Trump may have a potty mouth, but Hillary and Bill have actions that they have to defend.

          • Really….and she was arrested and charged……when?

  2. There shouldn’t even be a question about it….but it’s a massive cultural change for the US.

  3. Trumps biggest problem with women is, he doesn’t understand that a message from a man sounds a lot different to a women’s ears than it does to a man’s ears, lack of cohesion, and lack of understanding of women of real women’s issues. Also women don’t subscribe themselves to ‘Men’s Locker Room Banter’ magazines Donald Trump, you need to get out of the 20th century and get with the 21st century Mr. Trump. Hillary Clinton was a very engaging candidate last night, very similar to her first night, but when you have an ignorant opponent like Trump, the gloves have to can come off, but overall in the end, Hillary came prepared, and has the qualities and temperament to be POTUS.

    • I disagree that real men believe the way Trump talked is okay. Grabbing a woman uninvited by the crotch is not okay. I don’t think any man who has a daughter believes talking that way is okay.

  4. Well, she’s ultra-corrupt, she’s morally bankrupt, and she’s in bed with some pretty nefarious players like Soros and the Saudi royal family. I haven’t seen, has Macleans been covering the recent email leaks? I know most of the mainstream (read:leftist) media in the US has been trying to pretend it hasn’t happened, but they’re pretty eye-opening.

    So what kind of president will the corrupt old hag be? Probably the same kind of Secretary of State she was: the kind who will break the law and knows damn well she’s untouchable, the kind who’s willing to sacrifice American lives and the kind who will use her office to sell favours to enrich herself and her cronies.

    Trump is a piece of human garbage, but so is Hillary, and America is in for some dark days.

    • 40 years in public life…..under the most intense scrutiny in history……and yet no charges and no proof…..just the sexism of people like you.

      Now go wash your mouth out with soap,

      • How is what I said sexist? All you guys on the left can do is call everyone sexists, racists, etc until you have watered down the terms to be virtually meaningless. Lol at pointing to the fact that she was never charged as some kind of proof that she isn’t dirty as hell. Take a gander at the leaked emails and you will see what I’m talking about. Btw what do you think Bill and Loretta Lynch were talking about in that meeting on the plane? Grandkids and travel plans?

        • Calling her an old hag for one……and claiming all the other stuff….which never occurred.

          Claiming it’s all a plot to cover things up is just silly

          I’m not about to read 10,000 emails…and you didn’t either

          Nor did you hear Bill’s private conversations

          Don’t make shit up just to suit your sexist fantasies.

          And I’m not leftist

          • The only thing that is specific to a female what I said is hag, which doesn’t make me a sexist. Any more than calling a man a bastard or a dick or something like that would make someone a sexist. I’m judging her on her character and her actions, both of which are rotten to the core. Why don’t you go on Wikileaks and check out some of the emails? Pretty fascinating stuff.

            And no, I didn’t hear any of Bill’s private conversations (although I would imagine a lot of them are even filthier than the crap we heard come out of Trump’s mouth on that leaked tape), but you were the one crowing about how Shillary has never been charged. I just thought it might be of interest to note that the person who had the final authority on charging her (Loretta Lynch) had a clandestine meeting with Slick Willie on a plane at the tarmac. Bill of course is the one who first appointed her as a US Attorney in the 90s, and of course he has a track record of tampering with federal investigations.

            It’s better to view things with an open mind rather than just swallowing leftist propaganda. Lol at sexist fantasies.

        • Yup, it does. ‘Bastard’ and the like insult a man’s mother….not the man

          You have no idea about her character or her actions

          And you can’t talk to one woman, and block the FBI, the CIA the entire justice system of the US…..be serious

          You simply dislike her because she’s female. You’d do the same to any female

          There is nothing to charge her with…you are simply listening to alt-right drivel

          Hillary is running for president

          Bill is not


          • Dislike her because she’s female? Ridiculous. This is what I mean, you leftists are ridiculous. Why do I dislike Trump then, just because he’s a man? I know Hillary is running for president, but her and Bill are a package deal. Bill meets with the AG who has the authority to lay charges against Hillary, Hillary attacks and destroys any victims of Bill. They’re a real power couple all right.

            “And you can’t talk to one woman, and block the FBI, the CIA the entire justice system of the US…..be serious” lol were you trying to make a point with this? The CIA? Lmao. Why don’t you do some reading up on the investigation on Hillary. Better yet, why don’t you go check out the emails that have been leaked? The latest ones are from John Podesta, the chair of Hillary’s presidential campaign. Eye-opening stuff for sure.

        • Well JohnD80, I’ve been around a long time…..and I know sexism when I see it

          12 women have run for president……and there was supposedly something wrong with all of them

          Face it, you’re sexist.

  5. What kind of president will Hillary Clinton be? A lot of that rides on what happens in the Senate and House elections next month. If Democrats take the Senate back and gain a good chunk of seats in the House, I imagine she will run with her policies and get as much legislation passed as possible in her first two years. Hilary Clinton knows how Washington works. She knows how to get the job done. I think we could be looking at a very productive presidency that focuses on the middle class.

    What’s going to happen to the Republican party after this? Will the Libertarian party finally take off and take a chunk of the Republican Party with them? Will the Tea Party become it’s own party (it pretty much is in Texas where Tea Party endorsed Republicans run against non-Tea Party Republicans in primary elections, which is often where the real election is in Texas)? Do Trump supporters start their own party? It’s hard to envisioning the Republican Party remaining whole at this point.

  6. Hillary is pretty much a full-blown neoconservative corrupt corporatist fascist. The mess in Libya and Northern Africa, the war in Syria and Ukraine, the continuing instability in Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan, and the massive migration of peoples were all a result of her incompetence as Secretary of State.

    Expect more colossal failures.

    Expect a nuclear war with Russia.

    • Oh DO stop being silly Wheetabix….you are always predicting the end of the world, when actually everything is getting better.

      You have a death wish or what?

      • Emily,
        You are being your normal slurring, abusive self. When you are given a different view, all you do is attack and belittle.
        Hillary is as demeaning to women as Trump is. She called Willy’s bed mates sluts, pigs and trailer trash-now that’s very respectful. She also (in those WikiLeaks noted above) told Wall Street that she had a public position on them (she was going to go after them) and a private one (don’t worry I’ll look out for you). That led the commentator in the last debate to ask Hillary if she thought it was okay to be two faced. That a noble characteristic!! She has more baggage than Delta Airlines. The US will be screwed no mater who gets elected!!
        And before you attack me that I’m saying this because she is a woman, I’d love to have Rona Ambrose run for leader of the Conservatives and give Justin the heave ho. And I also like Christie Clarke. I detest Wynne, however, since she’s just as slimy as Hillary. So, it has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with honesty and integrity.

        • They said the same stuff about all the other female candidates

          Its always the one who ISN’T running that gets your approval

          Simple sexism

          • Now that the lamest crap you’ve come up with yet. Both Clarke and Wynne had to run to get where they are and I admire Clarke and detest Wynne.

  7. This article brings to mind the famous photo of US President Harry S. Truman holding a copy of the Chicago Daily Tribune of Nov.8, 1948 bearing the front page headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” wearing a big smile on his face.
    Although your predicted result is probably correct, due in no small measure to the expected voter fraud, please try to curb your enthusiasm until the vote result is official.

  8. Yawn – another MSM love letter to Clinton. The MSM is as corrupt as she is – maybe not as corrupt but desperate to keep the status quo which is a very comfortable relationship between the MSM and the political establishment. If she becomes President, the blame for the degrading of the US can be laid at the feet of the MSM who pushed her and her agenda and failed to mention anything that was negative about this deplorable woman.

    • Yup, it’s always a plot.

      And they’re all out to get YOU