Bankole: Is Hillary Clinton helping to elect Trump?

Bankole Thompson

In crude and demeaning remarks released this week as part of an upcoming documentary about her life and failed presidential bid, Hillary Clinton sought to handicap former rival Bernie Sanders’ chances to become the 2020 Democratic nominee and even suggested she won’t commit to backing the Vermont senator if he clinches the nomination.

Hillary Clinton lectures on foreign policy at Rackham Auditorium, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Ann Arbor.

“He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him. He got nothing done,” Clinton said in the documentary. 

Then she adds this damaging line: “He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney, and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.” 

Clinton perhaps forgot to look in the mirror before offering those remarks about Sanders, because she fits that description more than the candidate who launched a more authentic campaign than she did in 2016. While Sanders took the political world by storm, insisting on an economic revolution on Wall Street and putting the searchlight on the various dimensions of economic inequality that have crippled millions of lives, Clinton offered nothing but an out-of-touch campaign. 

Because she still looms large in the white liberal establishment that controls the Democratic Party, some of whom are deeply sleeping through this period of great uncertainty and are unwilling to push the envelope as Sanders has done, Clinton’s comments are bound to have an impact. She is trying to sow doubt among traditional Democrats to keep them from backing Sanders should he pull an upset and become the standard bearer of the party facing off against President Donald Trump in November. 

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

This is a full-blown delegitimization campaign unleashed by someone who still doesn’t know that she needs to exit the stage.

This election is not about Hillary. It's not about the Clintons, who once enjoyed a godlike status in Democratic politics. This is about the future of a nation in uncharted waters that must be decided in November. 

“Hillary Clinton’s comments are extremely disappointing, especially after Bernie Sanders campaigned for her after she won the nomination in 2016. Ironically, her campaign used a pied-piper strategy to elevate Trump in 2016. She underestimated Donald Trump and assumed he would be the easiest candidate to beat, while also ignoring how dangerous his presidency could be for people of color, the working class and immigrants,” said 28-year-old Zackary Reinhardt, who is vigorously campaigning for Sanders in Michigan. “Removing him from office should be the first priority; instead, she's disparaging arguably the strongest candidate to defeat Trump in 2020. It’s ludicrous.”

Judy Neal, who plans to support whoever the nominee is, remains worried. 

“I hope this does not play out again in November as it did four years ago. I supported Bernie Sanders during the last election. However, Hilary Clinton got the nomination and I voted for her. Unlike others, who refused to vote for her for myriad reasons, or were so upset they did not vote for president at all, we cannot afford to take such a stance this election cycle. Once again, we have too much to lose, not only as a county but as a society,” Neal said.

After receiving pushback for her remarks came this insincere statement on her Twitter page: “I thought everyone wanted my authentic, unvarnished views. But to be serious, the number one priority for our country and world is retiring Trump, and, as I always have, I will do whatever I can to support our nominee.”

No matter how she tries to clean things up, don’t believe what she says.