Another Reason Why Hillary Can’t Win

Steve noted earlier tonight a little-noticed exchange with an ABC reporter who was assigned to follow Hillary Clinton, which suggested one reason why Hillary’s 2016 campaign may be doomed. Here is another one: her relationship with Bill–the only reason anyone has heard of her in the first place–can’t withstand the light of day.

The email controversy that came came to light today is a problem for Hillary, for obvious reasons. But here is something that I don’t think anyone has pointed out: Hillary’s private email address was [email protected]:

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There was no universal protocol for addresses. Thus, for example, Anthony Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin used [email protected] So Hillary’s choice of an email address was personal. And it is rather striking: her initials are HRC, for Hillary Rodham Clinton, right? So what does HDR stand for? Hillary’s middle name is Diane:

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So HDR stands for Hillary Diane Rodham. At the moment when she had been nominated as Secretary of State, Hillary chose to declare her independence from Bill Clinton, her ticket to the big time, by dropping his name from the email address that she used for four years as a cabinet officer.

Would that in itself disqualify Hillary from the presidency? Of course not. But it illuminates a larger problem that will be an enormous obstacle to Hillary’s 2016 run. It is common knowledge that she and Bill have lived separate lives for quite a few years. They are united only by political ambition–and, to be fair, a shared history, in service of that ambition, that goes back a long way. I am currently reading Augustus, by John Williams, and it occurs to me that Bill and Hillary would have been very much at home in ancient Rome. With contemporary America, they are badly out of step.

It’s not just the sham marriage. Bill has never been able to keep his various appetites under control, and since he left the White House, he has been a disaster waiting to happen. Let’s sum it up with this observation: anyone who wants to be active in public life must avoid situations that could give rise to newspaper headlines that combine his name with the words “underage sex slave.” That isn’t a high bar. Mitt Romney never had to worry about it, nor did Barack Obama. But Bill Clinton has suffered precisely that indignity, and there is much, much more to come between now and November 2016.

It is no wonder that Hillary wanted to declare independence from Bill by designating herself as Hillary Diane Rodham in her official State Department correspondence. (Of course, she was too much the political animal to separate herself from Bill publicly.) But that choice opens the door on many uncomfortable questions; questions that, I believe, will sink Hillary’s 2016 candidacy.

UPDATE: One thing I can’t figure out is, what is the significance of the 22 in hdr’s email address? The numbers have no obvious significance; not to me, anyway. Any ideas?