If she had her way, Hillary Clinton would be president of the United States right now. At 71, she’d have one of the world’s most demanding jobs.
So maybe she should consider employment in the private sector, where she’d surely be able to earn more money, with less effort, than she would have brought home at the White House. A full-time job might also direct her attention away from her bitter loss in the 2016 presidential election, and let the rest of us move on, as well.
Instead, Hillary Clinton seems to be on a never-ending Lamentathon that diverts attention from actual Democratic candidates in this year’s midterm elections, and might afflict the 2020 race if she keeps it up. Clinton recently cracked the door to a 2020 run, recently telling an interviewer, “I’d like to be president,” and listing her qualifications. Next year, she and her husband Bill, who was president from 1993 through 2001, will go on a 13-city talking tour, where people will buy tickets to hear the Clintons discuss whatever’s on their minds, including, undoubtedly, the election Hillary feels she should have won.
There are more productive things for losing presidential candidates to do. Just ask Al Gore, who lost the Democratic presidential race in the wild, hanging-chad election of 2000. Gore was bitter, too, but the career politician began a new life as a climate evangelist and businessman focusing on technology. Gore now runs an investing firm, while also sitting on Apple’s board and overseeing startup funding at venture-capital firm Kleiner, Perkins. In interviews, he’s as likely to discuss global warming or solar investing as he is current politics.
John Kerry, the losing Democrat in the 2004 presidential race, serves on the boards of a couple of think tanks, and chairs a Bank of America advisory panel. Republican Mitt Romney, after losing to Barack Obama in 2012, went back to the business world as group chairman of Solamere Capital and a director at Marriott. Jeb Bush, who lost in the 2016 Republican primaries, went on to open a Florida management consulting firm and join the board of a company that manages communications towers.
Hillary Clinton has many marketable skills that would be useful to any company doing international business. As secretary of state for four years, she met world leaders everywhere. She’s also a former senator and, of course, the wife of Bill Clinton. She knows practically everybody in politics. Directorships were made for people like her. She even has experience in the role, from serving on the Walmart board from 1986-1992, when husband Bill was governor of Arkansas.
Instead of cashing in, Clinton seems to be milking the sour cow of 2016. The “current projects” page of her website lists just two things. One is “Onward Together,” a movement “dedicated to advancing the vision that earned nearly 66 million votes in the last election.” Sounds like a political campaign that doesn’t know when to stop. The other Clinton project is her book, “What Happened,” which is her account of the 2016 election. Yeah, we know.
There’s also the nonprofit Clinton Foundation, the high-profile—and controversial—family philanthropy. Hillary Clinton took an active role at the foundation when she left the State Department in 2013, heading up a program focused on children’s health. She stopped working for the foundation when she announced her presidential candidacy in 2015, and apparently has not returned. While husband Bill is chair and daughter Chelsea is vice-chair, Hillary is no longer listed as a director or officer.
Other nonprofits would probably love to have her. The Gates Foundation fights global poverty and does other types of work Hillary Clinton has shown interest in before. She’d also fit in at policy think tanks such as the Brookings Institution or Council on Foreign Relations, which collect former heavyweights on their rosters. She might have to stop talking about the 2016 election, however, or at least come up with some new material.
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Rick Newman is the author of four books, including “Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success.” Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman