On Tuesday afternoon Donald Trump did what every president is expected to do. He spoke to the dreams and aspirations of hundreds of millions of Americans, putting into beautifully chosen words the ambitions long kept hidden in the secret chambers of their hearts.
Of course he wants Hillary Clinton to run for president again in 2020. Who doesn't? This is why it was totally unsurprising when she responded with a not-so-ambiguous quote from a wizard movie that suggested she might well be considering it herself:
I for one would be surprised if it were Trump's tweet alone that gave rise to this soul searching. She has to have been thinking about it at least since November 9, 2016. Like any sane healthy individual she has probably had some doubts in the ensuing three or so years. But now? The timing could not be more perfect. Her only serious 2016 rival, Bernie Sanders, is experiencing some health problems. The establishment's first choice this time around, Joe Biden, is badly floundering. Which leaves Elizabeth Warren as the current front runner.
Warren is not, to say the least, a reliable agent here. Her entire pitch to DNC bigwigs is that she doesn't really mean it when she talks about this "revolution" stuff. Why take a chance? With Hillary they would know exactly where they stand, and so would the rest of us. This is to say nothing of the fact that head-to-head polling suggests Hillary has as good a shot as anyone in the current — and still almost unbelievably vast — field of Democratic hopefuls.
Bonaparte had to leave Elba. Nixon had to sit down with Frost. Ali had to rumble in the jungle. Michael Jordan had to come back and win more championships. Heck, Rick Astley even showed up at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. A third Hillary presidential campaign would be the most talked-about, memed, discussed, promoted, analyzed event maybe in the entire history of the American republic. The release of her new logo would generate five million retweets. The amount of money raised during the primaries alone would exceed the GDPs of various mid-sized Latin American republics. Cable news would explode. The ratings for the debates with Trump would go into Super Bowl, even M.A.S.H.-finale territory.
Don't misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that what the American people really want is a thrilling final chapter in the Trump-Clinton extended cinematic universe or a weird semi-comic sequel where Hillary uses the Force to fly through space and Michael Flynn milks a giraffe walrus but a straightforward soft reboot of the 2016 entry in the franchise. Look back at the last three years. Trump went in to the Oval Office promising to do about five million things that he never quite got around to; Democrats took control of the House promising to focus on health care and infrastructure. But the whole "issues" thing is just not really grabbing us. We are not interested in new characters or plot points or themes or locations. We need Benghazi, Emailgate, the early gritty James Comey-era Russia investigation, DNC hacks, Ted Cruz convention delegate rule shenanigans, non-visits to Michigan, and thousand-word explainers on campaign websites about cartoon Nazi frogs.
Give the people what they want, Hillary. Make America 2016 again.