Trump And Clinton Spar Over Possible 2016 Rematch Amid Shakeup In 2020 Race

When President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter Tuesday that 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton should get into the 2020 presidential race, the former secretary of state fired back, “Don’t tempt me. Do your job.”

The response was clearly a joke, but as Clinton hits the talk show circuit to promote a new book co-written with daughter Chelsea, some are starting to take the prospect of her making another run for the White House more seriously.

Clinton laughed off the speculation in a “PBS NewsHour” interview Tuesday. Asked about the president’s tweet—which said she should run after she explains “all of her high crimes and misdemeanors, including how and why she deleted 33,000 e-mails”—Clinton said Trump appears to be “obsessed” with her but is “either lying or delusional” with his allegations about her emails.

“So maybe there does need to be a rematch. Obviously, I can beat him again,” she said with a smile, adding, “But, just seriously, I don't understand, I don't think anybody understands what motivates him, other than personal grievance, other than seeking adulation.”

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell suggested the enduring speculation about Clinton reflects both her refusal to accept her loss in the 2016 election and growing doubts in the Democratic Party that the top 2020 primary candidates can win in the general election.

“I think part of this is ego driven for her,” O’Connell said. “I also think, when we look at the overarching theme, nobody thought the 20-plus candidate cattle call in the Democratic field would be this bad.”

In a Fox News column earlier this week, conservative commentator Liz Peek claimed unnamed Democrats unhappy with the current field of candidates are urging former first lady Michelle Obama to enter the race. O’Connell noted talk of an Oprah Winfrey 2020 bid continues to crop up from time to time as well, but wishful thinking about a last-minute, hail-Mary candidate is not unusual in presidential campaigns.

“When the party who is out of power is nervous about who they’re going to put up there, this inevitably rears its ugly head,” O’Connell said.

As the White House attempts to frame the House impeachment inquiry over President Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden as a baseless and unconstitutional effort by Democrats to undo the 2016 election, O’Connell predicted putting Hillary Clinton on the ballot again would bolster that argument.

“Nothing would feed more fodder to Trump’s claim the Democrats are trying to relitigate 2016 than if she jumped in,” he said.

“I think Hillary Clinton throwing her name in the equation would probably pour more flame on that fire and take Trump across the finish line because he’s an incumbent,” O’Connell said.

Read more from Stephen Loiaconi at ABC6

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published this page in In The News 2019-10-09 16:16:58 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy