So now the suspense is over: Hillary is running for president! As if there was any chance she wouldn’t. She and Bill have been planning this for decades, all part of what they long ago dubbed “The Journey.” There was some idealistic content to their scheme at first, but that was shed with one compromise after another, until they became what they are today: a machine for raising money, attracting attention, and spinning modest tweaks to the status quo as somehow transformative. Hillary’s announcement was surprisingly empty, even by her standards—an evocation of diversity and inclusiveness without any actual political substance. She promised to be the “champion” of “everyday Americans.” How she will do this is a mystery compounded by a kickoff week of raising “an insane amount of money,” as The Daily Beast reported, from precisely the people who are causing “everyday Americans” such trouble. Many illusions about what Hillary stands for will be circulated in the coming months, some by cynical hucksters and some by the well-meaning and hopeful, but for a sense of what a President Hillary might do, it’s best to review where she came from and what she’s actually accomplished, which is what I did in “Stop Hillary!”
Read Doug Henwood’s article on the Clinton dynasty, published in the November 2014 issue of Harper’s Magazine, for free at Harpers.org. Subscribe today for instant digital access to our entire 164-year archive.