Former President Barack Obama isn’t the only past Democratic leader who refuses to ride off into the sunset. Hillary Clinton reemerges Tuesday with a new book explaining yet again her loss in the 2016 presidential election — without much insight into how they can win next time.
Some Democrats worry that the continued prominence of both Obama and Clinton will overshadow a new generation of their party’s leaders and rising stars. Both have already contributed to the thinning of the Democratic bench: Obama presided over massive down-ballot losses while Clinton’s defeat last November left Republicans with unified control of the federal government.
“She should be behaving as an elder statesman, not a political critic,” a Democratic strategist told me during a previous wave of Clinton recriminations earlier this year. “It’s very selfish for Democrats who want to move the party forward and into the future.”
On that front, Clinton is in a league of her own. Obama’s efforts with former Attorney General Eric Holder at the National Democratic Redistricting Committee are forward-looking and designed to alleviate structural problems that have plagued Democrats in recent midterm elections, and could perhaps dog them again in 2018.
Clinton keeps focusing on the past, last year’s campaign, which ended with a result that was very traumatic for much of the Democratic base: the election of President Trump.