Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton addresses supporters at Trident Tech on June 17, 2015 in North Charleston, South Carolina.(Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
Old friends wonder what happened to the Clinton “we once knew.”

By Ron Fournier
July 11, 2015

The following is a faux memo, although its contents are based upon my interviews with people close to Hillary Clinton, including some I’ve known since my years covering the Clintons in Arkansas. These sources spoke on condition of anonymity because attempts to make their case directly to the Democratic front-runner and her campaign team were icily received. Like my December 2013 memo titled “You’re the Problem,” this represents their point of view.

To: Hillary

From: A few of us

Subject: We love you, but you’re still the problem

The last time we wrote as a group, you were deciding whether to run for president. Conventional wisdom pegged you as a dead-certain candidate; we knew better. We knew you were worn from a lifetime of service, personal tension, and the getting-vaster Right Wing Conspiracy. We knew you truly wanted to devote the rest of your years to charity and Charlotte. We also knew you wanted to be president — and we’re not embarrassed to say we thought you’d be a good one.

We had qualms. To review, we warned that an American public buffeted by socio-economic change has lost faith in Washington, the U.S. political system, and virtually every social institution. We said that would be a particular problem for you in 2016, because you are viewed as a creature of Washington, a calculating politician, and an institution (“not just because of your age,” we wrote, “The Clinton family itself is an institution, one freighted with baggage.”)

Remember how mad this paragraph made you?

And so your biggest hurdle isn’t your age, the president’s record, your husband, or even Benghazi/Whitewater, etc. It’s you, Hillary. You’re the problem—that is, if you once again present yourself as an institution of Washington awaiting a political coronation. To win, you must be the anti-Hillary. You need to blast the public’s caricature of you to smithereens and replace it with what we know as the Real Hillary.

To read expanded column, click here.